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How hobbies reduce first responders’ stress

Being a public safety professional can be very rewarding ... but it can also be very stressful

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for all my friends in public safety. And it has to do with having a hobby.

I’m being serious here. Being a public safety professional can be very rewarding. But it can also be very stressful. Your employers may offer beneficial programs and services to help reduce on-the-job stress. But we all need healthy options to reduce stress in our personal time. One way to do that is with a hobby.

Having a hobby is a very effective to manage stress, and it can also increase overall physical and mental well-being. Hobbies can lower blood pressure and the body’s primary stress hormone, cortisol. Having a hobby has also been associated with lower body mass index and better physical function. It can enhance work performance, lead to higher job satisfaction, and lower the risk of job burnout!

The list of benefits goes on, and on, and on, so what do you enjoy doing? Regular exercise has obvious benefits as does taking a daily walk. Maybe you like to play in a local athletic league or hit the gym. Maybe puzzles or games are more your style. How about woodworking, drawing, painting, music, or photography?

Look, there’s something out there for everyone. And you don’t need to have a lot of time, talent, or money to have a hobby. Joining a club or other organization geared toward your hobby can be both inspiring, and provide an opportunity for socializing with people outside of public safety.

You know, having a hobby is a lot of fun. Personally, I take a walk every morning up and down the beach.

Having a hobby takes us away from the negativity and pressure we may encounter working in public safety. So, whatever it may be, make sure that you find it meaningful, enjoyable, and engage in it regularly.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.