Wellbeing and Support for Correctional Officers

National Correctional Officers Week is celebrated the first full week in May, but at Bob Barker Company, we try to show appreciation for these brave men and women all year long. And as if their job isn’t challenging enough, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is adding unforeseen and unimaginable stress. Over 30 correctional officers have died as a result of COVID-19 and there are thousands more under quarantine or who have tested positive. Dozens are living away from home, some in RVs or sleeping in their cars so as to not endanger their loved ones. As a small gesture of care and support for America’s correctional officers, we encourage you to share this video of officers from around the country telling a story that very few hear.

Also, please check out the following resources and share with your loved ones to help with mental wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.

Managing Stress

Mental wellbeing begins with limiting or effectively dealing with stress. Although stress is never completely avoidable, there are healthy ways to approach the stress that you feel. The National Center for PTSD recommends the following methods for managing stress throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Increase sense of safety
  • Stay connected
  • Cultivate ways to be more calm
  • Improve your sense of control and ability to endure
  • Remain hopeful

 For more information, see the following resources:

Developing Happy and Healthy Relationships

Relationships can have a polarizing effect on our wellbeing. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows can be felt based on how we participate in our human relationships. The American Jail Association has many great tips on how to develop healthy relationships, including:

  • Prioritize quality time
  • Intentionally work on improving your communication
  • Forgive
  • Say “thank you” often
  • Create a shared vision

 For more information, see the following resources:

Partaking in Calming Exercises

Exercise and meditation are proven ways to improve our wellbeing. Exercises don’t have to include long runs or heavy weights, and simple exercises can be extremely effective. Harvard Medical School provides these suggestions for exercises that can help keep you calm:

  • Breath focus and body scan
  • Guided imagery
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga and tai chi
  • Repetitive prayer

For more information, see the following resources:

Building Your Support System

One thing that may be hard to keep in mind during a period of social distancing and isolation is that we’re really all in this together. Although we may be apart, there are still ways to find support or provide support for others. Talkspace offers these suggestions for building your support system:

  • Know what you want from a support system
  • Build your bonds with existing family and friends
  • Embrace your interests
  • Expand your professional connections
  • Create your own personal support area

For more information, see the following resources: