How to Look After Yourself as an Emergency Responder


Photo by Aidan Bartos on Unsplash

Whatever type of emergency responder you are, you will be only too aware that this is a highly demanding and challenging job. You are facing a great deal of stress on a regular basis, so it is vitally important that you look after yourself as thoroughly as possible. Proper stress prevention and management techniques should become a key part of your schedule. If you don’t look after yourself, you are less likely to be able to look after those who need your support. 


Prepare for a Response 


Preparing for a response can be done in numerous different ways, but you need to ensure that you are properly trained and confident in what you are doing. You should also make sure that you have all the correct equipment – a lot of which can be foundat rapid-rescue.com.au. Explain to your loved ones about your job and how you need as much support from them as possible and establish a means of communication if you can. You don’t want to worry about what is going on at home during a response.


Identify Signs of Burnout 


Unfortunately, burnout is a common situation amongst emergency responders. It can be categorized as a feeling of extreme exhaustion, anxiety, and the sense that you are overwhelmed. There are plenty of coping techniques that can prove to be effective including managing your diet, getting enough exercise, and talking to people about your situation – whether this is with a trained professional or just a friend or family member close to you. There are also negative coping techniques such as binge eating or drinking, which are going to have a bad effect in the long run.


Develop a Buddy System


A buddy system refers to two responders providing support for one another. Just the simple act of talking to each other about your lives can go a long way. Assess each other’s strengths and weaknesses so you are in a better position to offer support. Acknowledge when you are facing a tough situation, but also celebrate your achievements – however small they may be. You could also offer support in each other’s personal lives wherever this is appropriate. Look out for the signs of burnout that we discussed above and encourage each other to engage in positive coping techniques.


Practice Self-Care Techniques 


There are plenty of self-care techniques that can prove to be effective for an emergency responder, starting by limiting your working shifts, though this can often be tricky in this line of work. Writing in a journal, practicing meditation and yoga, reducing your use of stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine, and getting enough sleep are all effective techniques that you should build into your everyday life.


When you work as an emergency responder, it is vitally important that you look after yourself properly – both for you and the people you are caring for. Hopefully, you have found something useful in the techniques above that will help you take care of yourself that little bit better.

 

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