Commentary

June 14, 2013

Changing times add extra stress

Capt. JENNIFER PREYER
56th Medical Support Squadron

We can all agree that 2013 has been a challenging year. Budget uncertainty, looming sequestration and potential furloughs have forced change to normal operations. Interrupting the way we do business requires us to operate in an environment of uncertainty.

This uncertainty only compounds normal stress brought on by change. These changes affect our lives, increasing or decreasing working hours and removing temporary duty assignments or training opportunities typically afforded us. Having a toolbox to deal with change and the stress that comes with living is important.

Key points I’ve learned in my career and keep in my toolbox include:

Adjust your mindset and view the change as an opportunity versus a problem. A positive outlook enables you to cope better with stress. I have to admit, in some instances, this is easier said than done with obligations and responsibilities to meet. But in every situation there is a positive, a silver lining, no matter how small it may be. In my position, challenges with a new contract are causing an immense disruption to normal operations for my team. The silver lining here is that even though every day is full of challenges, they rise to meet them. I witness them doing everything in their power to help our customers, and I am motivated to work harder. This time has become an opportunity to step up and shine. So, like me, you may need to reframe the situation to see the silver lining.

Think realistically about the change. Ask yourself what can I control? What can I influence? Focusing energies in those directions versus areas that you cannot affect is a smart approach. It does no good to spend hours fretting over things you cannot control. With our new contract there is little control at our level, so our team has identified ways to make things work for our customers. While we can’t fix everything, we have done everything we can to positively impact what we can control. Take inventory of your situation. Identify what you can do, and do it.

Find your center. Your center is what guides you, builds your character and brings you back to a place of peace. Being able to access this center helps in everything we do: leading, following, making difficult decisions. A center is unique to each individual. A friend of mine looks to our Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence. Another meditates. Yours may be religious or spiritual beliefs or quality time spent with your spouse, kids or hobbies. Identify what your center is; what brings you back to reality; back to what really matters.

Use your social network. Friends, peers and family play an important role in helping manage stress levels. Talking about the changes, chatting about the latest movie, visiting church or your book club can reduce stress and build relationships. Talk with coworkers who are going through the same change.
Having a laugh about the situation often helps. I enjoy talking things through with my friends. Their perspective is different and opens my eyes.

Understanding that change is not going away should motivate you to action. Build your toolbox to deal with the changes life brings. You’ll be happier for it.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Last week I quoted Dr. Billy Graham who said, “Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.” We saw the necessity of forgiveness in all relationships, including personal and divine. Forgiveness allows our relationships to flourish, while a refusal to forgive brings toxicity. The second part of Dr....
 

 

Fly Over: ‘Divergent’ and ‘NO Excuses’

On Netflix ‘Divergent’ After a devastating war that is believed to have destroyed most of the world, a sole colony has survived and thrived, safe-guarded by a giant wall encircling the city. The founders of the city created five factions in which to divide the population based on aptitude scores which determine the faction best...
 
 
History_56-FG-Eggebek-Raid-Flyers

This week in history

April 13, 1945: Raid on Eggebek Seventy years ago this week, the war in Europe was winding down. Late afternoon April 12, 1945, in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin Roosevelt died. At Royal Air Force Boxted in England, ...
 
 

308th FS rich history, poignant ending

After 21 years of continuous service as an F-16 Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, the 308th Fighter Squadron, recently recognized the 2014 Top Fighter Squadron in the 56th Operations Group, will close its doors this summer. Given this sad fact, it is only appropriate that this week’s Thunderbolt commentary focus on this highly...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin