As vaccinations increase and COVID rates fall in Oregon, many of us are venturing back into the world, albeit perhaps tentatively. A meal with friends or a fiddle jam in someone’s backyard can be exhilarating, tenderly heartfelt, and also a little terrifying. While we relearn how to make small talk and navigate who goes first in building entrances, now is a great time for trying out a new practice.
As the months are stretching longer and the days are growing shorter, many of us are looking for strategies to help buoy us for the long haul. One of the techniques that I find exceptionally helpful for these challenging times is GRATITUDE.
How does the vicarious trauma caused by exposure to our clients’ suffering intersect with the stress and anxiety many are experiencing right now due to a global pandemic? If you have ever attended one of my CLE presentations, or met me in person, it is very likely you have heard me talk about vicarious trauma. I hope these discussions and others like them have helped us recognize a familiar experience for many of us in the legal community.
Welcome to Day 2 of Well-Being Week! I am so glad you have stopped by the blog today for our post on acts of kindness. There is some lovely research (see Dartmouth for a fact sheet) on how participating in acts of kindness improves our physical and mental health. Even the mere act of observing someone else sharing a moment of kindness improves our own well-being.
In times of stress, I try to get really intentional about taking care of myself. I use a couple of strategies to increase my awareness of what is going into and coming out of my mind. I attend to how I am describing my circumstances and the world around me, and what I consume in the printed or visual forms. I came upon two great resources this week from The Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley that I’ve been sharing with colleagues and friends.