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Episode 150: Self-Care Activities & Ideas For Any Lawyer

by Heather Moulder | Life & Law Podcast

You know that – when the demands of work, life and business make you feel distracted & unfocused – at least part of the answer is to devote more time to your own wellbeing. Yet how do you find the time (or energy) to fit proper self-care activities into your day-to-day?

You’re in luck because today’s episode was made specifically for you.

Listen to find out how to fit simple, quick self-care activities into daily life no matter how chaotic or overwhelming work or life feels. Here is what we’ll cover in today’s episode:


  • How to pair self-care activities with daily activities you already do.
  • Ways to carve out bites of time for quick, reenergizing self-care.
  • How to create flexible (habit-forming) routines you can do any time.

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  • Uncover your biggest areas of self-care need.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:48] How often do you feel unfocused, distracted, frustrated by the demands – sometimes that feel overwhelming – of work life, the business of law, and all those other obligations that you feel like are constantly placed upon you?

[00:01:07] Do you sometimes feel frustrated by the fact that you can’t even take time for yourself, yet you always feel like you’re jumping from one thing to another but not really getting all that much done and often feeling behind, which then has you taking out these feelings of frustration on the people you love most by snapping at your kid for wanting to get your attention or starting a fight with your spouse for how they folded the laundry. The worst of it is that you know the answer. It seems so simple.

[00:01:39] Take better care of yourself. Fit some actual self care activities into your life. But the question becomes how? You’re already so busy, how do you find the time to fit in more of anything, much less self care activities that are there for you?

[00:02:00] And you know it’s hard to take that time for you, right? Because you feel like you need a real reason, a reason that’s higher than yourself.

Hey there. This is Heather Moulder, host of the life in Law podcast, and this is what we are getting into today. So earlier this season, we talked about self care in several respects. We’ve talked about some of the mindset shifts that you need to make to prioritize self care. We’ve talked about how it’s not actually just about you, and it gets to your own legal ethics obligations as well, and how you show up for your clients, your colleagues, your family and other people.

[00:02:38] And during those conversations, I’ve hinted at the fact that I would get into this episode before this season was over.

[00:02:46] How to fit in simple self care. Simple self care activities where you actually can take a little bit of time for yourself, make it easier for yourself and do the things that you need to do for yourself, to show up as your best, to think your best, to feel your best, to be your best. Here’s what we’re going to specifically cover:

  • #1: Ways to fit simple self care activities into ordinary activities you’re already doing so they don’t actually take up any more of your time.
  • #2: How to carve out guilt free bites of time when you’re really busy for self care activities that renew and reenergize. As we all know, sometimes life gets more chaotic, things do get busier, and we don’t have quite the same amount of time as what we wish we had or what we would typically have.
  • #3: How to cultivate a habit of self care and how to keep that habit going even when life gets more chaotic, when you feel like you just don’t have much time.

So those are the three things that we’re going to get into today. Now, couple of notes before we get into the bulk of today’s content. Number one, if you have not listened to my past episodes this season, and there were others prior to this season around how to take better care of yourself, how to shift your mentality, and also the ethics, the legal ethics of self care, I highly recommend you go listen to those. I do think those are necessary counterparts to what we’re talking about today because they help you to make the mental shifts that are necessary for prioritizing your own well being. And let me be clear, you deserve that. You need that. You must do it. Okay?

[00:04:48] So if you haven’t listened to each one of those, I highly recommend you do. You don’t have to do it at this very moment, but there will be links in the show notes to each of those episodes. And I recommend that over the course of the next month or so, you find time to listen to each one.

[00:05:05] Another note, this is the last episode of this season of season three. Now, I will be back with a season four, I promise. But I am going to take a relatively short break. In the world of podcasting, I don’t know that it’s considered all that short. I’m thinking at the time of this recording that I’m going to take off eight weeks, two full months. I might come back a little bit earlier than that, but that is the current thinking. I should not be longer than that. Something I would recommend during this time. Yes, if you have other podcasts, catch up on those, but I highly recommend you go back and listen to some of my older episodes that maybe you haven’t heard before and, or maybe you have, but it’s been a while and you might need a refresh. Also, we hear different things at different times. I have found this to be incredibly applicable to me. I love to listen to podcasts myself, and every so often I go back and listen to some that I haven’t listened to in one, two, three plus years. And I almost always get something new out of it because I’m in a different spot when I’m listening to it now than I was when I originally listened to it. And I’m able to hear different things and apply these concepts in different ways now. Most of the podcasts I’m talking about that I listen to relate to behavioral science and also online marketing and running your own online business and that type of thing.

[00:06:30] But I know that this holds true for this podcast as well, and practically any podcast that you would listen to that is self help business help oriented. So those are my two notes to get started. Be sure to go listen to those other self care episodes first and foremost, and then also go back and listen to some of the older episodes that you haven’t heard in a long time and need a refresher on and or you’ve never heard and you think might be applicable to you now during my off time. Okay, so let’s get into today’s topic, which is, again, self care activities for you that are more specific as opposed to getting into the mindset of it. This is going to be more practical. This is going to give you ideas for how to fit simple self care activities into your daily life when you’re really busy and frankly, into your daily life in general. Okay, we will get into a little bit of mindset because, you know, I love a good mindset shift, but most of today is really about tactical, practical things, as I promised earlier this season.

Identify ways to fit self care activities into daily (or near daily, regular) activities you are already doing.

[00:07:55] So where could you piggyback a self care activity onto something you’re already doing every day or every weekday or on the weekends? Practically every weekend or a certain number of days per week.

Household Chores

So something that comes to mind here would be household chores, something I think I may have mentioned before. I know I have this in my self care challenge, is adding meditation and or mindfulness to some of the chores that I do. So, for example, laundry. I have never really loved folding laundry. It’s not something I have enjoyed doing. And in and of itself, if I think about I got to fold laundry, I don’t look forward to it, right? And frankly, neither do my kids.

[00:08:45] They delay laundry and putting away their laundry and folding their stuff to the nth degree.

[00:08:51] And so a couple of years back, probably more than a couple of years back, probably seven or eight years back now, I realized that, number one, I never got interrupted whenever I did do laundry because my kids were worried I was going to get them on in and say, hey, you, come help me. And I realized it was a time that I could utilize some mindfulness or meditation during that time period. So what I started to do was I started to pay attention to my senses. The smell of the clean laundry, the feeling of the heat when it first came out of the dryer, the feeling of each individual, the different fibers and how those felt. And I started utilizing my senses more during this time period. Now, did it make laundry the most fun, exciting activity in the universe? Heck, no, it did not. But here’s what it did do. I no longer hate it. I actually sometimes look forward to it. And when I come out of doing laundry in this way, I feel better for it because I actually have given my brain some free space.

[00:10:00] I’ve been mindful. I’ve done some things I know I needed to do for my mind, for my brain to give it a rest and a break. And I’ve done it in a way that I know is a good self care activity. Right. So another thing that I sometimes do is I don’t love doing dishes. But actually, well, let me just say that I used to really not love doing dishes. I actually don’t mind it so much. Now, again, I apply some mindfulness, and I really pay attention to two things when I’m doing dishes. The sounds, the clattering that the dishes make sometimes, and then also the feeling of the warm water.

[00:10:43] I really lean into that. And I don’t, by the way, do both at the same time. So when you’re leaning into your senses and utilizing mindfulness by going into a sense, you can always use all of your senses if they’re applicable, like smell, hearing, eyesight, feel, touch, that kind of a thing. You don’t do them all at once, though. You would rotate between them. So if I’m doing a lot of dishes, and let’s say it would take me five minutes to do the washing, I might spend two full minutes just listening, paying, really focusing in on the listening. Then I might spend two minutes just feeling, like really focusing in on the feel of how everything feels. The soap, the water, the sponge, whatever it is. So that’s an everyday activity. Right. We do chores around the house all the time. You can piggyback on top of that to not only make the chore more enjoyable, but to transform it into an act of self care. Now, remember, self care.

[00:11:47] Self Care is about what do you need in any given moment to be well? And we talk about being well, your well being. We’re talking about three areas, physically. And so we tend to think of the physical stuff, and it really is as the movement, the exercise, the sleeping, that kind of a thing.

[00:12:07] But then it’s more than that. It’s not just physical. Oh, and eating right. Eating well is also another physical self care activity.

[00:12:15] But also being well is more than just physically being fit and sleeping well. Yes, you need those things, but you need more, right. So what do you need to feel well, to show up as your best to be mentally, psychologically, emotionally well. I group those things into one.

[00:12:34] Mindfulness and meditation are some of the tools that we have for helping our minds to be well.

[00:12:43] So this is an act for me by combining this type of an activity with my everyday chores of paying attention to my mental health, giving my brain some space to think, allowing it to be more present, it’s helping my mental, emotional, psychological well being.

A Surprising Way To Implement Self-Care Into An Ordinary (What Felt Like A Very Hard) Activity

[00:13:01] So let me give you some other self care activities or ideas. When I had my first child, Zachary, who cannot believe it, is now 18 and about to go off to college this fall. That’s a whole other conversation.

[00:13:14] But when I first had him, I nursed, and I went into nursing, as many people do, very wide eyed, a little naive. Thought it was going to be easy, and it really wasn’t initially easy for me. Now, I did learn to love it, but it wasn’t very easy that first, I’d say four to six weeks, and I kind of hated it at first. I felt like I was always tied to my child.

[00:13:39] He fed all the time. It seemed like it was just a mess.

[00:13:42] And after a couple of weeks of struggling with it, I realized, you know what, Heather? You could turn this into something better. So let’s figure out a way to enjoy this more.

[00:13:52] And I realized that I really missed reading.

[00:13:55] I had not been reading very much. I love to read books. I feel like that is an act of self care for my mind, and I wanted to read more. So I paired my nursing time with reading and always had a book close by.

[00:14:11] That’s another way, right?

Car Time (Also: Train/Bus Time)

Then when my kids grew older and they got into activities, I was driving them all over the place, and I felt like the chauffeur because you know, what I was.

[00:14:22] And so that I would not see that time as something I had to do and resent that time.

[00:14:30] I made it our time in the car. I made it family fun time, where I would play new songs for them to listen to and get their opinions, and then they could cue songs of their own, but they wanted me to listen to. And over time, this time together in the car became more and more because my boys, if you haven’t heard by now, they play baseball, and baseball tournaments are all over the place, and you can drive a while. And so we would make this time our time, where we would play fun music, and it would turn into talking time and getting to know what’s going on on their mind’s time as they got older. And it’s something I frankly miss with my oldest, because he drives and we don’t have the opportunity to be in the car together quite as much, certainly not for those kinds of things. He would usually drive himself to those, and then we would meet him later. So we’ve lost that. So these are ways for you to take daily activities and turn them into self care activities. What are you doing every single day, and how could you turn those into self care? Let me give you a couple of other examples. And these are going to be primarily based on client situations and how my clients have addressed this issue rather than me.

[00:15:50] So let’s say that you drive a long way to and from work almost every day or two or three days a week. If you work partly remote, partly from the office, well, you don’t have to go the same way every day. You can change it up. That actually can be considered an act of self care because it forces you to think differently. Have you ever noticed that when we tend to take the same route over and over and over and over again, we go into almost like this trance, and you get in your car, and the next thing you know you’re there and you don’t even remember how you got there or what happened. So be more mindful about your drive by changing it up every so often.

[00:16:29] You could, if you miss reading and just don’t have the time, listen to an ebook. During that time, you could play your favorite music that nobody else in your house likes to listen to and belt out the songs. Maybe it’s show tunes, right?

[00:16:45] And this type of stuff can go also for those of you who ride a train to and from work or the bus. Now, maybe you don’t want to belt out the show tunes or anything that you can listen to your favorite music, you can listen to podcasts, you can listen to an ebook.

[00:16:59] You don’t always have to be doing work. In fact, I don’t recommend that. Give your brain a break from the work. Do something enjoyable during that time.

[00:17:10] You could. This is another example from a client. This client is a Christian.

[00:17:17] Yes, went to church, but wasn’t finding, was getting really busy within their career and wasn’t finding the time for prayer that they used to and felt like they were really missing out. And so what he did and started doing was he had about a 20 to 25 minutes drive every day. That was his quiet time. Instead of turning on the radio, instead of turning on a podcast, instead of listening to anything, an ebook or whatever, he kept that off in his morning drive.

[00:17:47] And it was his quiet time to let his mind kind of just go in Rome. And then there was a certain point he would pass. Well, that was the prayer time. At that moment, prayer started and he would pray out loud until he got to work.

[00:18:02] There’s lots of things that you do every day that could be turned into self care activities. Because remember, this is about your not just physical well being, but mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual well being. How could you take some of these everyday activities and turn them into self care activities? That’s my challenge for you. And note, what’s so amazing about this is it’s not going to take any more time up.

[00:18:33] It can be done even when you’re busy. It can be done no matter what, because you’re already doing these things in your daily life.

[00:18:42] It’s not another thing to add to the to do list, and it’s an act of self care. And here’s the even more amazing thing. It’s going. Here’s where the mindset comes in, y’all. It’s going to transform how you think of self care and you’re going to start identifying some things you might have already been doing for yourself that you didn’t even realize you were doing, which will immediately help you feel better about yourself and your self care activities already, which, by the way, is an act of self care right there, because it helps you to be more mentally well.

[00:19:16] All right, so that was the first thing. Identify ways to fit self care activities into your daily activities or your regular activities that you are already doing.

Carve Small Bites of Time For Quick Self-Care Activities (i.e. Take Some Short Breaks!)

[00:19:30] Number two, start carving out small bites of time for quick but effective self care activities.

[00:19:38] So we often like to convince ourselves, and this is especially the case when we get super busy, that self care takes forever. Self care takes a lot of time. Self care involves going to work out for an hour or taking a long walk. We don’t have time for, or going to the gym or the spa, or taking forever to cook a really wonderful meal. Right?

The Benefits of Short Breaks Throughout Your Day

[00:20:02] But that’s not the case. Yes, those things can all be self care and probably are for many of you out there, but that’s not the only way to take care of yourself. And sometimes, let’s be honest, we don’t have the time for all of those things. So I want you to start getting into the habit of carving out small bites of time. I’m talking ten minutes, 15 if you can, or even just five minutes, three minutes for a self care break.

[00:20:35] And this would be more than once per day, by the way. Okay.

[00:20:40] You don’t want to just do a three minute once a day and call it good, because let me tell you, you have more than one, two, or even three of these moments. You can find little bite sized self care break moments in your day, whether you’re working from home, whether you’re working from the office, whether you’re not even working, whether you’re with others. And it’s just a busy, chaotic day. Okay, so a couple of things to note here.

[00:21:09] We’ve talked about the benefits of taking breaks before. I want you to refer back to episode number 22 about how to stress less by taking breaks. And the gist of this episode, if you haven’t heard it or if you’re trying to remember, is this. There are serious benefits to scheduling short breaks into your day. Now the emphasis is on scheduling them.

[00:21:40] I’m not talking about taking breaks, just like, as you feel like it after working for three or 4 hours, oh, I need a break and go take it. I mean, that’s great and all, but no, where we really know this is needed is, number one, every 90 minutes to 2 hours. And really the best benefit is 90 minutes. But it’s okay to go to 2 hours upon occasion, especially if you are doing deeper work or doing something that requires that. Right, but every 90 minutes to 2 hours, scheduling in a 15 minutes, ten minute break that you actually take when you get to it, not that you hit and go, oh, but I just need to finish this, and 30 minutes later, you still haven’t taken a break. What we know is that if we schedule it that way and then actually take it, it increases productivity, it improves your cognitive skills, it increases your ability to think creatively and strategically, which means you’re going to do things better, right. You’re going to show up better, and it will help your brain to feel less stressed, anxious, overwhelmed by doing that as well. That’s the overall summary of episode 22. If you’d like to hear more of it, all the science backed benefits and why this works, so that hopefully you’ll actually do it, I will put a link to this episode in the show notes as well. Please go and listen to it.

What To Do When Taking A Break

[00:23:05] But today’s question is, so what do we do with that time? All right, I’ve worked for 2 hours. I’ve scheduled in a ten minute break. What can I do in just ten minutes, right? What do I fit in? Maybe I only have five.

[00:23:18] Maybe I’m back to back to back meetings. But I have a five minute time span. During that time, I need to go to the restroom, grab some water. Is there anything else I can actually do? What do I do with this time? How do I fit in?

[00:23:35] Bite sized breaks, bite sized self care activities into this time period.

[00:23:41] So number one, mindfulness is always a great one here.

[00:23:46] So I talked in the first portion about using your senses. You can use your senses, right? Maybe you’re taking a five minute break to eat. We’ll eat a little more mindfully. Pay attention to the feel of it in your mouth. Pay attention to the smell of the food. Pay attention to how it looks. Pay attention to any one of those things. Or take a minute for each.

[00:24:06] Maybe you have five minutes to just go down the hall for a walk, get some water, just take a couple of deep, slow breaths through your nose.

[00:24:18] Savor the water. When you get it right, maybe you want to take this further and you actually do a guided three minute meditation when you get back to your desk. That’s totally cool. It’s self care. A three minute meditation can be incredibly beneficial.

[00:24:39] Don’t think you have to meditate forever. Don’t think you have to do it all. We had an entire podcast on meditation from the wonderful Lexley Overton, who is also a lawyer.

[00:24:51] And I’m going to link to that episode as well. Because what’s amazing about that episode is not only does Lexley go into all the benefits of meditation and her story, which will hopefully help convince you that you can do this too, and it will benefit you. She even gives us a quick, I think it’s like a one and a half minute maybe meditation, and shows you how easy it is to do and how quick it can be and how beneficial something quick like that can be if you want to get in some physical activity. So one of the things that I hear a lot from my clients when they are about to close a big deal or project or. This especially comes from my litigators who are about to go into trial. I have no time. I can’t exercise. I can’t work out. I can’t do anything.

[00:25:40] And that’s actually not true because I sit down and we put together a plan when they’re going into this type of a period where we put a great self care plan together for a daily routines that they can fit into these tiny breaks that they do have and what they do in the morning and what they do in the evening. We’re going to get into that in a second here. But if they can do it, you can do it. So let’s say you just take ten minutes of time in the middle of the day before lunch. Let’s say you’re working from home, and you. You were up at 06:00 and you had a ton of stuff to do, and then you sat down and you’ve been at your desk and it’s 1145, and you’re like, you know what? I’m going to take ten or 15 minutes and then eat a quick bite, and then I got to get back to it, right? You don’t have much time.

[00:26:30] Well, take that ten or 15 minutes to do something movement oriented, to do a little bit of a workout. Something is better than nothing, y’all. You do not have to do nothing just because you don’t have 2030, 45 minutes, 1 hour to do it in. I know what your typical routine is or what your preferred routine is, but it doesn’t have to be that. It can be something less that is better than nothing. So part of this is that mindset shift is understanding. Doesn’t have to be perfect, doesn’t have to be giving everything, doesn’t have to be all of what you would typically do or want to do. It can be a piece of it. It can be something. Something is better than nothing.

[00:27:10] So something I will do when I take breaks during the day. So I do tend to work out in the mornings, but when I take breaks during the day, and sometimes my husband, because I work from home and he works from home several days a week as well, he’ll come out and look at me like I’m crazy or he doesn’t do this as much anymore, but sometimes he still does and he forgets what I’m doing. But I’ll go up and down the stairs ten times, and then I’ll follow that with 25 squats and then 20 push ups. That doesn’t take long, y’all, but it gets my heart rate up. It gets me moving. Now, if you’re in the office, you’re probably not going to do quite that, but you could go up and down the stairs a couple of times. Here’s something I used to do when I worked in the office. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would do 20 squats and then I would do counter pushups before I wash my hands. Now, yes, sometimes people would walk in and look at me a little funny, but who cares? Something is better than nothing. And that’s an act of physical self care that you’ll actually feel good about yourself for. You can do some stretches in your office.

[00:28:14] There are plenty of things you can do. So first off, take breaks have carved out 510 and 15 minutes periods every so often, a couple of times a day in addition to lunch, y’all for breaks. And then fill that time with self care with something that gives you mental and or physical and or spiritual self care. Remember, self care is what you need to feel and be well, physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

[00:28:52] So something I would suggest is get creative and don’t always do the same thing. Check in with yourself every morning and kind of think about where am I today? What are my needs today?

[00:29:04] And maybe even check in again by lunch and check in again towards the end of the day because that’s going to change based on circumstances and what’s going on. Right.

[00:29:15] And have those breaks pre planned, but then decide in the moment, okay, what do I want? What do I feel the need for? What sounds most exciting or interesting to me and do it.

[00:29:28] These are bite sized breaks. Now, let me be clear about something. This is not intended to replace all of the bigger pieces of self care that we typically think about, right? Eating healthy, exercising the way we really need to and moving right.

[00:29:46] It’s not going to replace that. It’s not going to replace sleep. You still need to sleep. But there are those times where we are busier. There are those times where we can’t fill that stuff in. So make sure you’re at least doing this and pay attention to what you’re doing and celebrate that because again, that’s going to help. You see, I am taking care of myself even though I’m busier. I couldn’t do my regular workout this morning. But you know what? I did ten minutes, three times today of squats and jumping jacks and push ups and whatever else it was. That’s 30 minutes of working out time I didn’t think I had. But guess what? I did it have those small breaks. Take advantage of that time. Fit in bite sized pieces. I do recommend you do this even when you’re not busy and you get into the habit. It’s a lot easier to do it than when you get busy, but then really pay attention when you’re busy to doing this, to ensuring that you are doing what you need to take care of yourself.

[00:30:50] Okay, so that was part two. Carve out small bites of time for quick but effective self care activities, no matter how busy you might be. Now let’s get to the third piece.

Cultivate a habit of self care through flexible self care activities that are designed for specific needs.

[00:31:11] So having a routine is an important piece to self care. It’s important to have some self care activities that are routine oriented so that it makes it easy for you when things get especially crazy. And when it comes to putting these self care activities together, you want to do three things.

[00:31:32] Number one, you need to understand your basic needs and desires. Number two, you want to get a bit creative. And number three, you want to be really flexible. So let’s go through each of these three things, understanding your basic needs and desires. So this is getting to what do you need to be? Well, physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Knowing What Works For You

[00:31:56] And I’m talking initially in a general sense here, like we all have kind of our own personal self care, what I call style. What do you prefer to do to meet your physical self care needs?

[00:32:09] So for some people that may be running, for other people that may be going for a walk outdoors, for some people it might be doing yoga. For somebody like me, it’s a mix of things, because I get bored and I prefer 20 to 30, 35 minutes workouts, nothing too long.

[00:32:28] So what is that for you, for your physical health? What is that you for your mental health? For me, it’s gratitude, reframing, and some mindfulness.

[00:32:37] I’m starting to build more and more meditation. Back in, I used to do a lot of that. I got out of it for a while, starting to do that as well, too. So those are kind of the things for me. And then what do you need spiritually to be spiritually? Well, now, spiritual self care is very individualized, y’all. And you do not have to be a religious person to need some level of spirituality. So you figure out what that is for you and ask those questions in the general, first and foremost, because that’s your self care style, the way that you kind of tend to want to approach something, to feel your best, to be your best, to show up as your best and say okay, what do I actually need now, too? How would I want to create a routine around that?

[00:33:25] And you start to think about what would I want to do for the physical? What are the kinds of things I like to do for the physical? Self care. Brainstorm ideas. Brainstorm what you most like, but do not stop there because you want to think about. Okay, I really love to go to the gym. Right?

[00:33:48] I think an example is going to help with this better.

[00:33:51] I love to go to the gym to work out. I love all the equipment. I love the ease of use. Okay, great.

[00:33:58] What if you can’t get to the gym?

[00:34:01] Perhaps you need to set aside an area in your home that has a couple of items that helps you to at least get what you need to get done. That gives you some of those benefits and same results that you like getting at the gym when you cannot get there. Right? Because you don’t always have the time to go there. But that doesn’t mean you do nothing. That doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely.

[00:34:26] Maybe you like to go to the gym not because you like the ease and all the stuff there. You couldn’t care less. It’s the people. You’re a people person. You like to be around other people and you talk to people and you’ve gotten to know people there and it’s kind of a community for you. Well, guess what? Being around other people is an act of self care. That social aspect is part of your self care. So what if you can’t go? What if you’re in trial and you don’t have the time to drive the 20 minutes to where you like to work out and do the workout and then get back and it’s not going to work for you. But maybe you’ve got some neighbor friends that you really enjoy and you could go three or four times a week for a 15 minutes walk.

[00:35:07] Okay? That gives you that community and physical impact at the same time. And is that the same thing as going to the gym and doing a big workout? No. But again, something is better than nothing and it’s meeting those needs. It’s getting you that physical activity that you want in some way, shape or form along with the community. So that’s what I say. Go behind it, figure out what it is. Do I like about this? Why do I like this? How could I meet those needs in other ways when I don’t have so much time? Is there something else I could be doing for myself when I don’t have the optimal amount of time for the self care activities I typically prefer.

[00:35:47] That’s what I mean about you got to figure out what your needs and desires really are. What is your self care style to meet the needs that you typically have. And then the second item is, and we’ve gotten into this a little bit, but let’s go deeper.

Brainstorm for Creativity

[00:36:02] Get creative. Do not stay stuck in what you’ve always done. The point of brainstorming and asking all of those questions that we went through was to help you identify all those other ways, creative ways, of meeting the same needs.

[00:36:17] So, in a perfect world, I would love to have 45 minutes every morning to do 20 to 30 minutes of hit weight training and then finish it up with yoga at the end.

[00:36:31] And then I’d love to add another 15 to 20 minutes for some Bible reading and prayer time. That’s how I would meet my needs. And frankly, I’d love to have another ten to 15 minutes to do a meditation in there as well.

[00:36:44] But let’s be honest, I do not live in a perfect world like that. I very rarely, almost never have the time for all of those things in that way, because that would take me, like, an hour and a half of time that I don’t have right now. And so, being creative. Well, okay, let’s think about what is it I’m trying to do through that morning, that perfect morning routine? What needs am I meeting? What’s behind all of that? Well, number one, movement, I want to move. I want to get moving. I want to feel physically fit and just, like, get my heart going. Secondly, I want to feel clear. I want to clear any of the clutter. That’s the point of the meditation and some of the prayer and really feel motivated and energized and ready for the day ahead with some clarity and some ability to just think and be present.

[00:37:37] And third, I want to feel like I have a relationship with God and that I’ve taken that time every single morning to do that, to relate to him.

[00:37:46] So, three things. That perfect scenario gives me move, clarity, relate.

[00:37:58] But there are a lot of ways I could do that, right? So I could get creative.

[00:38:03] I could do it in a lot of different ways. And this brings me to my next point, too.

Be flexible.

So, the creativity. The point of being creative is so that you can be flexible, because life changes, circumstances change, your day to day changes, your needs change. You want to be flexible. The one thing about routines that I don’t love is when we stick to the exact same thing and think that our routine always has to be the same. No, you want a flexible routine. That flexes with you, with your needs, desires and time constraints.

[00:38:37] Because some days I may have an hour, some days I may have 20 minutes, some days I may have 15.

[00:38:43] So maybe I do a 30 minutes hit and strength building workout, followed by a five minute meditation and ten minutes of Bible reading and prayer when I have more time.

[00:38:55] And on another day, I might go for a 30 minutes walk, where I practice from some mindful meditation to clear my mind. And then towards the end of the walk, end with some prayer. Still get those three things in, but very differently, right.

[00:39:11] On another day, I may only have 15 minutes, so I may choose to do yoga or breath work for that 15 minutes. That’s the movement and the clearing of my mind. And then maybe I finish up with a quick three minute prayer, or I listen to something that meets the spiritual needs in my car on my way to wherever I am going.

[00:39:31] See how this works?

Start By Creating Self-Care Routines For AM & PM

[00:39:34] You can create self care activities like this that build healthy habits, and you can get creative and be flexible while meeting those basic needs and desires just very differently based on your current situation and your current time constraints. Now, I recommend you start in two very distinct places if you’re going to do this, a morning routine and an evening routine. And then you get to decide where else you may want it.

So, I have other routines that I don’t use necessarily every single day, but that I pull from. So when I talked earlier about, sometimes I’ll run up and down my stairs ten times, and then I’ll do 20 or 25, what was it? Push ups. And then sometimes I’ll do lunges. Sometimes it varies, right. I have a list of things I’ll use, and I’ll kind of pick and choose based on what my needs are that day and what I feel like. But that’s a routine, a flexible, creative routine that I just pull from. But I don’t do it every day necessarily that specific one. I’ll pull it out when I feel like I have the time and need for it. Sometimes I’ll instead spend that break, that ten or 15 minutes break doing a meditation. Sometimes I’ll just go outside and enjoy myself. And when the weather’s nice out and listen to the birds, there’s a lot of different things that I’ll do. Right, so you can create different routines for different times, but in order to get to that place where it’s more natural to you and it comes more easily to you, I highly recommend you start with two specific ones, and that’s your morning and your evening.

[00:41:10] And a morning routine would be specifically built so that you can feel motivated for the day ahead, have the energy you need for the day ahead. Right. So that you’re ready for the day ahead.

[00:41:26] And it would typically be, what do you need physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually for that?

[00:41:36] And then your Pm routine would be, what do you need to wind down and prepare yourself for optimal sleep so that it winds you down, relaxes you, helps you to sleep at night.

[00:41:51] Now, you’ve heard my morning routine already. That’s my move. Clear relate. That’s what I need in the morning, to be my best, to show up as my best. And you’ve heard how flexible it is to meet those needs.

[00:42:04] My pm routine is pretty darn simple as well. So it involves time away from devices and television before I go to sleep. Usually for at least a half hour. Sometimes it’s less. It kind of depends on the day, but usually it’s at least a half hour. Before that, I quit what I’m doing, and I have kind of a routine, a skincare routine that helps get me started.

[00:42:28] And while I’m doing that, I will often practice gratitude in my mind.

[00:42:33] And then when I get in bed, I will often spend a moment or two to pray. That’s part of my routine. And then I read most nights. I love reading. Not everybody does. That’s a great wind down for me. Sometimes I will read for two minutes or five minutes, and I’m pretty much out. Other times, I’ll read for 35 minutes before I go to bed.

[00:42:57] Now if I don’t have as much time or I’m not up for reading, because we all have those moments where it’s just like, I can’t read a book right now. I can’t look at anything. I do have some favorite meditations, some apps, and some places where I go for sleep meditation that I’ll listen to, and I don’t do that as often. I probably do that once every other month, maybe twice every other month.

[00:43:21] But that is a backup for me when I need it.

[00:43:25] So what do you need in the p. M. In the evening to help you wind down? And I’ve had clients who, they don’t have it right before they sleep. It’s when they get home or they have a wind down routine on their way home so that when they walk in the door, they’re in a better state. Right. They don’t have that emotionally reactive, snapping moment where they’re taking out their day on their kids and their significant other and those who they love the most. So you can figure out where do you need this and what do you need it? Again, ask yourself, what is it that I need?

[00:43:59] What do I need? Where am I trying to get to? Where am I usually in this stage of my day? And what would make most sense? What’s my style? How does that come into play?

[00:44:12] And again, be flexible and get creative.

[00:44:16] Building self care activities like this, kind of a routine oriented fashion, will create better self care habits for the long run. And they help to support you when you get busy. So I said this before, but I’m going to say it again. This is something that comes up a lot in my coaching, especially with my trial attorneys.

[00:44:39] When they are going into trial, they are often staying at hotels even if the trial is in town.

[00:44:46] So they really don’t have a lot of time to themselves. Right. But they do have some time.

[00:44:52] And so we will go through this process that I’ve been through with you to help create very simple, very short routines for every morning and every evening. That helps them to stay sane during a crazy time and enables them to actually take care of themselves and identify how they’re taking care of themselves. I cannot impress upon you enough the mindset shift that creates and that alone helps you to feel good, to be well, we also find moments throughout their day, yes. When they’re even in trial, where they can walk away for five minutes at a time and do a quick mindfulness or meditation or just go for a five minute walk. There are moments. They take them. They learn to take them. If they can do it, so can you. Right?

[00:45:40] Promise. If they can do it, so can you. So the question becomes, do you want to put your own self care routine together in this way?

I have something for you. It’s called the essential self care toolkit. And I am going to be getting rid of this resource soon. Not really getting rid of it, but it’s going to come off my website because I’m in the process of paring back and simplifying my offerings. My website, this will be part of that. It will still be available. So FYI, if the link, you’re listening to this at some point later, say a year from now, and you’re like, oh my gosh, it’s gone. I can’t get it. Email me and I will get it to you because hopefully it should still exist and I can actually get it to you. But right now it is actually out there and you can download it for yourself. So I highly recommend you grab it. So here’s what’s in there. It’s designed to help you. Number one, uncover your biggest areas of need right now so that you can make sure you meet those needs. Number two, to kind of identify your own self care style so that you can maximize your results. Drop all the stuff that you think you should be doing that you don’t really need to be doing and just focus on the things that truly work for you. And then, number three, it will help you create flexible self care routines for morning and evening like the ones we’ve been talking about today. So again, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. I highly recommend that you go and grab it.

[00:47:04] All right, y’all, that is it for today. Again, this was the last episode of season three. We are going to take a short break, but I will be back in about two months. In the meantime, be sure to go back and look at some of those older episodes. Reach out to me if you would like some recommendations for where to get started or give me some of what it is you’re looking for and I can guide you. I’m totally happy to do that, and we’ll be seeing you in about two months. Bye for now.

A podcast for lawyers ready to become happily successful.

Heather Moulder in kitchen wearing light purple top

I’m Heather Moulder, a former Big Law partner (with 18+ years of experience) turned lawyer coach who traded in my $2.5MM practice to help lawyers achieve balanced success. Because success shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice your health, relationships or sanity.

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