Most people struggle with bringing work home. That problem is especially hard for police officers who deal with traumatic events daily. Learning how to separate police work from personal life can help many officers improve relationships with their families.
Maintain an Identity Outside of Work
Most officers are passionate about the job. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have joined the force. However, if an officer’s whole life revolves around police work, it will be difficult to put work away at home.
Pursuing a hobby not related to work and maintaining friendships with people who are not on the force helps many officers. They are able to strengthen their identity outside of their careers. Practicing how to talk about topics other than work makes it easier to do so at home.
Rely on Support From the Precinct
Other officers and supervisors can be excellent resources to help separate work from personal life. Discussing stressful events with work colleagues can help officers leave that stress at work instead of letting it affect their lives at home.
Precincts also need to make more of an effort to help officers with families. Many officers are afraid to ask for help, so supervisors should be proactive about reaching out to officers who have experienced trauma during their shift. The precinct can also organize benefits for families such as childcare and shift schedules that accommodate family obligations.
Seek Out Families in Similar Situations
It seems counterintuitive that officers should have friends outside the force and at the same time seek out other police families. However, no other people will understand the challenges that a police family faces as completely as another police family. Reaching out to people in similar predicaments can help officers and their spouses cope with their circumstances.
Many officers suffer serious familial problems as a result of their work on the force. Separating their work from their personal lives and minimizing the effects workplace stress has on their families can help resolve some of these issues.