Thursday, December 6, 2007

TOP STORY >>Balance holiday, work stress

By Brig. Gen. Wayne Schatz
314th Aiflift Wing commander

We’re rapidly nearing the holiday season. Now is the time of year that we’re buying presents, making leave arrangements and hopefully taking some time for ourselves and our family. But this is also the time for increased stress.

Just because the world slows down to enjoy the holidays doesn’t mean the mission stops. And this leaves all of us in a delicate juggling act of trying to incorporate extra commitments and responsibilities into our everyday lives. Extra gift buying doesn’t come with extra money in the paycheck and extra shopping doesn’t come with extra time off. Because of this, it’s important for each of us to have a plan in place that allows for the extra stressors without allowing them to turn into undo stress.

It’s normal for anyone to get overwhelmed from time to time, and for most of us, that feeling may be magnified this time of year. This means being a good wingman might be more important now than ever. I encourage supervisors to keep an extra eye on their troops – look for signs that someone might have a little too much on their plate and help them find ways to clear it off. Look out for one another this holiday season. Offer to be the designated driver, open your home to someone who may not make it home for the holidays or step up to be someone’s work out partner. Trust me – they’ll thank you for it later.

Holidays are filled with gatherings, and gatherings are filled with food. Make sure your workout plan doesn’t get put on hold – experts say time and again that exercise is a healthy way to relieve stress and keep energy levels high. And watch your spending – added debt equals added stress. So don’t bite off more than you can chew and fall into the “I’ll pay it off next year” trap because next year will be here sooner than we think.

Remember the holidays should be a time for joy. If you’re feeling down or starting to get overwhelmed, talk to someone. There are many people in all of our lives who have been in our shoes and may know just the thing to help you feel better.

Your ability to look out for one another and to take care of mission, Airmen and family is what makes me forever proud to serve with you. Combat airlift!


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