When I heard Clarissa’s key note speech at the We are Podcast conference recently I was moved by the statistic that 1 in 3 lawyers will struggle with depression, anxiety or some form of a mental health challenge at some stage in their career. As Clarissa rightly says we consult a lawyer at our most difficult and stressful times in our lives so professionally lawyers are dealing with conflict and negative situations daily.
Clarissa’s journey as the “happy family lawyer” began in 2013 when she started writing a blog which has become a vehicle to not only create a shift in herself but to also to make a difference in her profession.
Inspire yourself with these essential insights from Clarissa
We spoke about
- Shifting focus to be a happy family lawyer
- Some of the drivers for the rates of depression in legal professionals
- Jerome Doraisamy’s experience as a law student and his quest to help others
- Creating a supportive environment in the work place
- Key elements to disengage from work
- The impact of the pace of life on our wellbeing
- What success looks like for Clarissa and how this differs to traditional legal measures
- The value of self reflection
- Supportive practices for living a happy life
- Clarissa’s book “Happy lawyer, happy life”
- Enjoying the relationships in your life
“I try and work with family’s in a way that keeps them outside of traditional court processes and gives them the best chance to move forward after a divorce with some semblance of a relationship intact”
“To open up a conversation around how we can live better as lawyers, manage the stresses that come with being a professional in this space and ideally try and reduce the statistic”
“We hear a lot of the phrase in our industry of ‘compassion fatigue’, where dealing with these difficult moments and tragedies all the time starts to rub off on our mental health as well and makes it more difficult for us to cope”
“One of the things that I think is really important to our mental health, wellbeing, just our capacity to live life well is rest”
“Rest comes in a number of different ways. Rest is nightly sleeping and many of us don’t get enough sleep on a day to day basis but rest is also the capacity to disconnect from your job”
“That seems to be another one of those big precursors to depression and anxiety as I just can’t disconnect and enable my mind the time it needs to heal itself”
“Put simply the pace of life coupled with a number of other things at the moment is creating a lot of havoc for a lot of people. It’s something we really need to start addressing thinking about, and making shifts in how we live so that we can be well and live as long as we can”
“We can get very caught up in other people’s success stories and their own markers of success rather than pausing and thinking what does it mean for me, what is important to me, what do I want to look back on at the end of my life…”
“Trying to have a positive mindset and seeing the world from a place of opportunity”
“I think you can be a great lawyer but it’s probably more important to focus on having a great life”
“Taking the time to allow yourself to enjoy the people around you, your family, your good friends, whoever it is. Make sure you make time for that stuff.”
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Until next time fabulous podcast listener, I’m Bev and I invite you to live the fab life with me now!
You can find Clarissa at:
Clarissa’s interview with Jerome Doraisamy on overcoming anxiety and depression: http://www.thehappyfamilylawyer.com/podcast/episode-6-overcoming-anxiety-depression-jerome-doraisamy/