Managing your health can be a challenge as a law enforcement officer. Long shifts, fluctuating schedules, and constant adrenaline and stress all affect your health. Law enforcement of today compared to 30 years ago face greater complexity within their profession. A greater U.S. population and technological advances have changed the dynamics of the profession significantly.
Your health is vitally important to you and your job. So in this new year, why not make a renewed commitment to do an ongoing evaluation of your health in what you eat, for regular exercise, constant rest, and better stress management. Notice the suggestion is to make this ongoing. The truth is, the schedules of most police officers poses a challenge to eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting proper sleep. With varying shifts averaging 12 hours for most officers, it is impossible to commit to a regular set bed time let alone to sit down and eat as on duty calls are unpredictable. But you can evaluate your health often, keeping a check list and maintaining your health throughout each week.
Perhaps your diet wasn’t the best on Monday. Commit to eat better the rest of the week. Though your sleeping schedule might not be the best, take as many opportunities to rest your body, not necessarily sleep, but to lay back and relax by doing things like listening to some soothing music. These examples are tied together to help manage your stress on and off the job.
In dealing specifically with stress, find ways to cope and deal with those situations as quickly as possible by identifying often how things make you feel instead of trying to block those emotions. Don’t extinguish your feelings but rather find a support group or regular counseling that can help you maintain a positive outlook that you can go to as needed. This is important for the health and police safety of all officers and not just yourself.
If you are healthy in the physical and psychological areas of your life, you will become an even better officer and most importantly an even better person. Your family, friends, and community will notice the change especially because you are a part of an already honorable profession. So in this new year, start off by doing an ongoing evaluation of your health and choosing some methods that will work for you to help in you areas that pose a struggle for you.
Also do not forget to get your privacy kit or share our privacy kits with a fellow law enforcement officer and their family. Police privacy is just as important and why not also commit to taking steps to protect your privacy on the internet in this new year.