How A Little Self Care Can Go A Long Way

6 Keys to Shift from Overburdened to Solution Focused

2020-12-07 | Dr. Barbara Bailey , Founder, Collaborative Crime Solutions

Legislative acts are changing the nature of how we police and criminal justice professionals are being called to implement the changes quickly. It can be easy to slip into overwhelm. 

In our history, the police have been depicted as both the hero and the villain. The media has driven the pendulum in each extreme, with the “Us against Them” mentality at the root. You can fill in the blank for who “Us” and “Them” are depending on current events. Please ask yourself, “does it have to be that way?” Is it time to drop this perspective so we can stop the cycle of fear, anxiety, and worry held by officers and the public alike?

You are in a unique position to make positive changes in the field of criminal justice, but you must practice self-care first. How will you impact the lives of your staff and community? 

  1. Get in touch with your values and beliefs: Most of us do not do this, but our values shape our behavior. They are what we believe to be right, wrong, and important. Do your values align with how you are running your organization? What beliefs do you hold about how the criminal justice system should be? Is it time to create new beliefs? 
  2. Compassion for Others from a place of equanimity: It’s easy to say that you have compassion for others, but if something happens directly to you, can you forgive? What does “compassion” mean to you? Start by building real relationships with the stakeholders in your community. Look through the lens of all those you serve to gain a greater perspective. You cannot bring change on your own. Can you stay in balance and drop judgments? 
  3. Take time to meditate: Wait, what? Meditate? Yes, meditate. There are many different ways to meditate. You will have to find what works for you. But consider quieting your mind and connect to you. Shut your brain off for a bit. You head only know what it’s been told, learned, and experienced. Connect to a deeper level of intuition and create new strategies. Science has proven there are many benefits, such as higher self-awareness, less anxiety, and better attention spans.
  4. Movement and Diet: Get up and move. What you put in your body impacts how you think and feel. Make healthy choices. 
  5. Stay on course: Change is not easy, but if you know the changes you are making are for the good of all involved, do not give in. Inner resistance may rise up. Acknowledge it and release it. Change can be scary. Surround yourself with people who will support you and see your vision. 
  6. Separate from Work: Let go of the belief that you have to be on duty 24/7. Take the time to enjoy the little things in life. Get outside, away from computers, cellphones, and artificial light. When it’s time to get back on task, you will come back renewed and rejuvenated. 


Take a moment to think about this: what is the ONE thing you can do right now that will make your list of issues go away? I can help you get clear and make those changes.  If you are a public service professional, I can help you maximize your leadership potential and create healthy and mutually supportive relationships to solve your community’s biggest challenges. I utilize my formal education, training, and the principles of connection, collaboration, partnerships, intuition, and empathy.

If you are a public service professional who is feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I can provide you with tools to bring you back into balance and remembrance of why you entered the field.

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