by Mark Miller 4 min read
Being a lawyer is so stressful that 44 percent of practicing attorneys wouldn't recommend the field to a young person.
Stress can wreck your general quality of life, provoke anger, cause you to drink, and even ruin your sex life (egads!). And it's like a feedback loop: The more of these types of problems you have, the more stress you experience.
Attorneys have a lot to worry about, between getting justice for their clients and winning a case or an award so they can make a profit or get re-elected or keep their job.
Plus lawyers work long hours and deal with very complicated issues that require a lot of training and intelligence to deal with. Not just anyone can be a lawyer.
An article on TheBalanceCareers.com states :
Deadlines, billing pressures, client demands, long hours, changing laws, and other demands all combine to make the practice of law one of the most stressful jobs out there. Throw in rising business pressures, evolving legal technologies, and climbing law school debt and it’s no wonder lawyers are stressed.
The stress and demands of practicing law have fueled high levels of career dissatisfaction among members of the bar. Depression and suicide are common among lawyers and 44 percent of those recently surveyed by the American Bar Association said they would not recommend the profession to a young person.
The website Attorney at Work says lawyers are particularly prone to getting burned out because  they:
- ... suffer “secondary trauma” while dealing with the stress, anger, frustration, and emotions of our clients.
- ... often have a sense of perfectionism, that everything has to be exactly right, or we risk absolute failure.
- ... feel our clients are never truly pleased with our work.
- ... must sometimes act in a way that isn’t aligned with our core values.
- The job often requires extremely long hours that are not physically, mentally, or emotionally sustainable.
The Cleveland Clinic has an excellent article about chronic (long-term) stress, which states :
When a person has long-term (chronic) stress, continued activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body. Physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms develop. Physical symptoms of stress include:
Stress can lead to burnout, which can deeply affect the quality of your life and make you question a career choice. The site Attorney At Work explains what it means to be burnt out .
The site says anyone is prone to having some bad days, "but if you experience any of these warning signs on a consistent basis, you may be on the path to professional burnout":
- Ending every workday feeling highly stressed.
- Feeling a knot in the stomach on Sunday night.
- Disengagement from work, family, friends and health.
- Feeling alienated and tired, which may also mean anxious, depressed, exhausted, ineffective, overcommitted, guilty, unable to say no, or even to the point of giving up hope.
- Experiencing the physical consequences of stress: ulcers, upset stomach, headaches, backaches, colitis, lack of concentration, rage, even a heart attack or stroke.
Realizing the signs of burnout
Attorney At Work gives several coping strategies for attorneys experiencing burnout:
The Cleveland Clinic has a bit of very good advice:
Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member, neighbor or member of your church can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesn’t become overwhelming.
Caffeine in the right amounts and at the right time can help get you through the day.
Of course, you might not want to fill up on coffee and lattes and other caffeinated liquids, especially if you will be in court. But you still may want that caffeine.
Each has 40 mg of caffeine in a sugar-free mint, equal to about one-quarter of a mug of coffee. You can take one mint per half-hour or hour to get a steady stream of caffeine into your bloodstream, or four in quick succession to equal about one mug of java.
by Mark Miller 3 min read
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies
by Mark Miller 4 min read
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if it's OK to take caffeine. In fact, many nursing mothers just avoid caffeine in case it would keep their babies fussy, jittery and awake.
The answer is yes, you can take caffeine while breastfeeding, as long as you don't go over about 300 mg a day.
It's an important question because caffeine is in so many products, and taking coffee, tea, or soda is such a common ritual.
And breastfeeding mothers may be tempted to take caffeinated products because they are deprived of sleep by their newborns' odd sleep schedule.
by Mark Miller 5 min read
You might think gum chewing is an activity with little or no benefits besides the pleasure and flavor, but think again. Chewing gum has several benefits.
In addition to freshening your breath, sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities and contribute to overall oral health. But that's just the beginning.