How To Manage Stress & Anxiety in the Fire & Rescue Services
How can stress and anxiety affect you?
If you're employed in the Fire & Rescue services, you may be frequently prone to high-pressure situations invoking stress and anxiety. However, if you become regularly overwhelmed by these feelings, you may be jeopardising both your Mental and physical health in the long-run.
Let's take a look at Mental Health in the UK's Fire & Rescue Services:
- 85% of the UK's Fire & Rescue Services personnel have experienced poor Mental Health & Stress at work, but you are lltttowctgw
- 2x more likely to attribute work as a cause of your Mental Health problems compared to other sectors
So what causes stress and anxiety?
There are two primary factors that cause stress and anxiety. Firstly, the work environment. Secondly, factors outside of work. This includes family, relationships and financial concerns.
All these factors can be linked. You may find that stressful family and financial situations affect your workplace performance and vice versa.
What is Stress?
Stress can refer to two aspects:
- Situations or events putting pressure on us. These may include times where we have a lot to do or think about, don't have much control over what happens
- Reaction to being put under pressure. This is the feeling we get when we have demands placed on us that we feel unable to cope with.
Is Stress a Mental Health problem?
No, stress in itself is not a Mental Health problem in itself, but if you're continuously prone to stress, you can find yourself more susceptible to Mental Health problems such as anxiety and depression. This may make everyday situations intolerable.
What are the Effects of Stress?
Stress can cause different effects on different parts of your being:
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is used to describe feelings of unease, worry and fear when we're nervous or worried about something.
There are of course situations where it's completely normal to feel anxious:
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a baby
- Getting into hospital
- Moving house
When does anxiety become a Mental Health problem?
Anxiety can become a Mental Health problem when it is affecting the way you live. This may be the case if you begin worrying about relatively ordinary parts of life, in which case you may be having an anxiety disorder.
What are the Effects of anxiety?
A good way to remember the key symptoms of anxiety is the mnemonic Mr Fisc.
Let's break down the mnemonic Mr Fisc.
M = Muscle Tension.
R = Restlessness.
F = Fatigue.
I = Irritability.
S = Sleep difficulty.
C = Concentration.
However, each and every individual is different, and the symptoms of anxiety that they show may be different.
For a more expansive list, click here.
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is characterised by a feeling of sudden and intense anxiety. They usually last between 5-20 minutes, but can last up to an hour. Although not dangerous, a panic attack can be very frightening.
During a panic attack, you may be overwhelmed by physical sensations which may include:
- A pounding heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Irregular heartbeats
How can I manage stress and anxiety?
Talk it out with your friends and those you trust in your family, and they may be able to help you.
Engage in a breathing exercise that you are comfortable with. Alternatively, you may find listening to music or taking your dog for a walk may help you relax.
Engaging in physical exercise can reduce your stress and anxiety. However, this needs to be complemented with a healthy diet and adequate sleep.
Look through websites that offer support, especially registered charities such as the Samaritans offering 24/7 chatline.
If you work in the Fire & Rescue services, a highly relevant site would be the Blue Light Programme, which offers dedicated Mental Health support to Emergency Services personnel.
Do you need approved and accredited Mental Health Training?
Click below to find your relevant Mental Health Training course.
✓ Getting DCPC Qualified
All individuals driving vehicles carrying goods, materials or passengers on commercial terms are required to hold a DCPC.
As an AWARE Series course, this course can act as 1 of your 5 7-hour modules as part of the mandatory 35-hour period training you are required to do every 5 years to keep your DCPC.
✓ Basic Mental Health Training
This course helps you understand the support available if you or a colleague suffers with Mental Health, as well as an understanding of the diverse range of Mental Health problems people face today.
✓ A Roadside & Recovery Professional
Emphasis placed on the safely isolating the vehicle before loading and/or recovering the vehicle. Great for Roadside & Recovery Training.
✓ Gain in-depth awareness of Mental Health
Gain the required knowledge you need to act as a Mental Health First Aider in your workplace, whether you're a leader, manager, or simply an employee wanting the best for your team.
✓ Learn with Network Training Partnership: The founder of AWARE Series
Network Training Partnership can deliver this course. Network Training Partnership (NTP) is setting the standards in the automotive, logistics and emergency services industry. Their courses are both designed and delivered by industry experts, going above and beyond the industry expectations.