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Eat, Sleep, Law, Repeat: Caring for Yourself in Law School

Female student reading a book

I once heard that law school was “a marathon, not a sprint”, but now that I'm in my fourth year, I’ve found that studying law is more like jumping over hurdles and constantly dropping the relay baton. It’s scary, serious and more daunting than ever.

It’s odd to think that I’ve turned into one of those over-tired older students I discovered in the lawbry on my first day of Criminal Law 101. But, alas, here I find myself, trawling through page after page of cases and legislation and loving every second of it. Despite the constant essays, mooting and lengthy judgments, I keeping thinking, “Hey, I could make a career out of this!”

But how can we win this marathon while holding onto our good grades (and our sanity)? By loving ourselves first and foremost.

My four years have taught me that life doesn’t mean always floating on cloud nine; sometimes it feels more like a game of ‘how many times I can pick myself up after hitting rock bottom?’

The lives of law students can be ridiculously hectic: juggling study, work and social commitments, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Two of my saving graces have become meditation and yoga.

Yoga can help to to regulate and re-connect our minds to our bodies and be a relaxing yet stimulating form of exercise. Ten minutes everyday can increase the ability to concentrate, think and can assist students experiencing fatigue and depression.

It has drastically helped me with my own personal self-care and stress management. As a result of doing yoga, I’ve noticed an improvement in the way I approach my legal life, finding I have more energy to deal with the long and stressful days at uni.

All law students can reap the rewards of yoga and meditation. I’ve seen the benefits in both my studies and my life more generally. Sometimes the mentality of rigid structuralism at law school can be suffocating. Yoga and meditation are not alternative “hipster” practices but are relaxing and help a person focus and prioritise.

Approach self-care as you would a legal problem question; identify key aspects or problem areas (stress, fatigue etc.), formulate ideas of how these could be beneficially evolved and apply them to your life. Namaste.

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