How to Recognize and Handle Stress - @ JEMS.com


How to Recognize and Handle Stress

Safety Zone


 
 

Rick Patrick | | Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Knowing about stress, how to recognize it and what to do about it is an important safety issue. The nearly universal signs of being over-stressed include:

  • Persistent fatigue: When you don't feel refreshed even after many hours of sleep.
  • Negativity and cynicism: Worsens where it already exists and starts where it didn't exist before.
  • Diminished job motivation: If an activity starts to hurt, it's natural to become less motivated to do it.

There are other signs and symptoms as well. Physically, stress can promote general muscular tension, headache and a stiff neck, pain between your shoulder blades or in your lower back, respiratory illness and gastrointestinal upset. You may feel like a "coiled spring" or find yourself clenching your jaws or fist. Emotionally, you may feel overwhelmed, helpless or hopeless, isolated or relentlessly pressured. After a while, it may feel as if everyone is making demands for your help. You may also cry easily, sleep and eat too much or too little, become irritable or begin to overuse alcohol, caffeine, nicotine or other "comforting" substances.



Action Steps

What do you do if you experience these symptoms? Basically, there are three ways to attack stress:

  1. Change or eliminate things that stress you;
  2. Change your attitude toward them; and
  3. Minimize your physical/emotional response by using various stress-management techniques.

Here are a few suggestions for the third option:

  • Exercise: Among the many benefits are improved fitness and a general sense of well-being and self-control.
  • Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation or Yoga: Local adult education programs may offer training in some of these methods.
  • Learn Deep Breathing: This is done with the diaphragm, not the upper chest, and is inherent to many martial arts, yoga and meditation.
  • Take Time Off: Take a break. Take a vacation. Take a few days off -- maybe just less overtime.
  • Expand Your Social Circle: Find non-EMS/emergency friends who may not be interested in talking "shop."
  • Rekindle an Old Hobby: Renew old hobbies or start a new one.
  • Unwind Appropriately: Don't go right home and to sleep after a call or shift. Try exercising a few hours before sleeping and avoid heavy meals before bedtime.



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Provider Wellness and Safety

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

FEBRUARY 25-28, 2015

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland USA
THE SHOW IS OPEN!

THURSDAY SNOW FLURRIES


 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Florida Hospital Fire

Fire halts construction project at Tampa cancer center.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

22nd Anniversary of WTC Bombing

Remembering the first terror attack.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >