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NEWS | April 28, 2014

Diamond Tip: Change for the better

By Master Sgt. Mark O'Brien 15th Airlift Squadron first sergeant

The one constant in today's military is change. We are faced with changes from all directions that affect us in many different ways. One such change affecting our Airman's lives is the current Force Management program. How will our bodies and mind deal with the uncertainty and change associated with Force Management initiatives?

I would say it will depend on several factors that you can help mitigate.

Change can add hidden stress in our lives, adversely affect our health and in its most severe form even lead to death. Some of the common effects of stress will cause you to feel tired, lower your immune system and make you more susceptible to illnesses. And of course, stress will have an impact on the way you perform at work.

A little stress can also be good for us too. How? Simply put, stress can act as a motivator to overcome challenges and can keep us focused on the important aspects of our job.
Remembering a few of the basics you were taught about stress will enable you to better cope with the stressors in your life. The following examples provide some easy ways to minimize stress:

1. Always have your uniform prepped and ready... don't give anyone the opportunity to correct you for being out of standards.

2. Make it an emphasis to always be on time for duty and make all required appointments. You can add a lot of undue stress in your life by just being late.

3. Have your game face on during your daily duties.

4. Take pride in ownership for everything you do, even if you do not personally own it.

5. Take some extra time exploring the technical data prior to working on that aircraft.

6. Bring your cold/wet weather gear to work with you to roll with the changing elements.

7. Try to pencil in some extra time for completing your annual CBTs, or pre-deployment training early; don't let it creep upon you at the last minute.

And most importantly, always make time for your family. When you hang up your uniform for the last time, ensure you can turn and kiss the family that got you there.

Finally, always strive and find ways to be in good health (spiritually, socially, physically and mentally).

You may find it difficult coping with change; if so, a friend can make a good sounding board, but maybe you are in need of more than just advice from friends. If this is the case, the base has many agencies to assist you. Your supervisor, your commander, your first sergeant, Chaplain and mental health professionals are always there in time of need.

And try not to use alcohol to cope; you cannot find happiness at the bottom of a bottle. If you find yourself drinking to excess, I urge you to pursue one of those aforementioned members and/or agencies.

Nothing stressful is worth your peace of mind. Stay strong Joint Base Charleston!