Summer is here. The kids are off of school.
In theory, summer is the season to soak up as much quality time with your kids as possible as a Police Officer or First Responder because your crazy shift schedule does not allow you to see them as much during the school year.
But in reality…
But in reality the streets are busier, calls increase, and OT is more common than not. Often there is often a freeze of vacation time during the busiest season or higher ranking senior officers have it booked off, so you lose out.
Then, with longer hours and busier shifts your sleep often becomes more of a struggle. Exhaustion sets in and your plans to spend as much time with your kids as possible, ends up with you struggling to make it happen.
Your good intentions are dashed
The vision in your head of you all running around and going on adventures, laughing and having a great time has turned into you wishing you could be by yourself on the couch or in your bed during your time off. Now, all of your efforts go into keeping your cool around them.
I’ve been there and it’s the worst feeling in the world.
You aren’t the only one
Many Officers and First Responders also felt like this before they joined my Shift Work Cure Program.
The guilt of not being the parent you always wanted to be.
Not as you imagined
This is not at all how you imagined it would be like when you had kids? Wishing you could be somewhere else, instead of interacting with them…
When I was in burnout the exhaustion ruled me.
Every arm movement, even taking a deep breath took so much energy and effort that it literally felt like I was moving through cement.
Simple conversations took all of my focus, so I started spending more and more time by myself.
Keeping cool was a battle I often lost.
Loud noises and too many people (2 little kids) had my nerves firing and keeping my cool was a battle I often lost.
Reading stories became a tough task.
I pretty much just sat there while they played.
I was not even close to being the mom I always wanted to be.
Once I figured out that my problem was not in my head, but my stress management system screaming at me, I realized that it was not my fault for how I was acting and feeling.
Screams for help
My body was screaming at me for help. And every time I didn’t listen it screamed louder.
- Brain Fog
- Short Fuse/Easily Frustrated
- Digestive Issues
- Sleep Issues
- Always sick (for me chest coughs) and injured
Only once I started listening to my symptoms and learned how to reverse them did I start becoming that mom who enjoyed my kids.
Things can get better
We now go swimming, and kick and throw balls at the park, rollerblade and bike rides, read books and do crafts and have great, entertaining conversations.
Now I enjoy my time with my family because I have energy to keep up with them and a clear brain to answer all of their questions and learn with them.
I have my life back.
You can get your life back too.
Once I reversed my burnout I swore I would not let anyone suffer like I had. After seeing my Police Officer husbands colleagues experiencing the same struggles I had I knew I had to help.
I took the 3 step process that I used for myself and my husband and created my Shift Work Cure Program that now helps reverse and prevent burnout in Police officers and First Responders all around the world.
Are you are a Police Officer or First Responder who wants to start sleeping again, wake with energy and have a clear, calm brain so that you can enjoy your time with your family and thrive in your career?
You have tried everything
Would you like my help?
Maybe you have tried everything and are not sure if anything will work? Or you aren’t even sure where to start? Or you didn’t even know there was a solution?
Reversing burnout is what I’m an expert at… I’ve opened up some brainstorming sessions for next week so we can figure out where you are at on the burnout scale and then create a plan of action specifically for you.
You can go here to claim a brainstorming session — if you’re having trouble reversing your burnout, I suggest you take advantage of this.
It is frustrating to be so exhausted yet struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep … I can help you to change that if you’d like?
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.