The waiting is the hardest part.
You’ve all heard the song (and I’ll bet the tune is now running through your head). We spend a lot of time waiting—flipping through magazines in the dentist’s waiting room, counting the days until vacation, and standing in line to pass through airport security. Sometimes, we wait with anticipation; other times, we wait with ambivalence because what’s around the corner could be good or bad. Waiting can feel like a jumbled stew of hope and dread brewing in your stomach.
If this sounds familiar as you wait (and wait and wait) for the bar exam results, you aren’t alone. When the test is over but the results aren’t in, what can you do to get through the waiting game?
First, Recognize That Doing Something Helps
You graduated college. You took the LSAT. You finished law school and took the bar exam. Face it: you’re a doer. In a world where some people are content to wait passively, you are far more likely to be in your comfort zone if you are DOING something. You can’t control the test results but you can use this time to enrich your mind, your body, and your relationships while you wait. Take charge and you’ll find some refuge from the worry of waiting; there’s no way to make waiting easy, but there are constructive things you can do to get through the weeks ahead.
See Your City Like a Tourist
Most people don’t visit the places in their hometown that tourists flock to see. Play tourist once a week by exploring what your city has to offer. For local flavor, check out one of the many festivals, pop-up gardens, or outdoor music festivals. These weekend jaunts may be full of delightful surprises and will often fit any budge. You may discover treasures hidden in plain sight and it’s as easy to plan as googling, “what to do in [my city].”
Get Moving–In a New Way
You’ve heard it before: the link between exercise and mood is strong and almost any type of exercise can relieve stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals, so it doesn’t take a genius to see that moving more will make you feel better.
Step out of your comfort zone by trying some physical activity that isn’t in your repertoire; as you concentrate on moving your body in new ways, you may find that you’re distracted from the worry spiral. Yes, a hot fudge sundae or pepperoni pizza may also distract you, but the stress-relieving benefits of exercise can last for hours after you stop moving. Step out of your comfort zone:
- Try a yoga class. Yoga has helped many people to relax and manage stress and anxiety and there are varieties and studios to fit every personality and budget.
- Dance your cares away (and save your worries for another day). Try a dance class at your local gym or community center. You may feel silly but laughing at yourself is therapeutic and you may pick up some new moves.
- Sign up for a fall fun run. Most races raise money for a good cause so this lets you feel good while doing good. Walk if you don’t run or really embrace the “do something new” mantra and start a “Couch to 5K” program. A 5K race is just over 3 miles; walk/run for less than 30 minutes a few times a week and you’ll be ready to cross the finish line with a smile on your face, a medal around your neck, and maybe your belt a little smaller.
Make it a priority to schedule time with your people. As social beings, we need to connect regularly with the people who make up our tribe; you haven’t had a lot of time to socialize in recent months. Reach out. Take the initiative and plan a weekly date for coffee, lunch, dinner, or a movie (or perhaps a yoga class or a walk) with at least one old friend. You’ll enjoy the time and being with your tribe will make you feel stronger and supported.
Remember reading for fun? It’s likely that you haven’t had much time to curl up with a good novel over the last few years and other hobbies may also have fallen by the wayside. Go to your local library or bookstore and dive into one of the best sellers that everyone has been talking about. If television is more your style, catch up on one of the many binge-worthy series with a friend. Drag that camping gear out of the basement. Dust off that how-to-knit book. Rediscovering a hobby can remind you that you were a fully formed person before your law school journey, which can give you peace and perspective.
Get moving in new ways, play tourist, reconnect with your tribe, and rediscover a hobby; as you wait, start doing.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Waiting for Bar Results? How to Keep the Bar in Perspective
- 5 Things I Did Differently The Second Time to Pass the Bar Exam
- I Failed the California Bar Exam! Here’s Some Encouragement to Help
- How Can Parents Help Their Student Who Failed the Bar
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