Advice for reducing your stress levels…

Stress imageFrom Chief Constables and Commissioners right through to support staff, stress is an unavoidable part of life for those in the UK's Police forces and, by extension, their families. Furthermore, because stress has been proven to have a detrimental impact
on a person's health, alleviating it is important.

While some individuals thrive in a high-pressure work environment, a balance needs to be found with time for relaxation. Stress manifests itself differently depending on the individual, but it can lead to anxiety, muscle aches, and a wide range of other complaints.

Stress can also have a significant impact on workplace performance, which can then have major consequences for those dedicated to serving the public on a daily basis. If you feel overly stressed there are a number of things you can do to feel better in yourself, ultimately ensuring that you have a healthier life both at home and at work.

Help keep your stress levels down by:

  • Taking regular exercise - even a brisk walk will help.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet - it sounds simple but the benefits of eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day have been well-documented. Foods with a high sugar content should only be eaten as occasional treats.
  • Getting uninterrupted sleep - those in the Police are more likely to function on less sleep, especially if shift patterns prevent a regular routine. If you struggle with getting to sleep, try to unwind by listening to music or having a bath. Whenever possible, ensure that personal mobile devices are switched off, to avoid being disturbed or woken by notifications.
  • Spending time with family and friends - it's sometimes difficult to schedule quality time with loved ones, but fun activities like bike rides and bowling trips can help your stress levels fall instantly.
  • Speaking to colleagues - working in a Police force can be an incredibly rewarding career, but if you're stressed be sure to talk about how you're feeling with colleagues. Discussing your issues with someone else can give an immediate sense of relief!

If ever you feel unable to cope with stress then seek professional advice. Don't be afraid to admit that help is needed!

Have you got any other ideas for how to cope with stress? Please feel free to suggest them via our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

For more hints and tips to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, please visit the Police Mutual Wellbeing Zone.