Any time I hear something in the news about an altercation that got out of hand with an Officer I always sit back and wonder if I could have helped prevent it…
There is good and bad in every single profession. BUT did you know that stress over long periods of time can cause the calmest, happiest person you know to develop a short fuse and bursts of anger that they may not have any control over?
One minute you are perfectly fine . . .
One minute you are perfectly fine. Well, you appear fine to those around you but you are most likely struggling with sleep, exhausted, with brain fog, digestive issues and other signs of stress. But you are calmly going through your day and then someone asks you a question and it becomes too much for your brain and the anger instantly comes out.
I used to think I was crazy when my anger, of which we named Medusa, would rear her head.
I’d be totally fine in the kitchen getting the kids breakfast and then my husband (the nicest, sweetest man) would walk in the room and the rage would boil inside me. For no reason. I was short with my kids for asking me questions. All I wanted to do was go to a room by myself instead of sitting and having a conversation with anyone.
Then the next day I would be calm and happy again and wonder why I was so angry the day before.
Those who know me well have seen it.
When I tell the stories now many people don’t believe me because I was able to hide it from the outside world. But those who know me well have seen it.
I was lucky. I figured out why this was happening and fix it before I got to the point of not being able to hide it from the outside world.
So, when I hear the stories of an Officer or First Responder losing their cool, or of a superior who appears to always be angry at his team and not getting as much done as others feel he should be. . . the first thought in my mind is that I wonder if they are in burnout or overdrive.
Are they in burnout or overdrive?
Is their stress management system able to support them anymore?
Are they tired and wired at night, not able to fall asleep no matter how hard they try only to fall asleep and wake up a few hours later tossing and turning even though they are beyond exhausted?
Is their brain so foggy that they are struggling to have simple conversations and their reports and day to day duties take them so much time and focus that they can’t get it all done?
Are they more anxious or judgemental of others, quite often feeling that those others are not doing things as well as they could be.
Have they changed?
Were they once calm and happy and great at problem solving and getting things done, but now struggle with easy tasks and become short and angry?
And then I want to run over to that person and explain to them that it’s not their fault. That there is a scientific reason as to why their body is screaming at them for help.
That there is a way to start sleeping, have energy, calm the anger and your stomach and reverse all of the other stress symptoms which are simply signs that your stress management system needs support and changes.
There is a way . . .
Every day I help Officers and First Responders in my Shift Work Cure program to reverse their burnout without prescriptions and overwhelm. We begin with fixing their sleep issues and then moving onto the next step.
If you are ready to take back control of your life, enjoy family time and thrive in your career, reach out by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or join other Police Officers, First Responders and their families in my free supportive and informative 911 Stress Management Group.
The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.
Andi Clark is a mom, wife of a Police Officer and the founder of 911 Lifestyle. Also known as The Elite Trainer for Police and First Responders, Andi is an expert in peak performance and how stress physically affects your body.
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Andi Clark is a mom, wife of a Police Officer and the founder of 911 Lifestyle.
Andi has a background in athletics including a 25+yr career as a personal trainer, nutrition and mindset coach to athletes and stressed out high end executives.
Being healthy and active was what she lived for. Until her body started waking absolutely exhausted, workouts become something to push through instead of enjoy. A short fuse crept in, motivation left and injuries seemed to be a part of life. All of this added up to the point that she had to stop all activity altogether.
Doctors, specialists and prescriptions were never able to fix the problem.
Once Andi realized she had a genetic stress condition that puts her body into an increased stress response state all the time (similar to what Police Officers and First Responders experience when they put on their uniform and have to mentally prepare for whatever may happen in their day) was she able to figure out what was happening and how to reverse it.
Through years of research and studying, Andi formulated a completely different way to thrive when your body is always functioning at higher than usual stress levels. One where it is possible to reverse and prevent an officer from getting to a point where they struggle to get through their days by taking a preventative approach instead of a reactive one. And one that reduces the negative effects of shift work on the body.
Through her husbands career as an officer her focus has been on preventing burnout, exhaustion and a tanked immune system that she knew can result from high levels of stress that are out of your control.
As she watched his co-workers struggle with everything from sleep, exhaustion and anger leading to divorce, PTSD and even suicide it became apparent how LIFE-SAVING the foundations she was laying down for her husband actually were, because not only was he tolerating the shiftwork lifestyle, he was thriving in it.
Andi created 911 Lifestyle once she realized the strategies her husband was using MUST become available to all Police Officers and First Responders so they can peak during crisis, recover quickly after, have energy left over for their families and become the Elite First Responders that they were born to be.