Fort Drum programs help community members tackle stress before the holidays




The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people – from meal planning and travel itineraries, to managing expenses and figuring out who sits where at the dinner table. But Fort Drum community members can give themselves the gift that keeps giving by registering for a stress management class at the Army Wellness Center (AWC) or through the Family Advocacy Program (FAP).
(Photo Credit: Michael Strasser)

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FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 7, 2022) — The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people – from meal planning and travel itineraries, to managing expenses and figuring out who sits where at the dinner table.

But Fort Drum community members can give themselves the gift that keeps giving by registering for a stress management class at the Army Wellness Center (AWC) or through the Family Advocacy Program (FAP).

“Even though it’s a time of joy, there’s still a lot of stress that happens during the holidays,” said Chris Ramie, AWC supervisory health educator. “Our stress management class covers how stress can impact one’s overall health. It also introduces our clients to four relaxation techniques – guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation and deep breathing.”

Community members can schedule a follow-up appointment for individual stress management training.

“This is where the client works one-on-one with a health educator on practicing these techniques,” Ramie said. “It’s amazing and highly effective!”

During the recent Association of the U.S. Army symposium in Washington, D.C., Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston recognized facilities such as the Army Wellness Center for providing the resources Soldiers and family members need to maintain mental wellness.

“Since we first opened our doors here 10 years ago, the Army Wellness Center staff has been committed to helping Fort Drum Soldiers, family members, retirees and DOD civilians with a full slate of free services to help meet their goals for better health and well-being,” Ramie said.

Upcoming stress management classes at the AWC are available 9:30-10:30 a.m. Nov. 8, Nov. 29 and Dec. 15. For more information and to register, call (315) 772-4608 or 772-4528, or visit www.facebook.com/FortDrumAWC.

Community members also can register for stress management education sessions with FAP educators at the Soldier and Family Readiness Center in Bldg. 10250, 4th Armored Division Drive. For more information, call (315) 772-5914.

“We discuss what stress is, the physical signs and emotional signs of stress, and how to recognize stressors,” said Tom Wojcikowski, FAP educator. “Participants, if they are willing, can share what their specific stressors are. We discuss tools to use that can help manage stress in one’s life, such as journaling.”

Wojcikowski said that Soldiers who do not particularly like to maintain a physical journal have found recording their thoughts in a notebook app on their phones has been useful.

Classes are held in the SFRC’s Wellness Room, and participants also can try out the massage chair afterward.

To learn more about FAP programs, visit www.facebook.com/FTdrumFAP.

Community members are also encouraged to stay active as a way to help them relax and lower anxiety, and there are plenty of classes and activities to participate in through Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Below are just a few upcoming events:

*BOSS Axe Throwing Ladies League – starts at 6 p.m. every Thursday through Dec. 1 at the Automotive Skills Center. For details, call (315) 772-7807.

*Cycling Class at Monti Physical Fitness Center – 6:15-7:15 a.m. Tuesdays and 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays through November (except on Thanksgiving). For details or to register, call (315) 772-6663.

*Dodgeball tournament at Magrath Sports Complex – 6 p.m. Nov. 18. Open to all DoD ID cardholders 18 or older. For information, call (315) 772-6663.

To learn more about upcoming FMWR events and programs, visit www.facebook.com/DrumFMWR.

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