According to the ​​Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale Inventory, some of life’s top stressors include the death of a loved one, divorce, separation, and imprisonment. Therefore, it is understandable that many clients who find themselves facing a legal case (especially one that may end in jail time) will experience an increased amount of stress. 

Stress is a normal part of life, and being able to manage it during a legal case may seem like an insurmountable task. Even though avoiding stressful feelings during a legal case may be impossible, you should attempt to manage the stress so that it does not take an emotional toll on you. 

Here are a few stress-busting techniques that you may want to try to keep your stress and anxiety in check during legal matters. 

discussion at desk with pen in hand and pointing to papers on desk

Hire A Knowledgeable and Experienced Lawyer 

Having someone who understands the legal system and has worked on cases similar to yours can put many people at ease when dealing with stress. 

An experienced legal counsel can explain what will happen in your case and what to expect at each step along the way to the resolution of your case. Sometimes the “not knowing” and the anticipation is often the most stressful part of a legal case. A good lawyer will help you understand what is happening in non-legalese terms and keep you apprised of the next steps. 

Learn As Much As You Can 

Having a great lawyer is only one aspect of controlling your level of stress. The more you know, the better. Do a little research into your case and learn as much as you can about what is going on. 

This will enable you to participate in your own defense and to have a working knowledge of what is happening in real time in a court case. 

Reduce Your Schedule (If Possible) 

Legal cases can be time-consuming. If you work full time, have a family, or have obligations outside of these activities, try to reduce your schedule even if it is slightly. The pressure of a legal case on top of all of your other obligations can only add stress to your life. 

Create a priority list of what needs to be taken care of and what can wait until later. Creating a hierarchy can lighten your stress load and give you time to focus on the legal matter. 

white pills spilling out of a prescription bottle

Avoid Stimulants 

I love coffee just as much as the next person but try to avoid too much caffeine while you are in the middle of a stressful legal situation. This can put you on edge and make you more jittery than normal. Cut back if you can and avoid other stimulants such as chocolate, coffee, and nicotine. 

Get Some Sleep 

A lack of sleep can cause cortisol levels to rise and make stress even more challenging to manage. Try to follow a healthy sleep schedule and definitely get to bed early the night before your court appearance. 

It may be impossible to remove all stress during a court case, but you can take action to reduce it even a little bit by following these stress-reducing techniques.