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Tamrin Olden - Co-Founder/COO of TeamFFD

Welcome to my blog here on Team Fit For Duty. I hope I can inspire you and keep you motivated on your quest for a better life, both physically and mentally.
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Stress

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Stress has a huge correlation with fitness and overall health, especially for those in law enforcement. Stress is also a huge underlying factor for many serious health issues.

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. It can be positive like buying a new house, going on vacation or a job change...or negative like financial problems, divorce, health problems, loss of a loved one or for our law enforcement family, those rough calls for service.

Stress can affect all aspects of your life - mental, emotional and physical; no part of the body's immune. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Being moody, withdrawn or depressed, low energy, digestive problems, headaches, muscle pain, inability to focus, poor judgment, overeating or undereating, drug and alcohol abuse and cardiovascular disease are some of the most common symptoms.

Those symptoms can be debilitating and problematic in your personal, social and professional life. 108 officers committed suicide in the United States in 2016. 108 - that's not ok and there's obviously an issue that needs to be addressed. California led the nation in such deaths, followed by New York. The average age of a police suicide was 42 years and the average time on the job was 17 years. Sergeants and above accounted for 22 percent of law enforcement suicides; five were chiefs. 87 percent were males and gunshot was the most common means (80 percent).

Stress can't be avoided completely, but it can be managed. Here are some ways to manage stress:

  • Set aside leisure time - like they say; work hard play hard. You have to have some YOU time.
  • Do something you enjoy every day - whether it's reading, going for a walk, playing sports with your kids, doing crafts, etc.
  • Keep your sense of humor - stress can make you very tainted and negative (especially for those in Law Enforcement, we all know those salty old guys) so don't be so serious all the time.
  • Don't over-commit yourself - sometimes you have to say no. It's better to give 100% at a few things than spread yourself thin and not fulfill your commitments.
  • Prioritize tasks - use the acronym (WIN: What's Important Now).
  • Get adequate sleep - 8+ hours is ideal. Find ways to get more and better quality sleep, even if you have to cut down your TV and social media surfing time before bed.
  • Eat a healthy diet - cut down on the sugar, processed foods, soda and alcohol.
  • Exercise - even if it's for 20 minutes; the mental, emotional and physical benefits are endless!

Training and awareness is so important and although it's becoming more common there's a long way to go when it comes to creating normalcy with stress management and mental health in the law enforcement profession.

Lastly, there are resources out there if you need help and it's normal to deal with symptoms of stress, you're human. If you see someone out there who may be withdrawn or overwhelmed - don't hesitate to reach out, you may be their only lifeline. Your Team Fit For Duty crew is always here for you too 

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