Posted by Katie McKenna, marketing and engagement director at Legal Futures Associate Casedo
Whether you’re at a bus stop or at a wedding, the weather is always a safe topic of conversation.
It has incredibly low potential for offence and it is so universal that anyone can join in with their thoughts on how it’s meant to brighten up by the weekend. There is no need to be a meteorologist to participate but their view is always welcome.
The weather is a pillar of British awkward conversation and I’ve just heard of a magnificent and new way to utilise it.
My friend started a new job in the public sector, and I asked her how it was going so far. She really loves it. My friend said she was feeling so inspired and supported by her new boss and enjoyed her unique way of asking staff how they are feeling: How is your internal weather?
It’s a phrase I’ve never come across before, but I was fascinated by how easy and descriptive it is to use weather terms as a tool to discuss how you truly feel.
Like the weather, our feelings and perspectives change and undulate throughout the day. When you look outside, you get a snapshot of the world in that moment.
Using this approach, you can take your emotional temperature and share it without the need to go into too much detail about what is causing the rain, the thunder or indeed, the sunshine.
As hard as we may try, it is hard to stay positive and productive with a massive cloud of existential dread hangs over us.
It’s difficult to get away from the reality and the true price we have all paid during the pandemic but with client expectations, deadlines and billable hour targets, many lawyers have had to get on with the day job regardless of our new reality.
Little time was dedicated to cultivating the resilience needed to thrive in our new world or the acknowledgement that we are all still humans underneath our professional title.
It would be great if we could always be at 100% productive every day but it is unrealistic and unsustainable. I wish that more people acknowledged this. Sometimes your brain can be so drained, and you can feel so uninspired that even replying to emails can feel like an arduous task. When you feel like this, it is so important to rest. You need to charge your own personal life battery and you know that you will be more productive if you invest in your own health and wellbeing.
Thunder and lightning
We sadly cannot change the weather outside, but we can change how we approach it! If it’s sunny, you can pop on factor 50, and if it’s raining, you reach for the waterproofs before going outside. It’s also true for our internal weather.
There are so many little things that we can do to help blow those clouds away. Questions to ask yourself when the thunder and lightning comes are: Have you eaten? When did you last drink some water? Have you been outside today? Have you moved your body? Did you sleep ok? Have you had a break from your screen?
These little things can often be overlooked when your working day has started, and some people can feel guilty for stopping work for the above. A lot of them are essential for health and wellbeing, and should be a priority.
Clear skies with sunny spells
Some days are filled with calm sunshine and you can enjoy your work and feel totally in flow. Cherish these days and know that you can instil some daily practices that can help keep the blue skies in place.
For example, I start my day with a gratitude list which instantly helps me focus on the positive elements of my existence.
I won’t lie – some days it’s hard to see the good but by trying to find it you make a massive impact on your mindset for the day.
When a cloud or problem appears, don’t take it personally, take a deep breath and thoughtfully consider how to approach it but if the clouds are there ask the questions above to see if you need to improve your personal weather before responding.
The easiest way to push clouds of self-doubt away or when your harsh on yourself, forgive yourself and remind yourself that you’re here for progress not perfection.
So, how is your internal weather today?