The Underrated Value of Hobbies for Legal Professionals

happiness health well-being

It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Work, family commitments, home management, community and volunteer activities, and so on, and so on.

What’s the first thing that falls off the list for many of us - hobbies. Our enjoyable pastimes and things we do “just for fun.”

But what if those aren’t only fun but also beneficial to our professional and personal well-being and success? 

Today, let's delve into a topic that’s often overlooked in our profession: the importance of hobbies. While they may seem like mere leisure activities, hobbies hold immense value for those in high-pressure jobs like ours. Let’s explore three major benefits they offer.

1. A Respite from Stress

In the legal world, with demanding deadlines and complex issues, stress is a common companion. Hobbies provide a necessary escape. Imagine immersing yourself in painting, playing music, or gardening. These activities not only offer a break from the rigors of legal thinking but also improve mental clarity and problem-solving abilities – essential tools for any legal professional.

2. Enhancing Emotional Intelligence

Our work often demands a degree of emotional detachment, which can sometimes lead to a diminished sense of empathy. This is where hobbies can help, especially those involving social interaction like team sports or book clubs. Engaging in such activities helps in reconnecting with our empathetic side, a skill that is invaluable in building stronger relationships with clients and colleagues.

3. Physical Well-being and Energy

Physical hobbies, such as hiking, cycling, or yoga, play a significant role in maintaining overall health. For those of us accustomed to a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, incorporating physical activity through hobbies is crucial. It boosts energy, improves sleep, and contributes to better physical health, all of which are beneficial in managing the demands of our profession.

In conclusion, hobbies are not just a means of relaxation for legal professionals; they are an integral part of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. They offer mental, emotional, and physical benefits that are crucial in a demanding field like law. So, whether it’s revisiting an old hobby or exploring a new one, remember: hobbies are your ally in achieving a more fulfilling professional and personal life.

And for my hobbies - I’m a musician, and sometimes when life and work get too busy, I don’t make time to “play” - literally and figuratively. So I love the holiday season which gives me the opportunity to play the piano, organ, handbells, and sing on a regular basis. 

I’ve included a picture of me with three of my friends who are accomplished flutists (and also a retired judge, a practicing attorney, and a legal marketing professional.) Every year, we play holiday music in one of the downtown Minneapolis office buildings, and it’s such a treat! I also love to ring handbells and play the organ (not many organists around these days). 

What are your hobbies? I’d love to hear!

Whatever they are, I hope you make the time to enjoy them, and don’t feel guilty - use the information I shared above to justify the time you spend on your leisure activities. It’s for your own good - personally and professionally!