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Thriving in Law School: Your Supports

Resources to help manage stress, find help and succeed in law school.

When you are feeling calm and happy, you can probably pretty easily identify the kinds of supports you have - the good listeners, the family and friends who make you laugh, the activities that refresh you or help you connect to a deeper purpose, the school and community resources there for the asking, and your own strengths. When you're distressed, it can be difficult to remember or believe that any of these supports exist. Identify your supports now, in writing, and please turn to them when needed.

Resources to Get You Thinking

Building a Support Network

Supporting Yourself: Wellness Check-Ins and Refreshes

How are you feeling right now? If you are feeling troubled, please consider reaching out to others for help (in an emergency, call 911 or use other emergency contacts).

If you're feeling pretty good, take the opportunity to consider ways you can maintain your mental health. Develop a list of actions that help you feel your best. Find ways to incorporate these into your daily life. Different activities work for different people, but the following ideas might help inspire you as you develop your list:

Supporting Yourself: Positivity and Reslience

The University of Michigan notes, "What we say to ourselves radically affects the quality of our lives, and our ability to do things effectively. You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events."

They continue with advice on how you can practice more positive self-talk to help you manage stress:

  • Reassure yourself ("I can handle this")
  • Don't over-generalize ("That was rough, but it’s over now." instead of "Life sucks, it’s always this way.")
  • Give yourself credit for successes ("I’m really getting the hang of this." not "Well at least something went right, this time.)
  • Use milder wording to neutralize your experience. ("I don’t like traffic; I’m so annoyed" versus "I hate traffic! It makes me so angry!")
  • Change negative to neutral or positive. When you find yourself mentally complaining, see if you can come up with a neutral or positive interpretation of events. For example, having your plans cancelled at the last minute can be seen as a negative, but what you do with your newly-freed schedule can be what you make of it.
  • Change statements to questions: Self-limiting statements like "I can’t handle this!" or "This is impossible!" are particularly damaging because they increase your stress and they stop you from searching for solutions. Instead, try a question: "How can I handle this?" or "How is this possible?”"

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