She’d seen others become this way and knew the signs: burnout was setting in. Not content with letting her joy completely slip away, Laura knew she had to take action.
She attended a stress resilience training class and was reminded of self-care practices she once knew but had forgotten. She left the class with renewed purpose. She loved the job and couldn’t imagine being the crusty type—but if she continued down the present path, it might happen.
Laura took a few of the tools she learned in class and created a morning ritual. Before she went to work, she sat silently for five minutes, just breathing. After this she reflected on what she was most grateful for, writing three of these things down in her notebook. From her gratitude practice, she moved to her favorite part of the morning: dancing to some of her favorite music. Only after these three things did she make herself a delicious meal and then head to work.
A challenging role
9-1-1 professionals know this job takes a toll. It can cause gradual changes in the way we see the world, think about people, interact with family and friends, along with changes in the way we feel. For years now, research specific to the 9-1-1 industry have supported these revelations, showing the connection between duty-related trauma and PTSD symptoms (Troxell, 2008; Pierce & Lilly, 2012), the impact of compassion fatigue and emotional labor (Tracy, 1998; Goold, 2010), and the physical effects of working in the profession (Lilly et al., 2015)