Recovering After a Hearing or Trial
by Sherri L. Renner, J.D.
This is in follow-up to our article about coping with strong emotions while writing papers for court.
Sandra Brown brings to our attention the need for self-regulation so that the reactions aren’t so extreme that it takes days out of our lives just to recover. Here’s her guidance from Turning Down the Speed:
Adrenaline makes you move faster, and the faster you move the more the mind/body thinks you are in danger and gives off more adrenaline. It’s a vicious cycle until you slow down to break the cycle by moving slowly so the brain slows down, by breathing deeply instead of panic panting. It all begins by doing one thing: slow down your body so it slows down your mind.
When else is the body slow? Oh yeah, naps. Sipping tea, reading a book, holding a child, petting a dog. Buddhist monks wash dishes by hand to slowly wipe each plate and gently rinse, feeling the warmth of the water. Walking from room to room is done as if they are in a labyrinth. Food is eaten as if it is the eucharist. A bell is rung as if it’s a symphony. A scent is smelled as if it’s a baby. A car is driven as if performing heart surgery.
It makes sense that an effective recovery strategy would include anticipating the stress and taking steps to minimize it ahead of time. This could include:
- Practicing emotional self-regulation before the court event, perhaps if you feel triggered while you’re writing court-related papers or responding to emails from the opposition.
- Increasing the amount of time you think it will take you to prepare for the court event.
- Planning to arrive at the courthouse early so you don’t pile on stress if you get caught in traffic or don’t find a parking space right away.
- Making self-care plans for after the hearing or trial, something to look forward to.
Here are some other suggestions for following up after the court proceeding:
- Bring finality to the event by cleaning up any court-related papers or supplies that are sitting out. Place everything into a drawer or a box you can close and place out of your sight.
- Go play at a batting cage, driving range, or bowling alley.
- Work on an arts or crafts project.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Release stress by stretching.
- Lower cortisol levels with a snack.
I hope you find something useful in these suggestions. Has something else worked for you? Please use the contact form below to let me know. Thank you!
Copyright © 2023 by LawYou, LLC, and Sherri L. Renner, J.D. | All rights reserved
About the Author
Sherri Renner, J.D., is the founder of LawYou America. She fully dedicates her education and years of litigation experience to helping the self-represented.
For information about litigation coaching services or the Association for Pro Se Advancement, please contact Sherri at email@example.com.