Working as a law enforcement officer can certainly be a satisfying and rewarding job. However, it can just as easily be a stressful one. Working in law enforcement places a lot of responsibility and burdens on one’s shoulders, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that we are only human and sometimes need to take care of ourselves as well. While there’s no surefire way to eliminate stress in the workplace or reduce job fatigue, here are a few tips for helping to handle and reduce the stress you might face while on the job.
It might feel like it’s easier to just push any stress you might have to the back of your mind and forget about it. After all, you have important work to be doing. However, it’s important to acknowledge that the first steps for dealing with stress is to actually accept that you are stressed. A few key signs that you may be experiencing stress are headaches, trouble concentrating, a lack of interest in your work, and even a feeling of anxiety, as well as a variety of other signals.
While law enforcement is a time and energy consuming job, it’s important to remember to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. It may feel like you don’t have the time or energy to eat right or exercise, but doing so has been shown to actually increase the energy one has on a day-to-day basis. Make sure you get a decent amount of sleep each night, strive for seven to eight hours of undisturbed sleep. Not only can improving your lifestyle reduce stress, it can eliminate it completely.
While it’s certainly not unheard of to take additional shifts or to work off-duty jobs, it might be worth considering how adding more and more work to your schedule can drain you of your energy and add to your levels of stress. Consider taking time off, if you can, and enjoying other aspects of life that you enjoy such as your friends, family, or hobbies. This can help keep you refreshed and reduce the feelings of burnout.
While it’s easy to simply keep your stress bottled up, it’s always important to remember that you’ll have to deal with it one way or another, and it’s often best to confront stress as it is than let it bubble up and effect your life in ways you didn’t intend. While it’s easy to feel like you have to act like an invincible superhero, always remember that at the end of the day you’re still a person under that uniform who needs to take care of themselves just as much as everyone else does.