Care for our members and the community
We believe physical and mental health, wellbeing and inclusion are crucial contributors to a wider view of what good health is. This became even more obvious as Covid-19 put increasing restrictions on our social connections and took its toll on wellbeing.
Live more in the present
Many studies conducted by mental health experts like Oxford University’s Professor Mark Williams have concluded that modern-day living has become more hectic with demands seemingly unending and increasing.
Being mindful of one’s wellbeing is now associated with giving more value in becoming more aware, having the urge to pause, and living moment to moment. Being fully in the present helps our brain to relax and eliminate worrying about the future and stressing over what isn’t there, leading to a more self-regulated behaviour, enhanced awareness and knowledge, and increased positive mental states.
Be on the move
If there’s one formula for achieving all-around personal wellbeing, it’s staying physically active.
As for its mental health benefits, physical activity significantly reduces one’s risk of both depression and cognitive decline by 30 percent while dramatically enhancing one’s focus and concentration. As such, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry Dr John Ratey recommends undertaking some physical activity before an important public performance in order to sharpen focus.
Always yearn to learn
Optimism, efficacy and life satisfaction are among the few personal wellbeing measures that are driven when we stay curious and continually have the yearning to learn.
Among the many benefits that learning has include raising one’s confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of purpose. A behavioural scientist at the London School of Economics, Professor Paul Dolan has discovered that happiness is driven by having a sense of meaning or purpose in our lives.
As children, our sense of curiosity tends to be more pronounced but gradually wanes as life becomes more one dimensional when we become adults. The scientific study on what makes humans flourish and thrive, positive psychology illustrates that staying curious helps broaden our lives with the understanding that life offers so many opportunities and possibilities. This state of thinking has a direct correlation with our ability to cultivate more positive emotions.
Help, give, and be kind
Research shows that small simple acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing. University of California’s Professor Sonia Lyubomirsky carried out a study that demonstrated how carrying out one simple act of kindness every week over a six-week period increased long-term self-reported wellbeing in participants as opposed to a controlled group that did not commit any acts of kindness.
By human instincts, giving generally elicits good and positive feelings and a sense of reward, giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth. Small acts of kindness towards other people or bigger groups like volunteering in your local community or perhaps providing pro-bono legal opportunity also helps you connect with other people.
The above resources are recommendations only and no commercial arrangement is in place with any support providers.
To frame Parnell’s Barristers approach to wellbeing, it is helpful to first identify why it is we place such importance on this aspect of our work and interaction with our fellow members, clients and the wider community;
We stand in support of our barristers because their improved wellbeing:
- Makes for happy and productive work
- Affects more than just one’s self
- Is a never-ending process of learning and development
- Will ultimately help our barristers outperform in the industry
In our pursuit of these outcomes we aim to make a noticeable difference to the legal profession as a whole. We want our list to lead the way in supporting its members and anyone with whom we interact in nurturing holistic, positive and lasting change.
Coming to the Bar is one of, perhaps the most significant step you’ll take in your career.
There is much to consider in preparation – How to study for the Bar Entrance Exam? Who to enlist as your mentor? Can you financially cover the Readers’ Course and initial weeks after signing the Roll? Will you get briefs, and from who? Are you ready?
There will be challenges – Managing your time. Maintaining your relationships, friendships and health. Last minute briefs. Briefs outside your comfort zone. Complex clients. Tough opponents. An unhappy bench.
All of these will be surmountable. Your clerk will be invaluable. So will your contemporaries, who will be going though the same thing, and more senior colleagues, who will have been through it all before.
All of this will be worth it for the many rewards of life at the bar: the feeling of overcoming the challenges, the independence, the ability to focus and hone your skills, achieving a positive outcome for your client, the collegiality, and the friends you will have for life.
If you are considering a career at the Bar, take the leap – you won’t regret it.