5 simple rules to beat stress
Police officer stress is the silent, ever-present killer — here are some easy ways to defeat it
In this profession of ours, there are many things we can control, such as the time and place for a traffic stop or whether to arrest or not arrest. Likewise, there are a great many things we can’t control, such as what happened just before the domestic started or what’s going on inside a vehicle as we approach it. The things we can control are usually not even thought of in the course of a shift and the things we can’t control, are, hopefully, recognized and compensated for when they arise. Both sets of variables lead to stress. I believe that stress is the biggest killer of police officers.
Unfortunately, stress is one part of this profession that will never go away. We always have to be hyper vigilant, even when just driving around. We have to always have a little adrenalin flowing when we respond to domestics, fights, or traffic stops because you just never know what’s in store for you. Given the fact that stress is a constant companion in police work, I find it hard to understand why a good many officers add to it by doing things that just add to the stress.
Now, don’t misunderstand, once upon a time I did exactly that. Thing is, eventually I paid for it. I wound up with a stomach ulcer that caused me some time off and six months of medication before it healed itself. During that time I decided it was time for some introspection. During some critical moments I realized that I had been doing some things right, but some other things very wrong. I fixed the ones I thought were wrong and I never had any problem again. Now I’m retired and in good health and having a good old time.
So, for all out there, here are some ideas — lessons learned the hard way.
1.) Eat Right
2.) After Your Shift, Go Home
3.) On Your Days Off, Forget Police Work
4.) Have Some Hobbies
5.) Make Friends with Non-Police Officers
So, there are the five simple rules that I followed for decreasing the amount of stress on the job. Hopefully, they can do the same for you.
Of course the number one rule, “Don’t Take The Job Home With You,” still applies, but the five above can help reduce even more stress. In a profession that automatically puts stress into every second of an eight hour shift, every little bit of relief is a bonus.
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