Salve (hello in latin)! My name is Gianna. I am a sixteen year old currently residing in the Mad River Valley. Being a part of Speaking Out for Military Kids includes doing workshops. Our current workshop is to talk about stress and what we can to to healthily cope with our feelings and the stresses that can come with them sometimes. My father is in the Air National Guard and he does joint work with the Air Force. When he is away it sucks, to be honest. He gives balance to my life and the family in many ways and he's always there to help so it's a bit momre stressful when he's gone. This page isn't for me though, it's for you. I know my stressors, but I also know how to help. This page is dedicated to you and finding ways to help with your stress.

I have discovered, completely on accident of course, that reading is very calming and has always helped me relax. Between school, sports. homework, work and just trying to get through the week I do become stressed. Just sitting for half an hour and investing my time in a great book helps me calm down so much. I understand that some people don't enjoy reading books, but there are always comics, graphic novels or audiobooks. So many possibilities! Reading gives my mind and body a break and allows me to focus on one thing and one thing only. If you are looking for a new book to read you can always go to a library or you can click here to see a very helpful chart to help you discover new books.

Reading Chart

Another great coping strategy is excercising or being active. I found that taking my dog for a walk or playing Dance Central is a great stress release. Any type of movement works, you don't have to very picky. I personally love playing basketball, golf or just playing badmitton in the yeard with my family. Whatever works for you. A possible idea is to just have a "family game night" and go swimming or play tag outside. Anything that can be fun. I try to look for fun in whatever I do and in this case there are so many ways to be active. If you need new suggestions you can always google new ideas.

The final coping mechanism is just talking, or in my case venting, to a friend. When my Dad deployed I vented to my best friend all the time. She was able to listen and give me a different point of view on my feelings and actions. Just getting to emotions out of your system can be very cathartic. talking about and bringing your close friends in allows them to understand a bit more if they don't completely get it or it just gives you more people who can be on hand to help you when you need it. Schools also have guidance counselors to speak to if you want to, I found it's easier just to communicate with my friends though. It's what works for you.