Address Your Stress

Section One: Real and Perceived Stressors

Be aware of the most common stressors throughout deployment to prepare you and your family for what may come.

The phases of deployment have many common stressors that are broken up by pre, during, and post deployment. Pre-deployment stressors mostly deal with anticipation of loss, denial, a rush of preparation, mental and physical distance, and family arguments. Although some of these carry over to the stages during deployment, those stages also have some stressors of their own, such as the demands of being a single parent caring for the children, the guilt the Service Member feels about missing out on life at home, and the constant worry over potential loss. Finally, the post deployment phase deals more with the stressors of reintegration. Stressors include changing routines, fitting in after a long time away, adjusting to new responsibilities, and combat or operational stress that comes as a result of what you experienced during deployment.

Prioritize your stress by understanding which stressors are real or perceived.

Stressors can be real or perceived, but no matter which they are, they can still disrupt your life. It is important to recognize which stressors are real and which are perceived, so that you can better understand your emotions and reactions. A perceived stressor is imagined, like making false assumptions. For example, a real stressor might be you are late because your kids are not ready. While a perceived stressor might be that a friend is late so she must have had a terrible accident. When in reality, maybe her kids were not ready either. In the activity to the right, identify whether each stressor is real or perceived by dragging it to the corresponding category.