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Management Stress and Attorneys: How to Handle the Stress of Managing a Team

Management Stress and Attorneys: How to Handle the Stress of Managing a Team

One thing that therapists and lawyers often have in common is that we learn how to do our specific career (psychotherapy or law), but we’re often tasked with a second, very different career: running a business.

We’re trained to provide the services we know, and yet if we have our own practice, we often need to learn how to manage people, how to address conflict, how to market, and so much more. We’ve covered in the past how attorneys are often faced with the mental health challenges due working in a world of win/loss and black/white.

But when you add in issues related to business management, it can be easy to see why many attorneys are finding life to be overwhelming.

The Stress of Managing a Team

When you operate your own practice, you typically have a team of individuals working under you, all designed to support your work. You have paralegals, office staff, and more, some of whom have billable hours and others whose role it is to make sure the business side of your operations moves forward. That can be challenging when your training only teaches you how to be a lawyer.

If you’re struggling with these challenges, consider the following:

  • Speak with a Psychotherapist – Of course, step number one will be to speak with a therapist or counselor that will have a better understanding of what you’re struggling with and how to help. At Flourish Psychology, our therapists specialize in working with clientele in high pressure, high profile positions, including therapists that have completed their own legal training as well.
  • Assemble a Team You Trust – You are in position where you own the business and also are a participating, high profile part of it. Make sure the team around you works in line with your core values, and are people that you feel like you can trust based on their expertise and personality.
  • Delegate – It’s going to be challenging to manage the business and take the lead on legal matters. Once you’ve assembled this team, delegate. Micromanaging beyond what is necessary to do the work will only cause burnout and make it harder to lead.
  • Determine Your Management Style – Knowing yourself as a manager can help you live and work a bit more authentically, in a way that can make it easier to run the practice without it feeling like an additional burden.

Some people also bring on fractional CFOs and other similar leaders to help them learn to manage the business side of the business so that they can focus on the legal side. Remember, you do not have to take on all of it yourself. Others have the expertise and ability to take some of this work off your plate. For more information about our psychotherapy options for lawyers, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

Winners and Losers: Depression in the Legal Profession

Winners and Losers: Depression in the Legal Profession

Most of us spend a lot of time working. At minimum 5 hours a week, 8 hours a day, and even more if we include commuting. Work itself is hard, and many of us – in any profession – can find it difficult to go from working all day to feeling happy and comfortable at home. There is a reason that, to address mental health, we often have to discuss the effects that our jobs have on us.

This is especially true, however, in the legal profession, and it is not only because the jobs themselves are fairly high stress. It is also because the legal profession, more than nearly any other profession, is one of the few jobs where a person is faced with black and white thinking – you either win, or you lose.

The Long Term Effects of Win/Loss Thinking

Rarely do we have to think in terms of wins and losses in most of our jobs. Work itself is typically gray area. A landscaper’s job isn’t winning and losing. A therapist’s job isn’t winning and losing. Even doctors do not typically deal with wins and losses every day (though they may have their own stresses related to loss in their profession).

But lawyers are different. Lawyers have to think in terms of winning. They have to look at cases to determine how they can win, and then – when they’re done – they have a peer that will almost literally tell them if they won or lost based on what they put together.

If they go to trial, they have a judge or, potentially, 12 other people that will tell them if they won or lost. Even in cases they win, this type of thinking, where you’re judged on your ability to win or lose, can have long lasting consequences.

This is believed to be why lawyers one of the careers most commonly linked to depression. When a person has black and white, win/loss thinking:

  • Every loss makes someone a “loser”
  • Every mistake means you’ve failed.
  • Every opposing counsel becomes an enemy.

You spend days at a time trying to get the information you need together to “win” a case, and even if you do win, you’re often constantly overthinking your choices and thinking about how someone else may prove you wrong. It is a lot to take on, and it’s something that you keep with you in other areas of your life. When you combine that same style of thinking with the stresses of the profession, it’s easy to see why depression can develop.

Depression, Black and White Thinking, and Therapy

Depression itself is, in many ways, a function of black and white thinking – where someone is either a winner or a loser. When you internalize your failures, you become more prone to thinking negatively about yourself leading to the conditions that can create depression.

Therapy, however, can help address this. Therapists that work with lawyers, like Flourish Psychology, can provide you with mental health tools that can break you out of this win/loss cycle and help you see yourself and the world in ways that are not so psychologically damaging. Through therapy, we can provide you with tools and guidance to get you to feel more comfortable with yourself and better able to function at your job. If you’re looking for a therapist that specializes in working with lawyers and those in high stress positions, contact Flourish Psychology, today.

Hot NYC Weather and Mental Health – Are You Experiencing Heat Related Challenges?

Hot NYC Weather and Mental Health – Are You Experiencing Heat Related Challenges?

We haven’t yet experienced the heat waves that have occurred in other parts of the country. But if you look at the weather forecasts over the next few weeks, it does look like hotter weather is right around the corner.

When we talk about our hot summers in Brooklyn, we talk about not getting enough water, or we talk about getting sunburned. Maybe we sometimes talk about the street smell as the trash heats up. But we frequently do not talk about the effects that hot weather can have not only on our physical health and wellness, but our mental health as well.

While sunny weather might encourage outdoor activities, excessive heat can have profound effects on our mental health, sometimes lasting beyond the hot days themselves.

How Hot Weather Creates Mental Health Challenges

High temperatures are challenging for the body and mind. Without proper management, the heat can exacerbate existing mental health issues or create new ones. When we experience extreme heat, we may also experience:

  • Increased Irritability – High temperatures can lead to increased irritability and mood swings. The body’s effort to regulate temperature stresses physiological systems, often resulting in heightened emotional responses. This can make individuals more prone to frustration and anger.
  • Sleep Disruptions – Hot weather can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to poor quality sleep or insomnia. The inability to cool down at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, contributing to fatigue and exacerbating stress and anxiety levels.
  • Dehydration and Reduced Cognitive Function – Dehydration is a common consequence of hot weather and can negatively impact cognitive functions. Even mild dehydration can impair concentration, decision-making abilities, and overall cognitive performance, which in turn can affect mood and productivity.
  • Increased Anxiety – The physical discomfort of being too hot can increase anxiety levels. Individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders may find their symptoms worsening during heatwaves, as the stress of physical discomfort compounds their mental health challenges.
  • Social Isolation – Hot weather can limit outdoor activities and social interactions, leading to feelings of isolation. Staying indoors to avoid the heat can reduce opportunities for social engagement and physical exercise, both of which are important for maintaining mental health.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – While often associated with winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder can also occur during the summer. This condition, sometimes referred to as “summer SAD,” can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and changes in sleep patterns and appetite, driven by the prolonged exposure to heat and light.

It’s also easy to envision how these issues may lead to secondary mental health problems. For example, if a person is struggling with irritability and anxiety, they may also have friction with a romantic partner, which in turn can cause other psychological challenges.

In addition, our brain chemistry can change when we experienced prolonged mental health challenges. Someone with anxiety caused by weather may experience changes that lead to anxiety even as the weather cools down. Because some people with summer-related mental health challenges may have already had the conditions in a way that hot weather simply made worse, it’s easy to envision why it is so important for people to address these issues.

How Would a Therapist Be Able to Help with Hot Weather?

Taking care of your physical health is going to be the first step towards taking care of your mental health, and many of those are going to be things you can do on your own. For example:

  • Stay Hydrated – Ensure adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Proper hydration helps in maintaining cognitive functions and stabilizing mood.
  • Maintain a Cool Environment – Use fans, air conditioning, and other cooling methods to create a comfortable indoor environment. A cool living space can help improve sleep quality and reduce irritability.
  • Adapt Your Schedule – Schedule outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This can help avoid the peak heat and reduce physical and mental stress.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques – Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine. These practices can help manage stress and improve emotional resilience in hot weather.
  • Spend Time With People – If possible, make sure that you don’t suffer from social isolation even in the extreme heat. Schedule time with people and make sure that you’re still getting social support.

It also can often help to speak to a therapist in NYC, where the two of you can work together to maintain your mental health as you’re addressing the heat, and learning tools and coping techniques to support you in the months and years to come.

Therapists do this by providing:

  • Psychoeducation – Therapists can provide valuable information about how heat affects mental health. Knowing the physiological and psychological impacts of heat can help individuals recognize symptoms and take proactive measures to manage them.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is effective in addressing anxiety and mood disorders exacerbated by heat. Therapists can help clients identify and challenge negative thought patterns, develop coping strategies, and improve emotional regulation.
  • Stress Management Techniques – Therapists can teach stress management techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. These practices can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
  • Sleep Hygiene Education and Support – Improving sleep hygiene is crucial for those affected by heat-related sleep disruptions. Therapists can provide guidance on creating a conducive sleep environment, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, and incorporating relaxation techniques before bedtime.
  • Encouraging Social Engagement – Therapists can support clients in finding ways to maintain social connections despite the heat. This may include scheduling indoor activities, using virtual communication tools, or planning social interactions during cooler parts of the day.

Therapists may not be able to make the sun cooler, or prevent heat related illness. But a therapist can help make sure that you’re always feeling your best and living your best life, whether it’s hot outside, cold outside, or anywhere in between.

Call Flourish Psychology Today

Flourish Psychology may not be able to affect the heat itself, or the physiological effects of it, but we can help make sure that any anxiety, stress, depression, or other mental health conditions you’re struggling with get the attention they deserve. For more information, or to book a session with one of our therapists, please contact Flourish Psychology today.

There is No Small Trauma

There is No Small Trauma

At Flourish Psychology, many of our therapists work with patients that are struggling with traumas in their life. But not all traumatic experiences are the ones that we typically think about when we discuss the idea of trauma. In life, there are many times when we may have what would otherwise be a minor interaction or experience, but it left a profound impact on who we are.

Those are, at least in some form, life traumas. While we may not talk about them as though they have the same impact as other trauma examples, but it’s also important for us to note that how you feel is how you feel, and it is up to us to explore that.

Trauma vs. PTSD

Part of the reason that many people may silence themselves about their traumas is because they may not qualify for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD is a condition that typically (although again, not always) occurs after someone has experienced what can best be described as “profound psychological trauma,” like serving in a war or surviving a physical assault. Those can lead to issues with stress coping that can cause a condition like PTSD, and often require working with a therapist to process that trauma in order to better understand how to move forward.

But there is more to trauma than PTSD. An individual can also experience many other traumas over the course of their life – from childhood all the way to adulthood – that can have a powerful impact on who we are and what we become.

These may seem like they’re minor traumas compared to other types of traumatic events. But part of therapy involves understanding you at a core level, and that requires treating any trauma that you experience as significant to you, and then determining what we can do to help you process it, address it, cope with it, or move forward depending on your needs.

Seek Help When YOU Need IT

What prospective patients need to understand is that comparing your traumas, experiences, and struggles with others only holds you back from getting the help you need. If you feel like something in life is affecting you in a negative way, and you believe that addressing that with a therapist may help, then you should seek therapy. You do not need to compare your trauma to others. What you need to do is address that trauma and compare your life before therapy to your life after.

If you need a therapist to help you with trauma, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

What is the Joy of Missing Out? (JOMO!)

What is the Joy of Missing Out? (JOMO!)

FOMO has become a mainstream phrase. It stands for the “Fear of Missing Out,” and – while most references to FOMO are humorous or casual in nature, it can have clinical significance. For example, a person that struggles with their mental health may experience negative emotions due to FOMO if they skip out on an event, or someone that struggles with something like addiction may attend an event they should not attend because of this fear.

Fear of missing out is also the cause of many technology addictions. Many of us frequently check social media, for example, concerned that we might miss a post we do not want to miss. Even as most social media websites deteriorate in quality, we still check these sites regularly to see if something new or interesting has been posted.

FOMO may not be a medical term, or even a technical one, but it is something that can affect people on a regular basis and sometimes in a negative way.

Embracing the JOY of Missing Out

Rather than focus on the fear of missing out, it may be a good idea to embrace the joy of missing out, or JOMO. JOMO celebrates the decision to engage less with social activities and more with personal well-being, emphasizing the importance of finding satisfaction in solitary pursuits and simpler pleasures.

The Concept of JOMO

JOMO is, in theory, the psychological state of finding contentment with one’s own company and activities, without the compulsion to participate in every social event, broadcast every life detail online, or feel the desire to always discover what you may have missed. It involves an intentional shift from being hyper-connected to appreciating moments of disconnection, where one can recharge and reflect away from the noise of the external world.

The concept of JOMO can potentially have many benefits, especially for those that have found themselves struggling with their mental health. In theory, JOMO can provide:

  • Enhanced Self-Awareness – Stepping back from social obligations allows individuals to reconnect with their interests and passions, often leading to a deeper understanding of themselves.
  • Increased Mindfulness – By reducing the noise of constant connectivity, JOMO fosters a mindful approach to everyday life, enhancing engagement with the present moment.
  • Improved Mental Health – Lessening the pressure to be socially active can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which are often exacerbated by the non-stop nature of social media.

Many of us would benefit from more time not only alone, but also learning to love being alone – especially in our hyperconnected world. In theory, JOMO could provide that, as yet another tool to help people struggling regain a sense of control over their lives.

Implementing JOMO in Daily Life

Adopting JOMO involves more than just occasional disengagement from social media or turning down a single outing. It is about cultivating a lifestyle where one does not feel the need to compare themselves with others, meet unrealistically high social standards, or sacrifices their mental health needs to make sure that they don’t miss anything important. A person can embrace JOMO through activities such as:

  • Setting Boundaries with Technology – Designate tech-free times or zones within your home to encourage periods of disconnection.
  • Cultivating Solitary Hobbies – Engage in activities that can be enjoyed alone, such as reading, gardening, or crafting.
  • Prioritizing Personal Relationships – Focus on fostering deeper, more meaningful connections with fewer people, rather than maintaining a broad, superficial network.
  • Learning to Love Yourself – The joy of missing out also requires a mindset shift, where you become someone that you want to spend time with.

The Joy of Missing Out is not about isolating oneself but about making selective choices to enhance personal happiness and well-being. In a world that often values quantity over quality, JOMO helps individuals find balance and fulfillment in their own terms, proving that sometimes, the best place to be is exactly where you are – away from the crowd.

If you feel like you’re struggling in life and that “FOMO” is causing you problems and challenges, contact Flourish Psychology, today. Our boutique private practice offers therapy and support for those in New York that need more positive time alone. Contact us today to learn more.

Work Stress, and How We Normalize Our Struggle

Work Stress, and How We Normalize Our Struggle

There is something particularly stressful about work these days. There’s an argument to be made that work has always been stressful, and certainly if you asked someone 50 years ago if they found their work to be difficult, they would say yes.

But life today is much louder, much busier, and with much less time to cope. Even if work is as stressful as it was decades ago, our ability to overcome that stress has diminished. We are getting less sleep, less outdoor time, and more – all of which make it harder to cope with the challenges of work related stress.

Seeing Work Stress as Normal

One issue that often arises out of this is the normalization of that work stress. We often see work stress as inevitable and, unless it causes a diagnosable mental health issue, we often ignore it and assume that it is something that we have to live with. The idea that work is stressful has become, in many ways, a meme – a joke that we reference over and over again as a part of life.

The problem is that you spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week at work. That is at minimum half of your entire day, five days out of every 7 days. That is a significant portion of your day to day life that you’re spending with a great deal of stress. That is not healthy for your mind or your body. Even if you can come home and not feel the anxiety or depression that leads many people to seeking out therapy, experiencing at least 40 hours of non-stop stress per week is unhealthy.

Addressing the Causes and Finding Solutions to Work Stress

Work stress can seem normal, but it isn’t. We don’t have to love our jobs, but we should at least find them to be something that we can cope with, and something that we don’t have to find overwhelming when it occurs. We can learn not only how not to take stress home with you, but also how to identify it at work.

For people in high pressure positions – doctors, lawyers, and heavily involved executives – stress is considered a part of the job, but – when not managed properly – can impact decision making at these positions and ultimately cause mistakes or poor satisfaction at the role. No matter where you work or what you do, work stress is something that is going to hurt your ability to manage your personal and professional life.

That is why therapy for work stress is so important. It’s critical to learn tools that will help you manage your work stress. Through therapy, you can learn coping mechanisms to use while at work, how to create boundaries and develop a healthy work/life balance, how to accept the responsibilities of the position, and more.

Therapy is what will help you address and identify work stress challenges, and make sure that you’re able to manage your job accordingly with greater satisfaction in the process. Don’t let work stress be normalized. Contact Flourish Psychology today to get started.

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