Are you fit for duty?

I'm here to argue that being "fit for duty" is not reserved for military or law enforcement service - but rather because of  the unique challenges our current world presents - it is everyone's responsibility as humans to be "fit for duty" - as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, peer, coach, and all the other roles we hold.

Fit for Duty, from my perspective, includes a balance of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional fitness. This requires deep understanding and awareness of your unique and dynamic needs. 

As a law enforcement officer, I've been trained and programmed to be physically fit for duty, To be prepared and ready for whatever may be thrown at us. Some days that looks like administrative work, other days its responding to high-stress, critical incidents, managing disaster, and bringing homeostasis to chaos. Due to the variability nature of the job, we are trained to live in a constant state of alertness, always on guard, prepared for whatever may come. 

I recognize this is not unique to law enforcement, but in today's world - we' are ALL asked to be 'always on', with no signs of slowing down. Even during a pandemic, we were asked as a society to work from home and continue productivity. While this is amazing for our economy and I am not for a moment questioning anyone who has learned to thrive in new reality, it has greatly reduced our ability to turn work off. To restore balance. 

In law enforcement, we receive training to be physically fit for duty and capable of performing our job. What's missing is how to complete the stress cycle. How to deal with stress in the body. I am here to fix that.

I learned quickly the effects on my mental state and physical body from working in a state of heightened stress 100% of the time. This is a very Yang (masculine) way of being. And regardless of your gender, restoring a balance of Yin and Yang is a vital component to health. I began researching the effects of stress, burnout, and something called the Human Giver Syndrome. 

Human Givers are people who have a duty or moral obligation to other human beings. To give everything they have- their time, their attention, their patience, their love, their rest, their bodies, their hopes and dreams, their very lives sometimes, sacrificed on the altar of other humans' comfort and convenience. (Borrowed from Emily Nagoski Burnout)

Things began to shift for me once I became aware that stress is a natural part of the human condition, not unique to first responders, but experienced by all humans at some level. I began to value the importance of addressing stress in the body versus only addressing the stressor itself. Through applying stress management techniques, I began to see more balance and wellness in my life and finally felt a true understanding for what "fit for duty" means in my life., and how I can be fit for all of my roles - and still have energy left over.

Things that support this include: daily movement, eating nourishing foods that support my gut-brain axis, getting plenty of quality sleep, daily mindfulness practice, social connection, taking time for journaling and reflection, spending time in nature, and giving myself permission to take breaks before I need them.  

I no longer see wellness as a state of being, but rather as a state of action. The ability to flow from stress into calm and back into stress (and not getting stuck in one or the other!)  

If you would like to learn more about this, and join in the journey of being Fit for Duty (regardless of what your "duty" is) check out my resources below or hop on a call with me to find out if working together in a coaching relationship is right for you. 

woman in black pants and pink shirt standing on green grass field during daytime

Nature's Pink Drink

All about Beet Kvass. Benefits + recipe

2021-05-15 4 min read

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Sleep Hygiene: What It Is and Why It Matters

We don’t get enough sleep anymore, and it’s making us miserable.

2021-05-06 4 min read

Ancestral Health Wellness Coaching

Feeling overwhelmed with hectic modern life? These ideas can help you get back to your roots and become well for good.

2021-04-12 2 min read

The Language of Self-Love

My favorite solutions for incorporating more self-love into your self-talk

2021-02-22 2 min read

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Courtney Ashworth Holistic Health & Life Coaching

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