Paul Tafelski - April 2020

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April 2020

Ways I De-Stress Keeping Calm in Difficult Times

With April being Stress Awareness Month, and with the considerable amount of anxiety people around the world are feeling, I thought I’d share some ways I keep myself calm. I’m not saying I’m an expert on keeping a still mind, but if there are two professions that force you to confront stress on a regular basis, they’re being a lawyer and a business owner. Securing the future of both your clients and your employees is no small matter, but I’ve found a few techniques to reduce the pressure. For me, it all starts with exercise. A growing body of research shows how working out can have all sorts of mental benefits on top of keeping you in shape, but I discovered this de-stressing technique on accident. I’d begun exercising on the elliptical in the mornings for my physical health, but I soon came to notice that on the days I managed to get a work out in, things felt far less hectic than on the days I skipped. Now I have twice the motivation to get up and exercise because I know my day will be that much better because of it. But to have the time to exercise, I need to have room in my schedule. That’s where planning comes in. Taking the time to get organized is more efficient in the long term than trying to “If you find yourself sinking into concern due to a legal matter, ask yourself ‘What do I need to do today?’”

today?” Focusing on the long-term“what ifs” is a recipe for undue stress and paralysis that can bleed into your everyday life. By recognizing that you can only control so much and taking action on those factors you do have some say in, you can keep yourself grounded and your stress levels in check. This leads to my last observation. In general, we humans have a tendency to dwell on the worst-case scenario. In moments of uncertainty, be they personal or international in scope, our minds are easily drawn to the bleakest futures. That’s why, in moments of stress, I challenge my mind to ask “What if it’s not that bad? What if it all works out for the better?” It’s far from easy, but consciously choosing to see a brighter future can make moving forward that much less daunting.

just jump into a load of work without a game plan. So, whether I do it at the outset of my workday or the night before, I try to lay out everything I hope to get done. Having that clear road map not only helps me focus but also keeps my mind grounded when it comes to the challenges I’m actually facing. This is something I see many clients struggle with. Being confronted with a legal issue is a great source of uncertainty, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s no wonder the most frequent question we attorneys get is some variation of “What’s going to happen to me?” It’s natural to wonder, but it can easily lead to a downward spiral of worry and doubt. After all, even the best lawyer on earth can only offer an opinion of how things will shake out in your case. As much as we’d like to set your mind 100% at ease, we don’t have a crystal ball.

Here’s to brighter days,

-Paul J. Tafel ski

If you find yourself sinking into concern due to a legal matter, ask yourself “What do I need to do • | 1

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