Published July 29, 2008
Every family member feels the pain of separation. Deployment disrupts the normal functioning of the family unit. There is no denying that but, there are things that can be done to survive the separation and relieve the stress associated with it.
1. Take care of yourself. Don't try to fix family and friends.
2. Get involved in things that make you happy.
3. Avoid self-medication and abusing substances like drugs, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and food. Liquor and drugs reduce the perception of stress, but don't reduce stress.
4. Be flexible; accept that you can't control everything.
5. Plan for stress. Set realistic goals that leave time for breaks and limit work. Take a stress reduction class.
6. Learn how to praise yourself and accept praise. Turn off the "constant censure" voice that always says "you should."
7. Keep a sense of humor with you at all times.
8. Start thinking about what you really want out of life and begin to work towards those goals.
9. Take a mental health day every two or three months.
10. Avoid sulking. Let people know what you want.
11. Learn how to express irritation and appreciation to others.
12. Pick out somebody you work with and tell them something about yourself that you haven't told anyone else.