To those who are preparing for the Florida Bar exam in July:
You are invited to join G.C. Murray and me as we bring you R.E.L.A.X: Bar Prep Tips on Relaxation.
This event will focus on "Your Natural Beet and the Bar: A holistic and individual approach to setting yourself up for success."
From someone who has been on the side of all out failing, passing one section and not another, to finally passing and becoming a member of the Florida Bar, this event is to be attended so that from the beginning of your studies this summer you have the tools at your disposal to help quell the anxiety, manage your stress, and put yourself in the seat to passing on your first attempt.
This is unique from traditional bar review courses in that they provide to you all of the external considerations you need to excel - the outlines, the law, the practice questions. This event will shed light on the internal considerations that you might have not considered (how to keep your nerves at bay, how best to take care of yourself, etc.) so that when you combine the two (external + internal) you have a complete recipe for success: passing on your first attempt.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate in reaching out to G.C. Murray or me. We are here to support you through this process - you are not alone!
We look forward to it.
See you soon!
While this is a large umbrella term for managing our emotions in a productive and positive way and feeling at ease with ourselves and those around us, each one of us could benefit from putting a little bit of energy and more love into enhancing our individual emotional wellbeing. Over the years the following practices have helped me maintain an even keel and be more at ease with my emotions - both the nice and the not as nice.
1. FRESH AIR. Getting outside is one of the easiest ways we can take a moment and recharge. It helps us get perspective and gather ourselves.
2. ONE ON ONE TIME WITH YOURSELF. This is one of the best ways you can check in with yourself and see how you are feeling and what is going on. Spending time alone is healthy and I encourage you to try it.
3. CONNECTION. Personal, meaningful relationships are so important especially in this day and age of social media and the ability to be next to someone but not really be there. Allow yourself to (often!) reach out to those you feel closest to because you will not only hear how they are you can share what yourr current experience with them.
4. STRESS MANAGEMENT. Find a few activities that help you let off the steam and stress of the day. Joining a gym is a great idea. If gyms are not for you, find a running club or a swimming pool. Managing your stress does not have to entail physical activity as you might find that, for you, cooking a homemade meal or listening to your favorite music immediately helps you feel at ease and calm.
5. REST. Taking the time to just be and rest is extremely underrated, especially in the society and culture we live in where maintaining a jam-packed schedule is the norm. If you are feeling tired, allow yourself to go to bed early. There is nothing wrong with that!
The above-mentioned practices are simple but can make such a different in managing your emotions and keeping an even keel. May you continue to explore any practices that positively impact your emotional wellbeing!
I tackle this subject today because I feel the need to bring it to light especially when it might not otherwise be discussed. Often times it is easy to notice that you or someone you care about has a problem with x substance (think: alcohol) but it can be harder to notice that you or your loved one are leaning on food as a crutch or using it in, an unknowingly abusive, way to your body by consuming too much or at times, even too little.
Eating when we are not physically hungry is called emotional eating and each of us experience it to some degree. Put another way, “emotional eating is eating in response to something other than hunger. Often times people eat out of stress, anxiety, anger, depression, and happiness. “ (https://www.sharecare.com/health/emotional-eating/what-is-emotional-eating) For example, we go to a birthday party and enjoy a piece of cake or we feel extremely happy about good news we received so we decide to treat ourselves - despite feeling hungry or not - with a yummy bite. In this sense, emotional eating can and does happen to each of us.
While this habit and behavior is nothing to be ashamed of it is one that is usually brushed under the rug to not really be discussed. I am writing about this subject in part because I am quite familiar with it meaning I have dealt with it and from time to time, I have needed to remind myself the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Whether eating to feel “social” (whatever that means!) or eating because you simply are distracting yourself from how you are truly feeling, I have experienced it. Another reason I bring this topic to light is to help you bring awareness to your own habits and behaviors for I am a firm believer that in sharing what we have learned in our experience, including during our struggles, we can help someone who might be going through the same thing.
Looking at the table below, The Eight Traits of Emotional Hunger, it becomes quite clear what is Emotional Hunger versus what is Physical Hunger. If it is something you want to remind yourself of, I encourage you to take a few minutes to study it and familiarize yourself with it. Again, we are focusing on the awareness and having awareness of when we are feeling emotionally hungry and physically hungry - we are not creating judgments in this space!
When we can recognize the difference between the two, it becomes much easier to distinguish what our feelings are and more specifically, what emotions we are experiencing. Reaching for food or fueling our emotional hunger might seem like the easiest choice in the moment but we each know it really does not further our true ambitions and desires. When we are not tuned into our physical needs, we might be eating the healthiest ingredients and/or dish on the planet. However, it is still a response to emotional hunger and not physical hunger.
In challenging you to become aware of your emotional and physical hunger, I also challenge myself to stay awake, aware, and tuned into all of the emotions that come and go throughout the day. By doing this it becomes easier to recognize what we are experiencing and feeling. Even if you are feeling desperate for X (whatever your specific craving might be), remember that you have tools at your disposal to utilize that will help you become more aware so that you are not pushing away from or even avoiding certain emotions when choosing to eat in response to emotional hunger versus physical hunger.
Tools to utilize:
Follow your breathe. In the moment, this might seem like the last thing you want to do but try it out. Give yourself the space and time to breath deeply - inhaling and exhaling - for ten counts.
Make yourself a cup of tea. Boil the water. Prepare the tea and make a ritual out of. Holding the cup in your hands, feel the warmth of the cup. Inhale the aroma of the tea.
Write down how you are feeling. This is an opportunity to become extremely intimate and honest with yourself and it does not need to take much time. Simply take a scrap piece of paper and write exactly how you are feeling. Are you feeling tired? Do you need a break? In writing, your feelings will be shown to you and then you can understand the thought process behind wanting to reach for X.
Take some fresh air. Excuse yourself from wherever you might be and go outside or to an open window to breath in some fresh air. Giving yourself these moments of fresh air can be invaluable especially when you are on the cusp.
Get moving. If possible, go for a short walk. Sometimes a brief change of scenery is just what we need.
I concede that the following five tools are not completely comprehensive. However, I believe them to be extremely useful when, after cultivating an awareness about habits and behaviors, we are learning ways to alter our experience and not emotionally eat.
Do let me know by commenting below if you have experience with this and the best way you have dealt with it.
Love & light!
Studying for the bar? Join me this Saturday, see your invitation just below.
This presentation focuses on the non-black letter law essentials for passing the bar and I will be talking about the importance of the following:
- practicing self-care,
- stress management,
- mindfulness, and
as you continue to study hard and prepare yourself for the bar exam.
Together with the ICE Foundation, and, specifically, G.C. Murray we are creating a lively, light, and fun space to discuss the above topics (which also happen to be extremely close to my heart). Practical tips will be shared and I will speak a little about my experience preparing for the Florida bar - yes, all three times - and I am certain it will bring a smile to your face :)
So I invite you to take a little study break, make yourself a cup of tea or a smoothie (coffee - anything you like!), and tune in!
I look forward to seeing you there.
All of these pictures were taken directly by me during and throughout my prep experience.
Self-care is an essential practice in my life day in and day out. To me, it encompasses my habits, attitude, activities, and the way that I carry myself. If I feel run down or overwhelmed I am careful to amend my schedule or take time for myself so that I can recharge and show up my best.
While more and more self-love can be cultivated from self-care we must be mindful of our attitude towards ourselves. Whether we are internally criticizing the way X looks or comparing ourselves to others, we must be mindful and not judge ourselves when we are having these thoughts. We must recognize them, like clouds in the sky, and direct our attention towards something else, something that will make us feel confident, strong, and happy.