Five Ways to Stay Sane When Someone You Love Has a Dangerous Job

Here are five ways to help anxiety if you are a police spouse, military spouse, a first responder spouse, or have a loved one who works in another dangerous job.Some people are wired to work in a dangerous job. I wrote about our experiences with this here. Others parent these types, are closely related to them, or marry them. If you’re one of the people left at home, then you probably deal with a heap of worry at times. Whether you have a spouse or parent in law enforcement, a sibling that works as a first responder, or a child in the military, you know what it’s like to deal with worry. You probably have your own set of mind maneuvers to keep your anxiety chained in the cage where it belongs. If you’re like me, though, you can always use some new ideas.

What if you’re new to the Loved-Ones-In-Harm’s-Way Club? Did you leave your wedding night with all your stuff packed in a moving truck to head to a new military base? Are you a parent who recently attended an academy graduation and are wondering what’s next? Welcome to the lifestyle. Here are five ways I’ve found to maintain my sanity when my own loved ones are on duty.


The more I pray, the better I feel. My late mother-in-law was a police dispatcher, and she often sent my husband on intense calls.

When I asked her how in the world she managed to do that, knowing her son had such a dangerous job, she said, “Child, I pray the whole time.”

I’ve been praying ever since. Prayer does not stop bad things from happening, but it gets us through the worst times. I prayed us through day-to-day situations, numerous rescues, my husband’s heart attack, and other rocky times. No matter how terrified I was or am, prayer brings me back to a centered spot where I can deal with life.

If you’re new to the Anxious Loved Ones’ Club, talk to your Higher Power. Often. Trust me. This one is huge.

ExerciseHere are ways to calm anxiety and worry when your loved one has a dangerous job.

This is a big one for me. Getting the endorphins kicking helps clear my head and keeps anxiety at bay. More than that, accomplishing fitness goals helps me feel strong. There’s something awful about watching your husband take off on a rescue in a hurricane. It’s empowering to know that you’re strong enough to handle a chain saw and pull downed trees aside so he can make it back home safely. And, God forbid, if that Something Bad does happen, I know that if I’m tough enough to run five miles, I will somehow come out on the other side whatever the outcome.


Sometimes it’s okay to check out from what your loved one does for a living. Your worry is not keeping him safe. So pledge to forget about his or her dangerous job for a certain amount of time each day. I started my married life waiting up for my husband every night he got called out. Some weird part of me thought I could get him home in one piece if I was present on the front porch.

Needless to say, I was tired. And evil. I had to change tactics.

If you stay anxious, then allocate some time each day to forget what your loved one does. Start with a couple of minutes. Promise yourself you can get back to your worrying when that time is up. Extend the denial time a little each day. Before you know it, you’ll feel sane. You’ll also be well-rested. Everyone will thank you. True story.

When you are dealing with anxiety caused by loved ones in a dangerous job, make art!Creativity

Make some art. Turn your worry into something pretty. When our son was out doing some dangerous tasks for a few months, my husband took to wood-working. He would disappear into his shop and would tell me how clear his mind felt there. We’ve all reaped the benefits of his beautiful art, and he’s made some money. Bonus!

Art, writing, sculpting, making candles, creating soaps, and/or scrapbooking are ways to Turn Your Concern. The art you create from your worry is also a gorgeous message to your loved one about how much you love them.


Your loved one did not start doing this dangerous job, whatever it may be, without excellent training. People don’t generally head off into harm’s way without some background knowledge of how to stay alive. Military, police, fire, and first responder training is pretty awesome. I’d go so far to say that our people have the best preparation in the world. That’s probably why so many international students come over to learn skills from our loved ones in harm’s way. Trust the training. It will carry them through.

Staying sane while your loved one is busy putting his or her life on the line is no easy task. Hopefully, these ideas will help. What methods do you use to keep yourself calm? Leave them below in the comments!


Here are some related TPT products of mine to check out!

These reading manipulative activities will help your students develop their predicting skills.
While we’re checking out from our anxiety, we’re always asking our kids and students to predict what will happen next. Here are some activities to help develop that skill.
These no-prep packets incorporate a wildlife theme to teach functional text features and author's purpose. These are engaging activities for reading.
As long as we’re on the topic of dangerous jobs–how many of you work with grizzly bears? Here are some safety measures you can share with your students.
These inferencing activities incorporate vocabulary and reading manipulatives to help your students develop higher order thinking skills.
Sometimes anxiety makes us inference incorrectly about what is really going on. Teach your students this skill with these activities.
This no-prep literacy and problem solving activity integrates math, science, and reading. Math problem solving, main ideas, summarizing, and vocabulary are all included. So are the grizzly bears.
Grizzly bears can make any job a dangerous job. Help your students learn the facts. The bear facts.
The reading manipulative sequencing activities in this packet will help improve your students' reading comprehension.
We can all sequence the ways we maintain our sanity each day. Help your students sequence what they read with these activities.

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