Stress can hit military families hard. It is important to recognize stress when it starts to come on. Stress manifests itself many different ways and causes physical, emotional, and social problems for you. Frustration and anxiety often accompany stress. Some symptoms of stress include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of appetite
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Overall exhaustion
If stress is significantly affecting your life, seek help at a VA facility or counseling center.
Stress management is a way to control how certain facts and situations will affect you. Here are some ways to reduce stress:
- Take control. You are in charge of your life.
- Look at how you react. Self-awareness is paramount.
- Relax. Figure out what truly relieves stress for you.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Part of stress management is realizing that you are upsetting yourself. Develop a thick skin and think positively.
- Be productive: work that stress off through physical activity.
- Set goals, and importantly, be realistic. Baby steps all the way.
- Rest: make sure to get enough sleep.
- Volunteer. Helping others is a great mood-booster, and it will get your mind off stressful subjects.
- Don’t hide. Escapism and self-medication will only hurt you in the long run.
- Seek help. If you cannot manage, and stress is eating into your personal life, seek professional help now. You are never alone.