Monday, June 25, 2018
Bar prep is turning the corner into the last few weeks. Most of us are telling our students to work hard, but also, make sure to take breaks. When finals roll around, we encourage sleep, eating healthy, and resting enough to be mentally fresh for exams. So, how many of you follow that advice throughout the year?
I completely understand the need to get everything done and help everyone. There is always another great idea to implement or another student meeting to take. We all have more to do than enough time in the day. We could all do so much more with just a little more time. However, the reality is we aren’t immune to exhaustion or sleep deprivation. What affects our students during the bar and finals affects our ability to help students during those times. Maximize your helping potential by also taking care of yourself.
I suggest my students schedule breaks both throughout the day and at least 1 full day during the weekend. I would suggest the same to all of you. Make sure that you take a mental break every hour. Have a quality non-law related lunch at least 3 days a week. Leave the office at a reasonable time to get home and recharge. If your status allows, make sure to take at least a week off at some point during the year. Every mental break makes a difference.
Most of you know this is necessary, but won't take the time due to feeling overwhelmed. I understand. I am not the best at breaks either. I worked on this blog post multiple times late at night after my kids went to bed and after grading bar essays. However, this is something the vast majority of us must get better at. For our students, they finish law school in 3 years or bar prep in 10 weeks. If this is our career, then we don’t have the easy to identify date for a break. Cancun or the Rocky Mountains aren’t 10 weeks away. Europe isn’t a goal to attain in 3 years. As soon as 1 class finishes for us, the next one begins. The next bar exam is right around the corner. It is easy for us to ignore our own mental care.
Just like we tell our students, you will be your best when mentally fresh. You can help more students with regular breaks and rest. All of you are doing great work. Keep the energy up to make a difference for many years.