Any current law student knows that being in law school can be incredibly overwhelming, and burnout is all but inevitable. Below are some things I've learned to do that help me care for my own mental health as a law student.
As I said, law school can be very overwhelming. It seems that every time you finish reading 10 pages, another 100 are added to your reading list, and you can never find the time to catch up on everything. I've learned over time that sometimes, you just need to give yourself a break. Literally. So, here are my top tips for keeping on top of mental health in law school.
Take Time Off
No human being can be expected to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can't be expected to spend every waking hour eating, breathing, living law. It's important to take some time away from the academics and do something (else) you enjoy, or perhaps nothing at all. Personally, I tend to take at least an hour or two off each evening, and one full day off each week. If you're someone like me who feels guilty for taking time off, it can really help to schedule your break time on a calendar. That way, it feels like you're supposed to be doing nothing and it gets rid of some of the guilt.
Getting in some daily exercise can be a huge boost. It doesn't have to be an intense workout at the gym or a 5k run. If you can manage to get a 20-30 minute walk in each day, outdoors and in the sunlight, your brain will thank you. Sometimes for me it's just a walk home from campus, but even that helps energise me for the next few hours to get some work done.
Get Enough Sleep
This one may be particularly difficult during deadline season. However, your brain will thank you. It will also improve your academics. It's very difficult to focus if you're getting less than 7 full hours of sleep each night. Staying up late to finish that one extra reading will not make a difference if the next day you're unable to focus on a two-hour lecture, or remember anything you read throughout the day.
These are just a few things I try to remind myself to do each day, even when I feel like I don't have the time or I make excuses. Just try to remember that while yes, your grades do matter, your health matters more.