[Closed] De-stressing Contest. Win a paracord bracelet!

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
Hello all and welcome to the latest EMTlife contest. This contest will be an essay contest (insert groans here). I know I'm so cruel to you people making you write words and stuff. Don't panic everyone its just a short essay.

Winners will be chosen by the community leaders assuming I can find them and wake them up after all the labor day beer and barbecue.

There will be 5 winners this time around because my head hurts when I have to address more than 5 envelopes. I find holding a pen difficult and I ate my last big crayon yesterday.

Contest rules are as follows. All entries must be at least 100 words long, yes you can use the same word more than once and no you can't just copy and paste the word beer 100 times. I'm looking for a little originality here folks.

Grand prize will be one of Anjel1030's custom para cord bracelets in your choice of colors (subject to the limit of colors she has on hand but don't sweat it she has tons of colors). For more info on these very cool bracelets look here http://www.emtlife.com/showthread.php?t=30158. If you don't feel like writing anything she also sells them for ridiculously low prices.

The 4 runners up will receive EMTlife patches.

Answer this question in at least 100 words. How do you unwind after a stressful day at work.

To qualify answers must be healthy. Going home and getting plowed for instance is not acceptable.




The contest will remain open for 24 hours. After it closes we'll announce the winners within 48 hours. Grand prize winner will be contacted directly by Angel1030 for info on how to order their prize all other winners will be contacted by a community leader for info on how to receive their patches.

Grand prize winner must have a US or Canadian mailing address to receive the bracelet. Patches can be mailed anywhere postal service is available. Please allow 14 days to receive your prize after providing your valid mailing address.

Good luck everyone and as always thank you for being an active part of the EMTlife community :)
 
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bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
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Sorry just to clarify it needs to be 100 words long not 200 that was a typo.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
I had a great routine for a while, when I could count on working one of the many 10 hour day shifts. When you get home at six in the evening, sometimes this job doesn't seem so different from the rest of the working world. After all, you're stuck in the rush hour traffic like everyone, and if you think anyone on the highway is going to let you into their lane just because you spent the day on ambulance, well you are sorrily mistaken.

But I digress, I love getting home in time for dinner. When I'm working the truck, I am living at home with my family. Working sports medicine (which has its own unique stresses), I come home to my three spectacular roommates. No matter where I am, we almost always have dinner together, which I find to be one of the most relaxing things possible. I don't expect to talk about work. Sometimes it comes up, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes something funny happened, and I'll share it and we'll laugh and then go back to talking about something else or watching TV. I don't expect my family or friends to care about my day because I work in EMS. We all get equal time to talk about our days, since my family all works and so do my roommates. It's a good normalizer to listen to my sister's crappy day, bad things happen in any job, and they will stress you out.

A good meal and some lounging can pretty much always be counted on after work. I rarely make plans to do anything on a work day, half the time I get too tired, and the rest of the time I get held over and and have to rush around, which is no fun. So I spend the rest of the day at home, which is great because some days I end up having an excellent conversation about healthcare with my mom.

She has been a practicing dietician for has long as I have been a practicing EMT (2 years). As such, we're both pretty new to our respective fields but have been around long enough to figure out how our jobs work and what our roll in the system is. To be sure, there is not a lot of overlap between dietetics and EMS, yet we can almost always find a patient that fits our unique knowledge bases. I am starting to realize how inadequate parts of this country's healthcare system is, something my mom is well aware of given her work in inpatient, outpatient, oncology, and psych areas. What is most apparent to her (and now me), is that there are many, many people out there that simply cannot choose to help themselves. So many of her patients will not listen to her advice, and then they get quite sick and occasionally die. Many of my patients didn't bother to listen to the experts, and are now quite sick. It's a cycle that we are both a part of. Many of you know my thoughts on working straight BLS, I often hate it because there is so little I can do for patients in pain and suffering. But I am not alone, and my mom is quick to remind me that she cannot do all that much either. If they don't listen, her hands are often tied and all that can be done is to send them to someone else.

Mind you this doesn't happen everyday, usually only when one of us has a day that just leaves your head shaking for hours. But such a talk will usually even things out.

My boss had me fill a 1600-mid shift for a month and change this summer at a distance base. It was slower and I had a great partner and my own truck, but I once went five days without seeing my family despite all of them being at home. I had to come up with a new way of unwinding, and I just failed. I would stay up late online tiring myself out so I could get to sleep, and then wake up at 11 or noon to an empty house. A month of summer just disappeared when I found myself with no one to talk to.

How strange.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
Some very good observations in there Tigger. One of the big ones is that it sounds like you have a good support system to draw on. I think we tend to forget that we need people we can lean on. It becomes very easy to isolate yourself in this profession.
 

MexDefender

Forum Lieutenant
108
0
0
If it's really stressful I put some classical music on in my car and take a drive through the farmland and enjoy the scenery. I'll follow up with a run through the country and watch the sunset as I'm running. The fresh air does wonders for my mind, I can always clear whatever problem or stress is plaguing me with a good run in fresh cold air.

If I cannot muster up the strength to leave the house than I make dinner, something that would take my full concentration. I find it relaxing to just take the time to make a good meal and eat it instead of flipping on the TV or texting/social networking/video games.

Socializing to me is counterproductive but everyone is different, after a good meal or run maybe both, I'll put a movie on or a comedy stand up and spend the next hour or so laughing which helps so much.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
If it's really stressful I put some classical music on in my car and take a drive through the farmland and enjoy the scenery. I'll follow up with a run through the country and watch the sunset as I'm running. The fresh air does wonders for my mind, I can always clear whatever problem or stress is plaguing me with a good run in fresh cold air.

If I cannot muster up the strength to leave the house than I make dinner, something that would take my full concentration. I find it relaxing to just take the time to make a good meal and eat it instead of flipping on the TV or texting/social networking/video games.

Socializing to me is counterproductive but everyone is different, after a good meal or run maybe both, I'll put a movie on or a comedy stand up and spend the next hour or so laughing which helps so much.
I've often that there are those who seek people out when they are under stress and those that do not. I personally tend to prefer being alone when I'm stressed sounds like you're a bit this way as well. I have been told by people who know about these things that people like us are at a higher risk of stress related issues.
 

Achilles

Forum Deputy Chief
1,356
1
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After a very stressful day of work, I like so sit down and watch my favorite show, Walker Texas Ranger. If Walker is not on, I will clean my truck, eat something or take a nap. I prefer not to go on any online forums as I might blow up on someone for something really simple, or I might troll them, and that is not the kind of person that I am. However, I will often check my Facebook page to see if any girls have messaged me ^_^. There is one girl who I’m talking to named Anngilyn, who’s really nice and knows what I go through on a daily basis. My Cocker Spaniel also helps bring me down.

If Walker Texas Ranger is not on, and I chose to eat something, I will usually make something quick and easy, such as soup, or a pizza. But a tuna sandwich is my favorite. My dog enjoys that I pour the liquid in the can over his food also.

When I clean my truck, it occupies me because I go into such detail cleaning it. It's a Ford F250 and its red which is my favorite color. I will clean between the seats, the A, B, & C posts, under the upholstery and my toolbox as well. A clean truck is a happy truck. I snowplow and landscape with that truck and I like my clients to see that I take care of my equipment.

My dog that is really our family dog, he is going on 17 years old, after we rescued him at age three. Unfortunately, I don't think he has much longer but, I don't want him to be in pain so it almost works out for both of us.

When I take a nap, I like to pray before I sleep because I know God has a mission for me. Also when I pray it usually makes me more comfortable because life is like five minutes compared to eternity.

This is an essay on how I deal with my stress after a long day at work. In addition to these ways to deal with stress, I also have a great support system with my family and friends and I know they will always be with me to help me along the way.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
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Oh man halfway through that I was picturing Private Pyle from full metal jacket saying it out loud. It is 100 words though :)
 

socoemt

Forum Probie
28
0
0
After a stressful day of work, I start to unwind as soon as I get in the car. Usually tune in to NPR and listen to the news, or if I'm lucky Car Talk is on. Nothing better than hearing about other people's misfortune with their cars! If nothing good is on NPR I will put on some music at a level that most doctors would describe as damaging and sing as loud as I can.

Once I get home my wife and I debrief together. I tell her what went on with me all day and she tells me horror stories from teaching fourth grade all day. My favorite story was when one of her students threw a laptop across the room and had to be physically removed after kicking a social worker in the kneecap, haha!

In the evening if I can work up the motivation I will go work out. I like to do that by myself as it gives me time to myself to work off my frustrations. More often than not I don't have the energy and all I want to do is go into standby mode for a while, so I turn to my favorite tv shows. Arrested Development is always a good choice, as is Boston Legal or New Girl, or an old classic: M*A*S*H. If Alan Alda as Hawkeye can't make me laugh I have officially lost my soul forever. I know a lot of people frown on tv in general but it allows me to forget about all the stress of the day and escape from reality for a little while. I always feel refreshed after zoning out in front of the tube for a bit.

That's pretty much it for me!
 
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DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
10,264
2,616
113
My unwinding usually starts before I'm off shift. I have a great partner who is extremely funny. So throught the day we are joking around, singing, and making fools of ourselves.

Once the shift is over I'll sometimes head over to our main deployment station and BS with the supervisor. Then I start the I 30-45 minute drive back home. I'll usually listen to country or rock with the windows down (even if it's 32 degrees or 110 degrees) and possibly sing. On the drive I'll hit some small off road trails. The trails are maybe the size of a football field so it's pretty small. I was raised in the off-roading lifestyle. It is one of the things that will truly relax me.

Once at home I'll have dinner with my parents (still live at home) and we all talk about our days. That is usually followed up by some TV or some Call of Duty on the PS3 (I'm extremely bad at it). I may troll some of my friends on Facebook.

I have a great support system. My family all understands how EMS is. I also have a lot of friends who are EMTs and Medics so if there is ever something that is really bothering me, they are just a phone call away.

At this stage of my life my whole world is pretty much EMS. I am working full time as an EMT, I teach skills up at the college for the EMT program, and I'm going to hopefully be joining a local search and rescue team. I am trying to get my foot in the door to many different places because I am still undecided as to what to do after my medic.

I'm sure there are a lot of errors in my poorly written essay but that's what happens when you have English high school teachers who you could not stand to be around.
 

MrJones

Iconoclast
652
166
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Stress is, in large part, all about perspective. That’s why it means different things to different people, and why something that stresses me might have no effect on you. I have tried a variety of healthy - and not so healthy - methods of dealing with stress, and have finally come up with a sure-fire solution for dissolving the tension and putting things in perspective.

Whenever I find myself overly stressed, regardless of whether the source be work, school, or some other stressor, I simply stop, close my eyes, and picture myself back in Iraq during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Compared to that, I realize that nothing in my life now is really stressful.

Works every time.
 

Anjel

Forum Angel
4,548
302
83
After a very stressful day of work, I like so sit down and watch my favorite show, Walker Texas Ranger.
You sir are my favorite. You win! Errr oh wait I'm not a CL.... Yet. Lol
 
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phideux

Forum Captain
431
44
28
If I have one of those stressful days, I start to unwind as soon as I get in the car. There are a few good morning shows on here that get me feeling better. Then I start the 74 mile commute back home. About halfway home is where the real stress relief kicks in. Standard in-car equipment for me always includes my every day carry Glock, and a 12ga and AR in the trunk. At that halfway home mark I cut into the National Forest and head off to the shooting range. After a few minutes with the AR most of the stress is gone, throw in a couple of rounds of 40cal, and some 12ga buckshot going downrange, I'm grinning like a kid for the rest of the ride.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
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I love it guys keep em coming. This is going to be way harder to judge than I had thought :)
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
I also have a great support system with my family and friends and I know they will always be with me to help me along the way.
:) this is my favorite part.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
Still time to enter the contest :)

I'll be keeping the contest open till this evening folks so there's still time to get in on it. Grand prize is one of Anjels very cool paracord bracelets. Don't miss out.
 

abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
3,380
5
36
I find that my life is a constant series of subject-changing jumps, from home to work, from work to the gym, from the gym back home where life with kids means no thought is really ever complete. Compartmentalizing like this can be good and bad, not taking the stresses from one compartment into your time in the next one can be healthy, but ignoring the stresses as they build up can lead to being overwhelmed.

I get total escape from all stresses when I work out. I play music that makes me smile, I focus on what I'm doing for the entire time, and I try to push back thinking about anything else. When I'm done and I allow my thoughts to wander again, the first topics to mind are the ones that have the highest priority, and I try to work through them.

Stresses from work are usually not my business. I tend to want to improve other people, over whom I have no control. This is futile, and leads me to frustration...I risk an epidural hematoma when I beat my head against that brick wall. I discuss what bothers me with a trusted friend (married that guy, he was so cool), and he talks me off my Cliffs of Insanity, reminding me of that which I can control.

Focusing on what I have control over is my best solution. My actions and behaviors, my plans for how to best spend my time, my plans for how to fit plenty of fun and relaxation in a busy life are things I have total control over and spend time thinking through.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
4,043
41
48
I tend to want to improve other people, over whom I have no control.

Focusing on what I have control over is my best solution.
Bulls eye. So true both in EMS and in our personal lives.

This is something it took me a very long time to figure out and something that I still very often forget.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
To qualify answers must be healthy. Going home and getting plowed for instance is not acceptable.
Oddly enough, this is half of my destressing plan. I don't believe in drinking alone... it's not a good sign. But I do think that going out with coworkers, having a few drinks as a shift after your shift ends over an extended period of time can be destressing, and beneficial for camaraderie. Esp when you talk about non-work related stuff.

My first method of unwinding is enjoying time at the gym. typically 30 minutes to 60 minutes, no cell phone, no email, just Ipod with the volume just loud enough to block out all the outside stimuli.

The second thing I do is enjoy reading comic books, and watching cartoons. My current cartoon of choice is The Simpsons and Family Guy, but I also enjoy Archer. As for Comic books, I'm reading entire IDW line of Transformers, but I also enjoy Green Lantern and the new GI Joe comics. I get them digitally, so I can copy them all to my Ipad and read them all at my leisure.

Stress isn't always a bad thing (eustress makes us function better during stressful situation), but bottling up distress can cause grey hairs, high BP, and generally leads to unhappiness and poorer performance at work.
 

Jambi

Forum Deputy Chief
1,099
1
36
There are two things that are integral to keeping my stress levels low.

1. I worry only about those things that I can change and have control over. What that means is me. I have no control over anyone else. I cannot change other people. All I can be is an example for others.

1a. Try out therapy. Lots of my EMS patients go to therapy, so I decided to learn more about it. It was included in my insurance so I just called a guy up made an appointment. It was completely different from what I had been expecting. I kept on going, the co-pay is cheap, and you’ll be surprised what you learn about yourself and just how much of an impact different things can have on you. Consider a form of CE.

2. A great sex life. I’m serious about this one. Thankfully my wife didn’t read the part in the marriage handbook about cutting sex off after marriage!
 
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