Reduce Stress and Coping Strategies
Story by: DEP MOB Staff
Here are some ways you can reduce the stress in your life that are useful not only for Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders and volunteers, but also for other family members experiencing the stress of separation or relocation. Try different techniques (each for at least 3 days) until you find ones that work for you. Some of the suggested coping strategies may mean major changes in the way you now face life. Try them. The only thing you have to lose is a lot of stress.
Exercise - Give physical expression to feelings of flight or fight through swimming, jogging, or tennis.
Eating habits - Keep calories under control and reduce sugar intake.
Relaxation exercises - Inhale as you count from 1 to 7, then hold your breath while counting to 7 and exhale for the same count. As you inhale and exhale, let go and feel your body relaxing. Or, relax by keeping everything out of your mind and focusing on the number "1."
Esthetic activity - Plan each day to take a walk in a garden or through an art museum.
Read enjoyable books which require your concentration - Browse through a bookstore or ask a librarian to help you select a book at your public library.
Practice active listening - Let others finish speaking without interruption; then respond.
Have a place for retreat at home - Initiate a quiet time at home when everyone in the house is quiet.
Slow down - Operating in overdrive burns up energy.
Organize and manage your time to avoid stress - Your time is precious and finite. Prioritize. Whatever does not get done today can go on your to do list for the next day. Each week, take your calendar and block out your free time first as a personal reward.
Focus on the quality of life - It is not the number of things you do, but how well you do what you do.
When making decisions take time to ponder slowly and weigh alternatives - As a result, you may be more satisfied with your decisions. But, don't be afraid to be spontaneous.
Take vacations suited to your needs and interests
Be more flexible.
Identify and accept your own strengths and limitations - Everyone is different.
Establish long-range goals for your life - Identify short-term objectives that help you achieve those goals.
Delegate some of your work to others, when possible - You do not have to do it all.
Program your work day in a way that makes effective use of your time and avoids "hurry sickness" - Revise your usual daily schedule or activities to eliminate as many events as possible that do not contribute directly to your own well-being. Allow more time for activities so as not to be rushed.
Widen your cultural and intellectual horizons - Experience plays, concerts, good books, and museums.
Open yourself to new friendships - Nourish yourself with communication with people, particularly those who reinforce your newly expanded interests.
Take personal responsibility for your actions and allow others to do the same.
As a summary, here are some quick tips on helping children cope with separation stress. You probably already do most of these so this will simply be a reminder.
-Be consistent: don't make new rules or relax discipline.
-Help children communicate with absent parent.
-Spend special time with children.
-Ensure proper rest, nutrition, and exercise.
-Encourage them to spend time with their friends.
-Discuss feelings about missing their absent parent.
-Praise your children.
-Be proud of your children and their contributions.
Army Community Service
Deployment & Mobilization Family Readiness
7264 Normandy Drive
Fort Riley, Kansas 66442
785-239-9435 or 785-240-5449 DSN (856)