|Hill Air Force Base Newspapers
|No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)
|Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
|Hill Air Force Base Newspapers
COUT STMHSTH ThtQuGH 10G3TICS tho Hill ILn HIT Keep up with what's happening on base. P8 cf V7 Around 17-2- L tSIMl 25 0 Feb. 8, 1991 Easing wartime stress at home by Cept. William R. Marchand, M.D. but try to maintain your normal routine. Avoid feeling guilty for doing this. It is OK to with friends Staff pyschiatrist, Mental Health Clinic, Hill AFB Cable News Network brings the war into our living room, but we still don't know what's really happening over there. The kids are asking questions we're unsure how to answer. The problems of life go on. What can we do? There is no easy way to get through a war, especially if someone we love is deployed. How ever, there are some things we can do to ease the stress. Here are a few tips: Be aware of and share your feelings. We all experience a variety of emotions in response to war, such as sadness, anger, fear, disgust, dread or excitement. These are normal feelings; but, because they can make us uncomfortable, we may stuff them into our subconscious to avoid the discomfort. This may feel better in the short run; however, it's not a good solution. It's important for our to be able to express our emotions mental in a safe, constructive way. One way to do this is just by talking about them. Simply saying to a friend, "I'm really angry about the war today," can be the first step toward feeling better. Keep your life as normal as possible. It's tempting to spend every spare minute watching the news, thinking about the war, or talking about it. However, this may add to your sense of frustration. Going on with your life will help you feel better. Try limiting the news to half an hour once or twice a day. Talk about your feelings, but avoid long speculative discussions that will leave you feeling more confused and fearful. Exercise, go shopping or just spend time day-to-da- y long-rang- e well-bein- g go on with life and even enjoy it as much as possible. Practice letting go. We must accept the reality we that cannot control even one thing that happens in the Persian Gulf. Excessive worry only hurts us. It doesn't help anyone. Letting go doesn't mean not caring. It simply means accepting the limits of our ability to control events. Talk to your kids. A straightforward approach will help them (and you) cope. Preteens, especially those under age 8 or 9, need reassurance that they will be safe from harm. Otherwise, they may not understand that the war is far away and that they won't be in danger. Avoid a coverup it won't work. Explain what's happening in terms they can under- stand. With teens, the most important thing is to accept their thoughts and feelings about the conflict. They may see it in a different light than you. Expect idealist debates about the issues involved. Encourage them to come to their own conclusions through honest, open discussions. Don't be hurt if they are opposed to war, even if Dad, or Mom, is deployed. This doesn't mean they don't love or support the parent, it just means they are struggling to find their own moral belief system. Consider a support group. I'll be starting one for spouses of deployed service members today. It will be held each Friday from p.m. at the Family Support Center, Bldg. 308N, and will continue as to register or long as there is a need. Call for more information. 2-- 3 777-468- 1 777-790- 9 CogoMillito tfb$ olwoyg Everyone suffers during armed conflict by Dave Larsen Hill AFB Family Support Center No doubt one of the greatest stresses of our modern era is conflict or the threat of war. Not only does war or armed conflict create casualties in the field, but wives and families suffer at home as well. One of the real enemies at home is stress that malicious marauder that saps our strength, sours our stomach, frays our nerves and weakens our resistance to disease. The keys to conquering stress may be difficult to implement, since they suggest that we do things we are not used to doing, but they are not hard to identify. Actually, simplicity is one of the keys. When a class is asked, "What do you do to relieve stress?" some common answers include: go for a walk, watch a funny movie, talk to a friend, do house work, do cross stitch, practice stretching, breathing and other relaxation exercises, listen to soothing music, swim, run, play sports. All of these activities can be helpful, but why? What do all of these have in common that make them effective in reducing stress? All require a shift in focus from stressful thoughts to other neutral or more positive activities. In other words, they help to keep a person's mind out of the rut of dwelling Frederick Douglass A leader in the struggle for freedom on stressful possibilities. Much stress, particularly for families in times of war, comes from worrying about things we can't do much about. A solution to this is suggested in the Serenity prayer. God grant me well-know- n The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. The reason this prayer is so well known is that it works. Abuse of alcohol makes individuals particularly vulnerable to stress, but members of Alcoholics Anonymous have found this simple prayer, and the philosophy it suggests, to be extremely helpful. This prayer suggests three questions that have proven to be very helpful for individuals in distress. When a person begins to feel fear or anxiety coming on he or she can ask: What am I thinking about or telling myself? Is this something I can do something about? If so, then take action, or at least make plans to remedy the situation. However, if there is nothing you can do about the situation and your mind is just caught up in a d of unproductive worrying, ask yourself: What can I change or have an effect on? Ask God to address those un misery-go-roun- in) oNsifili'QstfDdd assailable issues that concern you while you shift your focus to something else that you can do something about. Some people like to keep a 3X5 card in their pocket or purse where they note down on one side thoughts and fears that only add to their stress. Then on the other side they note projects and activities that they need to give more attention to. Each morning they inoculate themselves against stress by reading over their list of unhealthy fears and worries. These, they tell themselves, are booby traps that they will not allow themselves to get caught up in today. Should any of these arise (as they usually do) a red flag goes up in the person's mind. This will then prompt them to pull out their card and begin taking action on, or at least making plans to take action on, one or more of their "can do" projects. For example, suppose you are concerned about your spouse in the Persian Gulf. You find your thoughts have turned to fears for his or her safety, as you bombard yourself with questions. Then you ask yourself, "Is this a worry I can do something about?" Not really. The best we can do is assure our spouse we're OK so they can give full attention to their jobs. In addition to praying for peace, or at least peace of mind serenity to accept those things we cannot change we might ask, "What else can I focus on or do something about?" Well, Electing fit Exercise necessary for health, heart perhaps you have a child who is hav- ing some difficulty in school. You could shift your focus to ways in which you might assist them. In fact, just seeing you less upset would likely be of some help to them. If you don't have children, maybe there is a talent, hobby or project that could use your attention. In addition to requiring full mental attention, ideal activities for stress reduction will be unrelated to any topic you tend to worry about. Talking with friends may be helpful, but not if you just commiserate or share insights about potential hazards. When exploring various physical or mental activities, a good rule of thumb is: do what works for you long term. Ask yourselves, "Does this leave me feeling better or worse?" Whether it's crying, complaining or wringing your hands, if it helps, do it. But if it leaves you feeling more angry, upset or anxious, you may want to consider changing your focus to something less stressful. Alcohol is a short-terfix. In the and increases stress it long term, depression. Also, make sure you eat food, and do not skip breakfast. A body under stress needs nutritious foods as well as extra physical exercise and time off m high-qualit- y high-qualit- y, from worrying. For more information on personal and family stress management, call the Hill Family Support Center at or 777-468- 1 Sports Falcons ice Mustangs 777-585- 5.