First responders are chronically exposed to traumatic situations. Feelings of frustration, helplessness, and anger can be exacerbated by tragic events that are occurring locally, nationally, and internationally. As public servants, it is inherent to focus on others and it is also professional survival to suffer in silence while continuing to perform the job. First responders may forget that it is also human to have reactions to stressful events. Understanding stress reactions will not only help you monitor your own reactions, but also help identify any peers who might be experiencing distress.
Some of us may experience the release of powerful stress hormones after such an event that contribute to physical, emotional and behavioral reactions, all of which are normal and, in time, will gradually fade away. For many of us, the stress reactions will not necessarily be intense, but there may be some challenges in our journey to bounce back. Here are a few tips to help you accelerate your ability to bounce back and function well again.