Stress Management Tips for Public Safety

Today’s Tip is for my law enforcement friends. Everyone knows that law enforcement can be stressful. Today I’m going to offer some suggestions for protecting yourself.

Keep things in perspective. If you’re approaching a huge task that seems unsurmountable, break it down.

Unchecked stress can take a toll on you, your family, and your agency. Think about it this way. You wear body armor to protect your body. So why wouldn’t you take similar steps to protect your mind? You need a specific and well-orchestrated plan of attack. Don’t let yourself become one of the statistics. Be proactive.

Start with small changes in your personal routines and thought processes. What about your attitude and perspective? Do you see the glass half empty or half full?

Keep things in perspective. If you’re approaching a huge task that seems unsurmountable, break it down. Remember, first things first. Work on a task one step at a time. Try not to worry. Direct your focus away from things that are outside your control.

Power down from time to time. Schedule quality time away from work. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy vacation. Try backyard camping with your kids. Go fishing. Work on your car. Work out. Do something that takes you to your happy place.

Get up and move around. Don’t just sit around. Do something physical every day. Make it something you enjoy doing. Be conscious of your limits and set realistic goals.

Pursue healthy relationships. If you don’t have any friends outside of law enforcement, make some. This will ensure you spend less time talking about work.

Most importantly, if you’re having a hard time finding an upside on things, seek help. Talk to someone. Use your agency’s EAP program. Remember, lots of people are depending on you.

And That’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off.

This was originally published on

About Gordon Graham

Gordon Graham is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, the co-founder of Lexipol, and a widely regarded as an expert in risk management. He regularly lectures at public safety training institutions around the Country, including the FBI Academy, the National Fire Academy, and the National Conservation Training Center. In 1995, he was presented with the Governor’s Award for excellence in law enforcement training by Governor Wilson. In 2005, Mr. Graham received the prestigious Presidential Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs for his lifelong work in improving firefighter safety and performance.