Law enforcement officers are under lots of stress due to the demanding nature and dangerous environment of their careers. However, many do not deal with the consequences until it is too late. These tips can help you decompress and manage stress before it has lasting effects on your health.
Take Care of Your Health
When people are under a lot of stress, healthy habits are often the first to go. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you manage stress and deal with pressures in the workplace. Planning healthy meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will make a noticeable difference in your stress levels.
Step Away From Work
Overwork is the most significant cause of stress for many law enforcement officers. Many officers take on excessive amounts of overtime or even moonlight as private security to earn extra money. However, working too much is not worth the money if it costs you your health and your sharpness at work. Cut back on your working hours and maybe even quit your second job. Be sure to take regular time off from work and even take the family on vacation.
Rely on Your People
Many officers are ashamed to admit that they need help with managing stress. However, you do not have to fight against stress alone. Your community can help you decompress and hold you accountable to your goals. You can develop a system with your fellow officers to check on each other and make sure no single officer takes on too much work.
Civilian friends are also important. They allow you to take time away from thinking about work, when you may be tempted to spend time with your law enforcement friends trading stories about your job. A variety of strong relationships will help anchor you outside of work and decompress.
Stress can affect your ability to do your job, your health, and even your relationships with your family. Decompressing will help you manage stress and improve your ability to do your job.