MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- You know the symptoms. Your head hurts, you're not sleeping right, you don't feel well and, on top of all that, just about everything makes you crabby -- you're stressed out.
But you're not alone. According to John Abney, Depot prevention specialist, everyone faces stress, and how you deal with it determines what affect it has on you. It's his job to teach sailors, Marines and their families how to cope with stress through monthly stress management classes and group workshops.
"People can be stressed out for several reasons," said Abney. "Whether it"s work related, relationship related, or trying to take on the cares of the world, the only way to be really effective when dealing with stress is to address the problem. If you respond positively to stress, you will grow. If you respond negatively, you're not addressing the real problem."
Addressing the root of what's causing stress for an individual is one of the things Abney teaches at monthly classes. Other topics include recognizing stressors, dealing with stress and decreasing stress levels. Along with monthly classes, Abney gives workshops to groups both large and small, including offices, battalions and even 4th RTBn. drill instructors before they pick up their platoons.
"No matter who it is, the first thing I recommend people do to relieve stress is make a list and prioritize it with big stressors on the top and smaller ones at the bottom," said the retired master sergeant who faced plenty of stress as the former Depot Consolidated Administration Center SNCOIC. "Then, start from the bottom and take one thing at a time. By the time you get to the top, what seemed like a big deal before will be a smaller, manageable problem."
Other ways to lower stress include exercise, listening to music or finding a hobby.
"Most people make time for everything else, but they fail to make time for themselves," added Abney. "At our stress management classes, we not only teach participants how to deal with their stress but how to make it work positively for them."
Participants of the classes said the classes are beneficial and have made a difference in their stress level.
"It really does help," said Lance Cpl. Kelly McCradic, administration clerk, H&S Bn., S-1. "When I went to the class, I was pretty stressed out, and after taking it I can cope with my stress a lot better. I would recommend it to people with all levels of stress whether it's just minor stuff from work, family or relationships, or major stress from a combination of them -- it can definitely help."
Stress management classes are held monthly and last two afternoons from 1-4:30 p.m. Upcoming class dates include May 6-7, June 3-4, July 8-9, and Aug. 12-13.
To register for a class or to schedule a workshop to your section, contact the Personal Services Center at 228-2883.