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There are lots of sources of anxiety as a police wife – that’s never going to change. What matters is what you do about it – these 5 things will help!
Even before my husband was in law enforcement, I was an incredibly anxious person. I mean, pretty much throughout my life, I’ve always been anxious – I actually didn’t realize it was to the point of “disorder” until I started taking an anti-depressant and realized how quiet my brain was all of a sudden.
For instance, when I used my sewing machine a few years ago pre-SSRI, I obsessively worried about accidentally getting my finger stuck in it. I used it the other day and only thought about it at the very end of my sewing session when I realized I hadn’t thought about it the whole time.
Needless to say, I understand anxiety.
And as a police wife, you go through a lot of anxiety, am I right?
Whether it’s because your husband actually got into a fight with someone, or you just heard one of the many awful stories about another fallen officer in the news, there’s always something around that can make your anxiety spike.
What can you do with all that anxiety? Here’s a quick guide on how to cope with your anxiety as a police wife.
5 Things To Do About Your Anxiety as a Police Wife
Stop with the, “What if?” game.
Seriously, thinking about all the things that could possibly happen will drive you crazy. Especially if you’re particularly creative – just don’t play it!
If you insist on playing this game, use it to help you actually put plans in place.
If you want to ask yourself, “What if something happens to him?”, don’t just go to the emotional, grief-stricken response. Focus on the logistical stuff – things like having a will in place, having sufficient life insurance, and having a support system to help.
Having actual, actionable plans in place instead of just anxiety about what could happen will help you stay calm, no matter what happens around you.
Get a little perspective.
Something that helps me when I start getting overly anxious about my husband or my son is keeping things in perspective.
The thing is, life is inherently dangerous. Anything could happen, anytime. I mean, you’ve heard stories of people dying out of the blue because of an undetected heart defect.
Possible tragedy is around every corner. That can be scary, yes – but that truth can also be freeing. It can mean you worry less about the what-ifs of police wife life because you can accept that, hey – something could happen if he was driving to a boring job just as surely as something could happen to him on duty.
Gaining perspective on how dangerous life is in general can help you not feel so stressed out about the possibility of it happening to you.
You can read more on that topic here: Dealing With Fear As A Police Wife.
Use your nervous energy elsewhere.
Rather than lingering on your anxiety and all the awful things that could happen, put all that nervous energy to good use.
If you have a hobby you specifically enjoy, do that! Otherwise, here’s a list of ideas:
- Call a friend. This can either help you talk things out if that’s what you feel like doing, or it can take your mind off things by focusing on catching up with someone you love.
- Get artsy. If you have kids, this is particularly useful. You can make it a family activity and enjoy getting messy. Personally, I enjoy this because it takes all pressure off for me to create something aesthetically pleasing. It means I can focus on enjoying the process instead.
- Watch a stupid movie/TV show. My favorite show for this purpose is usually The Office. I’ve seen it so many times, but I still love it! I mean, maybe a serious show works better for you because you can “disappear” into it, but for me, lighthearted shows work best.
- Read a book. Again, light, fluffy, easy reads are usually my go-to, but whatever books you enjoy most – go for it!
Write it out.
Personally I’m big on writing. Every so often, my mind feels crazy cluttered and I can’t sort out my thoughts. When that happens, I know I need to do a “free write” session where I write or type out my thoughts as fast as I can without self-editing.
Without fail, I come away with some sort of epiphany about how to deal with a problem or just feel better about things in general. I mean, I hate having scrambled thoughts – so getting them all sorted out again feels really good.
If you’re not a big writer, you can also talk it out using your phone’s voice recorder – or even just talk to yourself. That’s probably best done in the car or something where nobody can hear you, but no judgment here!
While talking to someone can definitely help, sometimes you don’t necessarily need or want feedback, you just need to get it out. Either one of these is great for times like that!
Pray about it.
If you’re going to talk it out anyway, I’d definitely recommend praying about everything and giving it to God. After all, He is incredibly invested in the well-being and happiness of both you and your husband. He’s pretty much the best confidant you could find!
You might also enjoy this post, God Made You A Police Wife: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of That – or for more detailed help partnering with God as a police wife, you’d love The Proverbs 31 Police Wife!
No matter what the source of your anxiety is this time around, don’t let it overwhelm you! Do something constructive with that energy and keep on going – because you will get through this.