At the end of May, I posted this blog. In it, I suggested that, this summer, you do what works for you, not what you think others expect you to do. In other words, be yourself.
A few weeks later, I posted Wellness Wednesday: Survival Skills. It’s a post in which I referred to Link Christin, a lawyer who contributes to Attorney at Work. In February, Attorney Christin started a series on survival skills for lawyers. As of my blog, he’d posted five:
- Survival Skill No. 1 for Lawyers: Emotional Resilience
- Survival Skill No. 2 for Lawyers: Dealing with Chronic Stress
- Survival Skill No. 3 for Lawyers: Dealing with Emotional Trauma
- Survival Skill No. 4 for Lawyers: Compassionate Professionalism
- Survival Skill No. 5 for Lawyers: Letting Go of Anger
A few weeks ago, Attorney Christin posted Survival Skill No. 6 for Lawyers: Bring Your Authentic Self to Work. In it, he writes:
- “Lawyers must create an environment where they can deal with personal and professional behavioral issues in a timely way rather than internalizing them only to have them surface later in more dangerous and destructive ways. We shouldn’t expect everybody to embrace or even like our authentic selves. But, at the end of the day, our success as lawyers and our happiness and stability in life are premised on honoring who we truly are.”
Attorney Christin’s argument that well-being includes being your authentic self reminded me of my suggestion that you spend the summer being you. And, the more I thought about it, the more I was reminded of my friend David Marlow.
Last year, Dave did a lot of work getting MMU’s student-athletes involved with mental health awareness. An aspect of the students’ focus was de-stigmatizing mental health issues and encouraging peers who want help to seek it. They came up with a phrase that Dave uses often on social media: “It’s okay not to be okay.” Dave often follows it with #EndTheStigma.
Attorney Christin and Dave make great points that, really, are part of a singular message.
Again, Attorney Christin writes that “[l]awyers must create an environment where they can deal with personal and professional behavioral issues in a timely way rather than internalizing them only to have them surface later in more dangerous and destructive ways.” In other words, not only must we help lawyers deal with behavioral health issues, we must create an environment conducive to seeking help. Which is exactly what Dave and his student-athletes mean when they say, “it’s okay not to be okay.”
It’s okay to be you. And, if you need help being you, that’s okay too. There’s a list of resources here.