Stress in the workplace and at home is a reality for many first responders. Left unchecked it could impact your health in negative ways. Stressors have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. (Schneiderman, Ironson, Siegel. 2005)
Taking a few minutes each day for yourself can have a great impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
Meditation may actually help to reduce stress, improve focus, mood and even sleep.
Firefighters report that studying for promotion can lead to poor sleep habits, neglecting exercise, and unhealthy dietary choices. These individuals gain weight and see their fitness levels significantly decrease during this time. Many firefighters have difficulty losing the excess weight and regaining their pre-exam fitness level. These changes are often permanent and affect physical performance for the rest of their career.
'Tis the Season...
This is typically the season where there is a lot of emphasis placed on giving and being with loved ones. While spending time with loved ones and giving can be a great thing, this is also a time that can be extremely triggering, sad, and difficult for many people. It is easy to find oneself stressed and experiencing burnout during this time as well.
Lack of time plays a large role in the struggle to maintain a regular exercise routine. The unpredictable schedule of first responders can make fitting in a workout even more challenging. Continuous exercise for as little as five minutes, can be beneficial to retain (and even improve) muscular strength and cardiovascular health. Dr.
The IAFF Center of Excellence issued a recent article that discussed four factors to help support the spouses of paramedics. Being the spouse of paramedics can be extremely tough and these four pointers can help build harmonious and supportive relationships. The four pointers shared in the article are:
1) Loneliness Is to Be Expected
2) Sometimes, You'll Feel Like You Take a Backseat to Your Spouse's Crew
3) The Biggest Threats to Your Spouse's Health are Invisible
4) It's Okay to Ask for Help
It is important that we put our mask on first before assisting others with their mask. Afterall, we can't fully be there for others if we can't be there for ourselves.
In the wake of some serious losses within the Fire family over the past month, it is important that we continue to take care of ourselves and each other. An awesome article is attached that defines self-care and discusses the importance of practicing self-care as a Firefighter.
Body composition measurements are a useful tool to evaluate health and fitness. There are many methods to calculate these values but very few are reliable. Electronic scales, calipers (“pinchers”), and handheld body fat estimators are low-cost but do not provide accurate results.
Check out this PowerPoint presentation from the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue. According to the presentation, the fire fighter population is at high risk for suicide, with divorce, trauma, and stress being common risk factors.