Denver Bar Association
January 2009
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Beating the Winter Blues

by Becky Bye

Aside from the typical winter holidays and the holiday that I hope many people recognize as my birthday, winter is my least favorite time of year. The onset of shorter days, longer depressing nights, and an ongoing feeling of being cold would not typically enhance the daily lives of most lawyers. Most people take advantage of the warmer weather to live—they go on vacations, attend patio happy hours, and engage in various other activities that include the outdoors. Save for the winter sports enthusiasts, many of my friends and colleagues seem to work more or lay low during the winter months, likely because it is simpler and easier to stay-in than to leave one’s home or office.

Rather than staying in and working more, I suggest embracing the season-induced confinement to the indoors by continuing to engage in activities that will help maintain the work-life balance we all strive to achieve.

In my opinion, the most important and productive thing any hard-working lawyer can do is use the wintertime to increase social activities. Although the summer patios are closed for daylight happy hours, bars and restaurants are certainly still in business. Use this time indoors to loosen up, have some fun, and reunite with colleagues, coworkers, or perhaps old law school friends or college roommates. Maintaining a good social life, outside work, can elevate one’s mood and perhaps increase office productivity. Thus, sitting back and drinking some brewskies with your friends not only helps you maintain your friendships but may enhance your professional life and overall well-being, too.

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Have you ever thought of joining a dodge ball league? This can be a fun way to join a team, get some exercise, and make some new friends or see your old ones.

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Of course, after spending time sitting in your office all day, you’ll be anxious for some physical activity. If it’s too late, too dark, or too cold (which is usually the case for me) to do anything outside, there are a variety of calorie-burning activities anyone would enjoy indoors. Have you ever thought of joining a dodge ball league? This can be a fun way to become part of a team, get some exercise, and make some new friends or see your old ones. Last year, I joined a dodge ball league for the first time and had more fun than I imagined. Without trying it for yourself, you cannot even imagine the adrenaline and energy one can get by frantically running away from a foam ball aimed at you at an incredibly fast and hard speed. Even for my coordination-challenged self, I had fun — and some success — playing dodge ball.

 

Aside from organized sports, one can stay fit and active indoors through other means. If you would like to spend more time with your significant other but still find ways to be active, I suggest you use the winter to invest in some dance lessons so you can tango and waltz the cold weather away. Additionally, although this is less physically active, I am always a vehement advocate of poker. Poker is a great way to exercise your mind and your competitive spirit while socializing and having a good time (unless you’re losing badly).

Of course, some might seek a balance to their professional lives by staying inside and doing something more relaxing. Winter is the perfect time to engage in some TLC by receiving a professional massage or indulging in a manicure or pedicure. Some might find that the free-time due to the cold weather would be best spent by staying warm and reading a nice fiction or nonfiction (and nonlegal) book (for a suggestion, stay-tuned for my upcoming book review).

Even though bears hibernate and the all the foliage is gone, lawyers can still live during the cold winter. So live it up!

 


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