What will it mean for my health?

Being a Deputy is probably not great news for your health – but I guess that’s true of most work, so put this in some perspective.

In my experience, it is difficult to make time to exercise or eat well, especially during busy periods – but if you’re coming into the role with good habits, you’ve probably got a better chance of maintaining them. If you follow the trend many Deputies have set this term, and get yourself a bike or an e-bike, you might even stand a chance of improving it!

If you have a major health event during your time in the States, it can be difficult to force yourself to take the time to recover properly, because it’s the kind of job that demands you should be “always on” – but you absolutely must put your recovery first. You’re in this for the long haul, and that means you need to make time to look after yourself when your body or mind demands it.

You do need to be aware that the impact on your mental and emotional health is likely to be substantial. If you have pre-existing mental health conditions, this kind of job could make things harder. Ask for help when you need it. Ask people you love and trust to keep an eye out for you, and to encourage you to take action when you need to.

And finally, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to (or doesn’t find it easy to) acknowledge how things affect you emotionally, make sure you’ve got some kind of positive way of coping with emotional stress. Because it does come with the territory, and you need a way of managing it that’s going to protect your health, not worsen it.

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