Resources for Dealing with High-Stress Professions
May 9, 2014 6:33 AM Subscribe
My job is high-stress by nature, and I'm having a tough week. What books or websites can I look to for advice and tips on getting through the rough patches?
posted by freshwater to Work & Money (9 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I've been a family lawyer running my own practice for about five years. Which I love. I generally do pretty well dealing with the stress and emotional fallout, but I'm looking for some new resources. In the last few weeks, I've had a busy workload, and two emergency situations requiring short-notice hearings. This week, another emergency raised its head and my internet went out. April billing is not done. I am super stressed right now. I may take a visit to my trusty mental health professional, but I'm interested in other resources for dealing with these periodic high-stress times.
1. Books, websites, whatever. Not really a podcast person. I have not found a fit with mindfulness meditation, but am open to recommendations of that sort.
2. I'm a family lawyer. I already have a high tolerance both for emotional stress and for workplace stress such as deadlines, bureaucracy and unpleasant colleagues. Accordingly, I do not need a book on basic stress relief. I'm looking for something that addresses inherently high-stress professions or lifestyles.
3. I am not a first responder, but lots of my job involves clients calling with bad situations that they hope I can fix. People don't die on my watch, but I hear about bad things. And the "fixing" I can do is limited. At best, my clientele is made up of people having the worst year of their lives.
4. As above, I deal with horrible people doing horrible things. Everyone has their own struggles, and I can usually see where an opposing party is coming from, but I also deal with abusers and unnecessary cruelty. I'm not looking for philosophy, and I've read my Viktor Frankl, but if there's anything that addresses how to deal with bad people on a day to day basis, I'm in.
5. I am definitely interested in resources addressing the tension of necessary emotional detachment vs. detrimental emotional suppression. I have a long history of working with dv victims, and I generally do fine with empathizing while not personalizing. However, I know I'm at my limit this week. I'm taking statements by opposing parties personally, and really feeling the drain of hearing about the recent emergencies.
6. I'm pretty type-A in comparison to the standard population, but probably low-key in comparison with the legal profession. I already do a lot to maintain my work-life balance. I start early (8) but rarely work past 5 or 6. I work about one Sunday a month. I have a history of sleep disturbance, but generally get seven to eight hours of decent sleep a night. I am somewhat active. I go for a walk or a bike ride once or twice during the week, and generally do a long hike or bike ride on the weekends. Of course, I should do more physical activity. However, I'm more interested in dealing with short term periods of extra stress than general lifestyle tips.
6. I have a history of depression, and was recently diagnosed with ADD. The depression is generally under control. I've been medicated in some form or other for about ten years, and do a session or two with my psychiatrist/therapist as needed (once or twice a year). When I started taking Adderall in January, I was actually able to significantly reduce my depression meds, because my focus and motivation improved so much. Generally, I am a chipper and cheerful person. I have great CBT skills. So any resources with a depression/ADD viewpoint would be welcome, but I don't consider this to be a mental health issue.
7. The rest of my life is great. Amazing husband, fuzzy kitties, secure finances, strong support network.