News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health America (MHA) and other organizations promote May as Mental Health Month. MHA’s theme for this May is Fitness #4Mind#Body. This theme focuses on how diet and nutrition, exercise, the gut-brain connection, sleep, and stress impact our wellbeing and mental health. For example, did you know that your gut microbiome (the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in your gut) can have a brain connection to anxiety and depression? The MHA website gives you more information on the mental health impact of diet and nutrition, exercise, the gut-brain connection, sleep, and stress. You can also download a helpful toolkit.

So what will you do in the month of May to benefit your mental health and wellbeing?

 

 

 

Get Your Law School Exam Anti-Stress Game Plan in Place

Finals are just around the corner, and you know they’re likely to be stressful. So now’s the time to get your anti-stress game plan in place! Being prepared to face the stress of law school exams can help you feel more relaxed and do a better job.

Here are some things to put in your game plan:

  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks. Stock up on your favorite foods and snacks so they’re ready to go when you’re too busy studying to think too much about food.
  • Alert your friends and family. Let them know ahead of time when exams are so that they will understand if you’re less available physically and emotionally during this time.
  • Get yourself on a sleep schedule now, so you can stick to it during exams.
  • Plan ahead for a few good relaxation sessions – schedule a massage during exams, get tickets to a favorite band, plan a night out with friends. You’ll need to take a break from studying at some point.
  • Arrange for you study aids now – the law library’s study aids research guide can help.
  • Plan for exercise – if you’re into group fitness, scope out your favorite classes. If you’re more low key, plan to take walking breaks every hour or so of studying. Walking breaks do a whole lot more for your concentration and wellbeing than social media or web surfing breaks.
  • Plan your rewards! Plan something extra nice for yourself after you’re done with each big exam or assignment.
  • Remind yourself to see the big picture of your law school and career goals.

Celebrate National Mental Health Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is the day to celebrate National Mental Health Day at law schools across the country. It’s a day officially selected by the ABA Law Student Division to help break the stigma associated with severe depression and anxiety among law students and lawyers.

Have a look at the ABA’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Toolkit for a refresher on the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, and suicide risk. The toolkit also includes ideas on how law students and student bar associations can get involved with breaking the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Another great resource is the Dave Nee Foundation, founded in honor of the memory of a promising law student who took his own life after losing the fight against severe depression. The Dave Nee Foundation is somewhere you can find current research on depression and suicide, programs to help law students and lawyers, and more.

 

Tips to Beat Anxiety in Law School

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. And it’s certainly normal to experience occasional anxiety in law school with being called on for class, taking exams, or doing any type of public speaking. But people with an anxiety disorder face feelings of worry or fear that can completely disrupt their school, work, or family life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are three kinds of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Treatments include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, self-help or support groups, stress management techniques, or medication. The CSU Counseling Center or another mental health care provider can help diagnose and treat anxiety disorders.

There are plenty of tips to alleviate anxiety – (for example here, here and here), and these ideas can probably be used to help with garden-variety anxiety as well as the more debilitating kind. Here are some things to consider now:

  • If you’re in law school, you might be a perfectionist — a regular type-A personality. If that’s the case, try relaxing some of your rigidly high expectations for yourself, and celebrate the successes you’ve had so far in your law school career and in your life in general.
  • Again, if you’re in law school, you might be particularly risk-adverse. This is certainly a common trait among lawyers. If so, try doing something adventurous once a week. This might help you feel more comfortable with uncertainty and with not being in total control of everything around you.
  • As hard as it might sound at times, limit alcohol and caffeine – both have been shown to aggravate anxiety or cause panic attacks.
  • Even when law school seems to keep piling things on your plate, take time to get a little exercise each day and a good night’s sleep. Sometimes this alone is enough to knock out stress and anxiety.

20 Tips for a Total Spring Break Recharge

It’s Spring Break! What a perfect time to recharge, distress, get away from law school, and take a little time for yourself. It’s also a great time to start incorporating little things in your daily life that can really boost your mental and emotional wellbeing. Here are twenty ideas to try, loosely based on Mental Health America’s 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health.

  1. Think of three things you’re grateful for and write them down.
  2. Go for a quick walk, dance around the room, or bust out a quick set of push-ups.
  3. Start your day with a special latte or tea.
  4. Take a break from social media.
  5. Think of someone you haven’t spent much time with since starting law school and reconnect with them.
  6. Plan ahead and pack your lunch for a week.
  7. Read something just for fun.
  8. Think of three successes you’ve had so far in law school and write about them.
  9. Take a break from following politics.
  10. Donate to a favorite charity.
  11. Spend some time with a furry friend.
  12. Think of five things you love about yourself and write them down.
  13. Start a conversation with someone you don’t know.
  14. Indulge in a funny TV show, movie, or YouTube video.
  15. Spend some time outdoors.
  16. Do something creative like trying out a new recipe, playing an instrument, or doing a Pinterest project.
  17. Plant something, arrange flowers, or visit a botanical garden.
  18. If something’s been bothering you, write about your feelings.
  19. Do something you haven’t done since you were a kid.
  20. Think of someone who’s helped you in law school and say thank you.