Wellness is something we all want or at least give lip service to. However, most attorneys struggle to make time for it. I sympathize! As the managing partner of my law firm and mother of two kids who are under the age of six, time management is a daily struggle.
A difficult lesson that many of us don’t learn until faced with illness or an unexpected life change, is that taking the time for wellness is so important that it affects every other aspect of our life. Taking time for yourself, even if that means one less .2 for a client, is worthwhile. When you do take time for yourself, you will likely find that you are better suited for providing excellent care to your clients, loved ones and other people in your life.
I encourage you to find time for wellness. In order to facilitate this goal, I’m providing you with great wellness options that can be completed in whatever time you have on any given day. This article is broken down into segments of wellness in billable hours format: .1; .2; .5; and 1.0+. I implore and challenge you to make time for at least: a .1 or .2 for wellness every day and a .5 or 1.0 for wellness every week. Everything on this list is something I have personally tried and can strongly recommend. Feel free to e-mail me for more information or share your success! I’ll gladly spare you a .1 and respond.
.1s for wellness:
- Drinking enough water every day is imperative for many reasons and not all of them are physical. Being well-hydrated also improves your mood, cognition and sleep.
- You will not catch me without my water bottle, which is glass and comes from lifefactory.com (you can also buy them at Rollin Oats)
- Chair or office yoga
- Even if you are stuck at your desk all day working, you can spare a .1 for stretching at or next to your desk. I tried: Fitness Blender’s “six-minute relaxing stretching workout for stiff muscles and stress relief – easy stretches to do at work.” Give it a try! You won’t regret it and your neck will thank you.
- I’ve been utilizing Fitnessblender.com’s free workouts for at least the past six years. They also have workout plans you can purchase or subscribe to.
- Walk around your office
- Walking around for five minutes every hour (or even better, every half hour) improves your mood, fights lethargy, increases focus and can even dull hunger pains.
- Studies have shown that five minutes of movement every half hour reduces the risk of heart disease and early death for those with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Instead of dialing someone’s extension, walk to their office (assuming they are free for discussion).
- Step outside
- Get some fresh air! Fresh air is good for your blood pressure, heart rate, immune system, digestive system, lungs. Need more reasons? Fresh air makes you happier, gives you more energy and a sharper mind. Go outside and breathe in some fresh (or humid… this is Florida) air!
- Are you trying to meditate but just can’t get into it? Start with a five-minute meditation!
- Meditation delivers benefits of stress reduction, mental health and improves physical performance.
- I tried the “5-minute mindful meditation” from “The Mindful Movement.” It is free on youtube. It is absolutely worth a .1. Find a meditation you like and have it on hand to squeeze in during your busy day.
.2s for wellness:
- Energy cleanse meditation
- Do you ever feel angry or upset, but cannot pinpoint why? As lawyers, we tend to take on the problems of our clients. As a parent, child, sibling or friend, you may be taking on the problems of your loved one. If you are an empathetic person, you may be taking on the negative energy of the person sitting next to you.
- Take ten minutes to do an energy cleansing guided meditation to rid yourself of other people’s problems.
- This is great to do at the end of beginning of your day. You can do it while you are still lying in bed.
- Read something inspiring at bedtime
- Put your phone down and end your day with a .2 of reading something inspiring. I’m currently reading the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and it is an excellent journey into mental wellness.
- Take ten minutes to divest yourself of a chore you don’t want to handle today so you can free up some valuable time for yourself.
- Shipt will deliver your Publix groceries for you for a fee.
- Order yourself takeout (try something uber healthy like La V’s noodle soup); or
- Subscribe to a healthy meal plan to help with dinner preparation and enjoy more plant-based meals. I’ve tried Blue Apron and Purple Carrot (meals do take some time to prep); Daily Harvest (plant-based meals are small but tasty; they do come frozen so they must be re-heated); and Hungryroot (options don’t vary much over time, but they are really easy to make and are super healthy).
.5s for wellness:
- Take advantage of beautiful St. Petersburg with a 30-minute walk, run or bike ride along:
- The waterfront trails through the downtown parks including South Straub Park, Vinoy Park, North Straub Park and North Shore Park. Then continue along Coffee Pot Bayou.
- If you haven’t explored these waterfront trails to see the boats, beach, volleyball players, playground, flag football players, manatees, seals, birds and dolphins – get out and see why our city is the best!
- The Ft. DeSoto bike trails, forts and beaches (including the dog beach).
- The trails at Sawgrass Lake Park: walk the boardwalk trails – you’ll see alligators, from a safe distance, every time!
- The trails at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve: we love biking the trails at Boyd Hill, but you can also walk, and they have an aviary, nature center and fantastic playground.
- The Pinellas Trail.
- Take time for “forest bathing”
- Enjoy the great outdoors near a tree, preferably barefoot!
- Leave behind your cell phone, take off your shoes and sit near a tree. Relax, breath and observe.
- Studies have found that this reduces stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness.
1.0 + for wellness:
- Attend the St. Pete Bar yoga session the second Wednesday of the month!
- If this schedule doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of yoga studios in St. Pete. Try hot yoga for a nice, albeit sweaty, change!
- Green Bench and Sundial also offer regular yoga sessions – check their calendars.
- Get a massage
- I’ve been getting regular structural energetic therapy body work massages from Epic Body Work in Tampa for seven years and it is an absolute necessity for my wellness. Find a massage therapist and massage style that works for you and stick with it.
- Miracle morning
- If you can pull this off, it is literally a miracle morning. Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning enlightened me to the benefits of making time for yourself in the morning. Meditate, exercise, plan your day. Make this part of your morning and your life will thank you.
- Breathwork to clear emotional energy
- We store negative emotions in our bodies. Breathwork is an incredibly powerful method to release those negative emotions. I’ve done this type of breathwork with Epic in Tampa.
- Try paddling
- Paddle board, kayak or canoe the mangrove trails by Weedon Island and marvel in Florida’s natural beauty.
- Just do it and thank me later! We purchased inflatable paddle boards last year and cannot get enough of paddling, whether it’s Weedon Island, the Suwanee River, or off Ft. DeSoto’s beaches. Note the picture of my husband on a paddle board emerging from the mangroves by Weedon Island at sunset.
Remember: you are your own “golden goose.” If you don’t take care of yourself, it will cost you. Take some time for yourself today and every day. You deserve the same TLC that your clients and loved ones do. I wish you the best on your wellness journey!
Shannon L. Zetrouer is the managing partner of ZP Legal, PLLC. After obtaining her law degree and M.B.A. from Stetson University with honors in 2005, Ms. Zetrouer focuses her practice on real estate, litigation and government relation matters. Her passion for law is only superseded by her love for her children, Ariana Sol and Austen Lee and her husband, Trevor. As a Florida native, she takes full advantage of 360 days of sunshine by biking, boating, paddle boarding, enjoying live music and exploring her hometown, St. Petersburg.