Friday, October 19th, 2012 by

Energy: You either Have it or Want More of it

Law enforcement officers need the proper nutrition and hydration to give them the energy required to handle the tough challenges of police work.

Police Officers are juggling many different jobs. If you are a cop then you are an enforcer, defender, protector, social worker, friend, mother/father, sister/brother, aunt/uncle, grandmother/grandfather, daughter/son, student, chef, chauffeur, sports coach, business owner, accountant, personal secretary and landscaper. I am sure that I missed a few of our everyday duties but this is what consisted of a day in the Life of a Philadelphia Police Officer when I was on the force not so long ago.

So where do you get the Energy to be able to… accomplish all of these daunting tasks without feeling like you are going to fall on your face?

On the street, I was pushing a car and my shifts rotated from 5 days on with 1 day off and then 6 days on with 1 day off and all 12-hour days. That did not include going to court, being a parent and trying to be a wife all in the little time that I had to offer any one else other than the job. I turned to some pretty bad habits to get sources of Energy or what I believed was Energy. These included:
• Coffee
• Eating mid-afternoon sugary snacks such as a candy bar
• Energy drinks
• Energy pills: “Rhodiola”

Does any of this sound familiar with you? What is your method to increase your Energy Level?

Here is how lack of Energy can show up in your life. How many can you check off for yourself?
• Irritability
• Anxiety or depression
• Lack of concentration
• Lack of Focus
• Agitated
• Sleeplessness
• Unable to get out of bed even after having sufficient sleep
• Lack of sex drive

Let’s step back for a minute and see what factors and symptoms, which cause a reduction in Energy. There are 4 Main Factors that impact our desire for more energy.
• Chemical Stress (can be FOOD)
• Emotional Stress
• Mental Stress
• Physical Stress

I am going to talk about the Chemical Stressors, although all four stressors do tie in together when you want to achieve the maximum amount of Energy from FOOD!

The foods that we eat daily can either increase to decrease our Energy levels. Foods that decrease our energy levels almost immediately are:
• Caffeine- coffee or soda (these may give you an Energy Boost but they will actually deplete and draw out nutrients and minerals and are HIGHLY Addictive)
• Alcohol
• Eating too much Red Meat or Not enough
• Processed Foods- fast food or microwavable foods
• Tobacco
• Milk
• Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
• Trans Fats

Here are my 5 top tips to start to increase your Energy:

1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine: Caffeine has a dehydrating effect on our bodies making mood swings more frequent.

2. Drink more water: Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. What I recommend is to have a Full glass of water before you decide to go to the Sugar or Caffeine.

3. Add in Dark Leafy Greens into your diet: Dark greens are full of vital energy. They are full of vitamins and nutrients, which are great for improving circulation, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.

4. Use gentle sweets: Use sweeteners such as maple syrup, brown rice syrup or light agave nectar.

5. Physical Activity: You don’t have to rush out and join a gym. Start with the simple exercise of walking, 10 minutes a day adding time on each week.

If you continue to find yourself struggling from a lack of energy and need support around this issue, I invite you to come over to ConnectingTheDotsSoulutions.com and signup for a “Peak Performance” strategy session and discover ways to increase your energy, loss weight and find balance in all areas of your life.

Christa Cassilis-Hayburn is the CEO of Connecting the Dots Solutions that offers pro-active health and wellness solutions to law enforcement officers and families. Christa was a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department for 11 years. She worked in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city of “Brotherly Love”.

CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to read more about The Law Enforcement Survival Institute.

CLICK HERE if you would like to contact us to learn more about training for your organization.

John Marx is the Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and Editor of CopsAlive.com. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence. Thank you for reading!

2 Comments

  • I’m a dispatcher trying to find other LEO sites to keep in contact with. I started a new blog to try to meet other people in this field to relate to and share stories. I put a link to your site on my site and hope it will help us all find each other’s sites.

  • Hi Andrea,

    I love your blog for dispatchers, and thanks for the link to http://www.CopsAlive.com. I have added a link to your site from CopsAlive.

    A couple of years ago I did a blog posting about other law enforcement blogs and that list might help you to connect with others, although I don’t know how many are still active. You can find my list at:
    http://www.copsalive.com/cops-blogging-and-business/

    We have also been recognized on some lists of Top Law Enforcement Blogs and you find one of those lists here:
    http://www.excite.com/education/others/top-20-cj-blogs

    Criminal Justice Degree Schools also put together a list of Top 50 Law Enforcement Blogs and you can find that list here:
    http://www.copsalive.com/copsalive-named-in-top-50-criminal-justice-blogs/

    If you want to write something for CopsAlive about how you deal with stress, I am always looking to reach the communications audience so I would welcome a guest post if you are interested.

    Please let me know if I can do anything else to help you, and please stay in touch.

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