Even Lawyers Aren’t Spared from This Unhealthy Habit, Here’s How to Break It
Lawyers are often portrayed as tough, no-nonsense individuals who have seemingly mastered the art of cracking even the toughest of cases. For these smart folks, finding ways to turn a complicated case in their favor is nothing but a walk in the park… or is it?
The reality of the legal profession isn’t exactly an episode on Suits. As much as these lawyers look and sound resilient, unfortunately, they are prone to burnout, depression, and anxiety, among a host of other mental health struggles, just like the rest of us.
Contrary to popular belief, the legal industry is stressful and competitive; climbing to the top of the food chain requires long working hours, many sleepless nights and quite a lot of stress-eating.
Lawyers are just ordinary human beings who also turn to food whenever stress knocks on their door, which is most of the time.
For lawyers working in BigLaw, which is presumably nerve-racking and stressful, means eating mindlessly, grabbing any food in sight to give them temporary relief from stress, much like the rest of us who turn into cookie monsters when life throws a curveball at us.
Most of us resort to comfort eating whenever stress kicks in because food is the perfect way to distract ourselves from our troubles and give a feeling of temporary relief, only to replaced by guilt later on. But why do stressed people tend to overeat? Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which boosts motivation, including the motivation to reach for that pack of cookies or crisps.
Eating junk food occasionally whenever you are down is a good picker-upper, but it gets problematic once you tend to rely on food as a coping mechanism to everyday struggles.
If you are an attorney, there’s no guarantee that you won’t need to face another nail-biting case once you’ve solved the current one. But there are ways to deal with stress that don’t involve binging on unhealthy foods.
Don’t Starve Yourself
If you’re finding yourself resorting to food whiling working long, stressful hours at the office every day, it might be a sign that you’re depriving yourself of food or not eating enough, which leads to binging or mindless eating.
Unhealthy foods end up making you feel anxious but not eating enough can also have a similar effect, hampering your productivity and focus. It’s hard to think straight when you are starving so make sure you have a satisfying breakfast before heading to work and keep healthy snacks on hand to munch on at the office.
It can be hard to squeeze in time to cook meals before going to work, but preparing your meals in bulk will greatly help you.
Lawyers who are sleep-deprived and burned out tend to eat anything within their reach, even opting for take-outs and several trips to McDonald’s drive-thru. If you pack your own lunches and snacks, then you can munch on these whenever you feel hunger kicking in.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
It can be hard to avoid stress-eating when you are in a very stressful environment, aka a law firm. All the more if you can’t balance your work and life, it can be extremely difficult not to turn to food when cortisol levels go up – this stress hormone, released by the adrenal gland, heightens hunger.
It can be hard not to be pessimistic or a perfectionist if you are an attorney but understand that there is no shortcut to this lifestyle change, especially if you have been stress-eating for so long. What’s best is to take things slow and occasionally give in to cravings.
Find other Activities
Stress is inevitable whether you’re a lawyer or not. You can address stress-eating by relying on other mood-boosting activities instead of food when you feel anxious.
This doesn’t just help as a distraction from your problems but also releases the same happy hormones as comfort-eating would.
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