How to Manage Stress

The following tips can help you better manage your stress:

  • Exercise
    • Get at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times weekly
  • Eat right
    • Seek a balanced diet; moderate sugar and caffeine intake
  • Sleep right
    • Stick to a regular sleep schedule; shoot for 6-8 hours nightly
  • Anticipate and prepare for stressful situations
    • On a daily basis, practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, self-talk, and visualization
    • Make such techniques part of the regular routine of your day
  • When you find yourself in a stressful situation
    • Employ the relaxation technique you have practiced at least several hours before the event.
    • If exams are stressful situations for you, once you are in the exam room, before beginning the exam, employ a relaxation strategy. If you cannot gain control over your thoughts, consider leaving the exam room for 1-2 minutes and getting some breaths of fresh air; consider some brief aerobic exercise (jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups) to help you mentally focus. Then return to the exam room and get started.
  • Keep a healthy perspective
    • Do not allow grades to define you; do not allow the expectations of others to define you.
    • Develop a support network of friends or family members that are not in the legal community.
    • Develop a support network of friends that are in the legal community. For example, seek mentor relationships with individuals who teach or practice in areas of law you are interested in.
    • Find ways to give back to your community, through church, civic, or other organizations.