How many of your colleagues do you know that are suffering from sleep issues, exhaustion, anger/short fuse, digestion and burnout?
Many of them have been to doctors, specialists and have been offered pills, but nothing has helped, right?
How many of them are upset and angry at their service for not being able to help them?
Angry because they do not have the right people and systems in place.
I’m sure you are open minded, so let’s take a look at it from a different angle for a second.
Let’s start with who are the people running your wellness program?
I speak to many services from Police, Fire and EMS throughout North America and most wellness programs are organized from the inside. From your colleagues who applied for or were appointed the position.
They want to make a difference
And why did they sign up for the position? Most likely because they want to make a difference.
Because they care about you, their colleagues and this is how they feel they can help.
I’m going to assume that you both had the same training before they stepped into this position?
So, they are trained for everything they need to know about Policing, Fire or EMS and the First Responder world.
Am I right?
They’ve worked their entire career to learn all of the tactics they need to handle every situation that may occur on the job each and every day. Just like you.
They work the same crazy shift schedules and hours. Just like you.
They are as exhausted, have sleep issues, anger/short fuse and most likely worry about your safety over theirs. Just like you.
Because that’s what you guys do. You take care of everyone else, putting their needs before your own.
So, my question to you is…
If the doctors and specialists that yourself and your colleagues have gone to have not been able to help. And everyone is suffering the same and no one has come up with a solution that has worked thus far.
How is your chief, association or wellness committee supposed to know who to bring on board to help?
If they don’t have a background in nutrition, how do they know that there is a BIG difference in bringing someone on board that understands how to eat on a shift schedule to support your stress management system and account for all of the unknowns that are thrown at you each and every shift vs someone that teaches healthy eating and has only ever lived in the Monday to Friday 9-5 world?
How can they hire the right people if they themselves don’t know that your stress management system controls over 50 different hormones – sleep, wake, digestion, moods/anger, cognitive thinking, reproduction, libido to name only a few, and hormones need to be considered in every modality you are taught – nutrition, physical, mindset or you are at risk for burnout?
As you can see, it’s not your fault.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
What I teach in my Shift Work Cure program is relatively new.
Our medical system is based on reactive medicine. The first school to teach preventative medicine in North America started in 1992. One in Canada and one in USA.
That’s 27 years.
The study of stress
Twenty seven years is not a long time to grow this medical population from students, to general practitioners and then add in additional studies to specialize in stress and hormones.
From there research studies start, but take years or decades to complete and be published.
More and more information on stress and how it physically affects the body is published every single year.
My husband has been an officer for 10 years. None of this research was out when he started on the job.
When I finally figured it out
When I finally figured out from a podcast based on new research studies, that all of my stress symptoms were linked and there was now a medical name for my burnout I had to search and search to find a practitioner that specializes in stress and hormones who could support and strengthen my stress management system again.
They are far and few between, so it was not easy.
I also learned that lifestyle changes would help prevent me from burnout again, so I immersed myself into courses and research journals and anything I could get my hands on and learned my 20+yr career as a personal trainer, nutrition and mindset coach to high end executives was a big part of the solution, but I was missing one key element.
The lifestyle changes need to be looked at from the perspective of how they all affect our stress management system and hormones, not basic healthy eating and working out to look good.
As a Police Officer or First Responder your stress management system and hormones are pushed to a whole other level which meant I had to take my knowledge and experience up many notches in order to be able to help you prevent burnout in your life.
This is what I do. It’s what I truly care about.
This is my full time job. I eat, sleep and breathe stress management. I’m on top of the newest research and have over 25 years of experience in the health and wellness field.
And that is why I created Shift Work Cure.
A program that includes everything you need to reverse and prevent your burnout without overwhelm or prescriptions so you can start sleeping again, stay asleep, wake with energy, calm your short fuse and heal digestive issues so you can thrive at home and in your career.
I get it, I’ve been there too.
I understand what it feels like to be in burnout and figured out how to get out the other side who is also a Police wife and understands how to incorporate everything into the life of a First Responder
That frustrated, lonely, defeated feeling when no one can help you.
It’s not your services fault.
And it’s not your services fault. They are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have.
There are not many people out there who understand what lifestyle changes need to happen to reverse and prevent burnout.
There are not many people out there who get your life.
Your service can’t spend their days studying and learning as I do. It’s not their job. It’s mine.
If you would like to learn more about my Shift Work Cure program book a Burnout Breakthrough Call with me so we can talk about where you are at on the burnout scale, what has and has not worked , where you want to go and create a plan of action to get you there.
It’s time to take action yourself so you can fall asleep easily and stay asleep, wake with energy to last your entire shift with more left over for your family, calm your anger/short fuse, get rid of digestive issues and reverse your burnout just like the other Officers and First Responders in my Shift Work Cure Program.
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.
About the Author
Andi Clark is a mom, wife of a Police Officer and the founder of 911 Lifestyle.
Andi suffers from a genetic stress condition that puts her body in 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.
Through years of research and studying, Andi formulated a completely different way to look at and handle burnout. 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 tanked immune system that she knew can result from poorly managed stress, not to mention the toll things take on family life.
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 knew that the strategies her husband was using MUST become available to all Police Officers and other First Responders. She couldn’t watch others suffering when she knew there was a solution. And 911 Lifestyle was born.