Reducing Stress in the Military
Stress is the body’s way of combating demands and conditions that arise in your daily walk of life such as challenges, physical, and mental barriers. While stress can be a motivating factor to get moving on a mission, uncontrollable stress is often the culprit leading to health risks that take some time and effort to overcome.
The military resume writing professionals at Empire Resume, are all too familiar with how stress affects military members and their families. The military lifestyle is known for removing individuals from their comfort zone. From constantly facing the unknown, handling uncertainties, and having to constantly adjust to new surroundings, the military can be overwhelming.
Today, we’ll provide some stress busting tips that you can apply to help you have a more relaxed life in the military and at home.
- Nearly half of adults say they have laid awake at night because of stress in the prior month.
- More than three-quarters of adults report physical or emotional symptoms.
- Nearly 3 in 5 adults say they could have used more emotional support in the last year.
What You Should Know About Stress
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are five things you should know about stress:
- Everyone experiences stress
- Not all stress is bad
- Long-term stress can damage your health
- Stress can always be managed
- If stress is overwhelming, contact a health professional
Types of Stress
It’s difficult to reduce stress if you don’t know what type of stress you’re facing. The American Psychological Association (APA) says there are three types of stress:
1. Acute stress
This is the short-term stress that comes from the acts of the past and what’s to come in the future. It’s easily recognizable because it serves as a mental checklist of what you feel is going wrong in life, such as a deadline you’re rushing to meet, or to an upcoming deployment requiring you to leave your family behind.
2. Episodic Acute Stress
This is the stress that turns into non-stop worry. You begin to see danger in every situation and for some reason what happened continues to haunt you, even when what happened is long gone.
3. Chronic Stress
This is the stress that destroys the body and mind. It’s the never-ending, grinding stress that wears at you every second, minute, and hour of the day. Unfortunately, this is the stress that can result in death, violence, heart attack, and even a stroke.
Stress and the Military
Mix these unmanaged forms of stress with the Coronavirus pandemic and you may have a crisis on your hands. The APA’s May 2020 Stress in the Time of COVID-19 report shows that several factors trigger stress during this time. However, the economy and work are significant sources in the pandemic.
Unfortunately, women veterans already deal with enough stigmas when transitioning into the civilian workforce. And for the entire military community:
- Stay at home orders impact military families across the globe;
- The coronavirus impacts military readiness; and it
- Shifts military childcare and youth programs
Stress-Relieving Tips for the Military
Ready to conquer the stress you have in your life as a military member or veteran? Follow the tips below:
- Practice self-care. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy foods, and hydrate with water throughout the day. Also, make time to do the things you enjoy.
- Maintain positive thinking. The brain is a powerful organ. Always focus on the things that make you feel good inside.
- Relax. Take 5 minutes to do some deep breathing. Wisk yourself away and envision yourself in a quiet and peaceful place. Step away and take a walk and listen to music when needed.
- Identify your stress. When you recognize that you are stressed you can manage it. Watch for signs such as fast paced heartbeats, neck and back pains, headaches, trouble sleeping, and fatigue.
- Discover the source of stress. Often times, we can find out what triggers stress on an individual basis. If you know something will cause you stress, you can try to mentally and physically prepare for what’s to come.
- Focus on what you can control. You have the power to decide how you react to certain situations. Before reacting, ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to change this?” If not, let it go.
- Keep it simple. Keep your life simple. Let your yes be your yes and your no be your no. If a request will overwhelm you and consume your time and energy, you may want to turn it down.
For more ways to manage stress, visit Military OneSource. If your efforts to control the stress does not seem to fair well, do not worry. We’ve provided information to help you get the support you and your family needs to get through this tough time.
Get Free Stress Management Support
Empire Resume provides insightful information on our military to civilian blog. Overall, we strive to be the military community’s career services source for resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and more.
We couldn’t leave you without providing a resource who has the capability to see you through the other side of stress.
If you or someone you know is in a stress crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line by phone at 800-273-8255 or send a text to 838255.
This free resource is available 24/7 and serves all veterans (VA registration not required), service members, guard and reserve members, and their family and friends.
Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.