Are you fit for duty?

It is my belief that it is each of our personal responsibility to be "fit for duty". While this term is typically reserved for military or first responders - the way I see it, our current world presents challenges which necessitate taking extreme ownership in our lives - to be resilient and strong - as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, peer, coach, and all the other roles we hold.

I teach my clients about being Fit For Duty - through a balance of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional fitness.

In today's dynamic, always striving, always on, always go-go-go culture; we are ALL asked to be in a constant state of high alert and productivity. 

First responders receive training to be physically fit for duty and capable of performing critical job tasks. But what is missing from that training, and our society in general, is learning the mental, emotional, and spiritual components. 

As a law enforcement officer, I quickly observed the effects on my own mental state from working under 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 (feminine) with Yang is a vital component to health.

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. While physical fitness prepares our body's to handle critical stress; we must also be able to complete the stress cycle. This means addressing how the body processes stress, versus only addressing the stressor itself. Through applying stress management techniques, I gained 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!)  

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Courtney Ashworth Holistic Health & Life Coaching
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