While many court reporters admit to feeling “burned out” by a never-ending caseload, some respond to stress in a different way. They may become afraid of dealing with a demanding attorney, avoid working on a particular case, or start to shut down due to the pressure of an impending deadline. Some may even become ill, suffer from headaches, or develop other physical symptoms when they walk into court, as their bodies attempt to force them to deal with a problem they are trying to ignore.
Court Reporters Will Often Suffer Anxiety as a Result of Job Stress
If this sounds familiar, take heart: there are many easy ways you can get back in the room and on schedule. However, you should realize that “pushing yourself harder” isn’t one of them. It may seem counterintuitive, but you will have to take time and work slowly in order to get back on your game.
Here are a few small changes that can help you cope with anxiety:
- Be honest. Your body is telling you to take a break, and it’s up to you to choose how long. One day off may not be enough, so be honest about your needs. If you need a vacation, take it; you are going to serve your clients much better by being well-rested and alert when you get back.
- Give yourself backup. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. You know what time of day you work best, what derails your productivity, and what spurs you to keep going—so be your own co-pilot. Put inspirational post-its on the fridge when you take snack breaks, and reward yourself for staying on-task.
- Guided relaxation. A compounding factor of stress is feeling as if you have lost control. A guided meditation or relaxation session can help you calm down and center yourself, allowing you to deal with stress rationally rather than by reacting negatively. You don’t have to go to a class; many Internet radio stations offer relaxation channels (with and without voice guidance).
Do you have a favorite way of winding down after a long day of taking depositions?