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White collar worker meditating in officeWe all know that resiliency is important to our professional goals, but did you know that it plays a significant role in your emotional and physical well-being outside of the office? It determines how well you cope with stress, whether you are able to recover from an illness, and your level of life satisfaction overall. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO) has made strengthening resiliency of individuals and communities a priority in its Health 2020 Campaign. (World Health Organization: Building resilience: a key pillar of Health 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals.) According to the WHO, the two most important components to building resiliency are self-care and the cultivation of a support system. Id.

As the legal industry has begun to shift its attention to wellness, both mental and physical, female lawyers would do well to pay attention. Medical experts advise that the vast majority of illnesses are linked to stress. This includes high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, and mental illness. Unfortunately, these stress-related diseases affect women in greater numbers than men. Women are more likely to experience autoimmune diseases, and they are diagnosed with depression and anxiety in greater numbers than men. According to current statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and 2.5 times as likely to develop depression. Heart disease is responsible for one in every four female deaths; yet it still is seen as a primarily male risk despite the fact that it impacts both sexes equally—and despite the fact that women are more likely to die after suffering a heart attack than men.

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