There’s no question that our country is in a mental health crisis right now, but individuals in some careers are especially at risk of stress and anxiety. One of those careers is public safety—specifically, firefighters. Every day, firefighters face challenges and dangers, and over time, they may even face serious health complications. That’s enough to make anyone stressed and anxious, but what matters is how we manage those feelings. We wanted to support our local firefighters since they support our communities, so we put together a guide to stress and anxiety management for firefighters; read on to learn more.
Meditation looks different for everyone. Some people consider pouring their morning coffee meditative, while others might sit down and focus on their breathing with a meditation app. Whatever you need to do to meditate, do it. Why? Because meditation can significantly reduce stress and help you feel relaxed and prepared for the day.
Exercise and Eat Cleanly
We’ve all heard that exercise reduces stress, and it’s true. As a firefighter, you should stay in good shape to enhance your job performance and agility anyway. The worst thing you could do is to remain sedentary when you feel stressed or anxious. Get your body moving and blood flowing, and your stress will disappear before you know it. You knew this was coming, but in addition to regular exercise, you should also maintain a relatively clean diet. Of course, you’re going to have a cheat meal occasionally, but if your diet mostly consists of fried and greasy food, it’s going to make you feel unmotivated. Fried and greasy foods essentially feed your stress and anxiety—no pun intended.
Reduce Your Risks on the Job
We don’t have to remind you that your job is dangerous; however, some firefighters are notorious for not wearing their protective equipment when they should. You can reduce (if not prevent) the anxiety of sustaining injuries on the job or developing future health complications by wearing your PPE. Another way you can reduce the risks of the job is by attending training when your station offers it. Training is your only chance to practice, and we all know that practice makes perfect.
Your community supports you and wants you to feel safe. With the suggestions in our guide to stress and anxiety management for firefighters, you should begin to feel at ease more frequently. Take care of yourself, and find some ways to have healthy fun while you’re at it—life is too short to live in fear.