This episode is brought to you by Charliemadison Originals. Charliemadison Originals is a military spouse-owned and operated small business that supports all first responders. They create meaningful everyday jewelry that keeps you connected to your first-responder hero and reminds you of those you cherish most.
This is a topic that is really real and raw for me. A lot of emphasis as spouses is put on mental health for the officer in our life (and understandbly so) but what we don’t always recognize is that we need to check on ourselves as well.
As spouses, we are often taking care of so much that our needs are being put lower on the totem pole. We easily say to ourselves, “oh I can read my book later” or “I’ll take time for myself tomorrow” (but yet it doesn’t happen).
So in today’s episode we talk about ways to make mental wellness for law enforcement spouses realistic.
Ways to Make Mental Wellness a Priority for Law Enforcement Spouses:
Be intentional about scheduling time for yourself.
Talking with your spouse about how you need time for yourself is a good place to start. They need to understand how important this is for you (and maybe you can make a plan for wellness for your spouse, as well).
To be intentional and carve out time for yourself, you need spousal support.
Next, when you do set aside time for yourself, you need to decide how this time is going to look. Hint: this is more than just going to the grocery store by yourself (while that can be nice once in a while).
Everyone’s self care is going to look different- if you hate running, don’t make yourself run when you get time for yourself.
Again, be intentional in using this time you have wisely.
When you start to build wellness into your life, you need to make sure you protect that time so nothing sabotages it.
You have to say no if plans come up during your set time for self care/wellness.
Only you will protect your time, no one else, so people need to know your boundaries.
Be Okay with Saying No
This goes beyond building boundaries. It may also mean saying no to more things on your plate, freeing up your time, choosing to not scroll on social media when you could be reading or relaxing.
Remember, when you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else (that’s you! You are saying yes to you!
Talk to someone.
Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. This can be counseling, a mentor, a friend.
You don’t always have to have something wrong to talk to someone. Having healthy conversations could absolutely be part of your wellness plan because your mental heatlh is just as important as your physical health
If you are looking for a counselor, you can check this Lifegiver Directory where you can search for counselors in your area. The counselors on this list have experience with first responders and military.
You Deserve to Put Yourself First
Putting yoursel first is not selfish! We often think we need to put our family and kids first, but you also need to be a priority. One is not more important than the other. And you can’t be there for your family if you are struggling or never finding time for yourself.
Just a reminder: Self-Care and Wellness is Different than Stress Relievers
Stress relievers are more immediate like picking up a pizza for dinner on a busy day, taking a walk on your lunch break, or closing your eyes for a bit after a stressful meeting.
But self-care is more built into your life and more habitual.
Both stress relievers and self-care should happen, not just one.
Lastly, please remember to pour into yourself. This job is more of a lifestyle. It impacts law enforcement spouses and the entire family not just the officer.
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