Salute to Spouses Blog

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Strategies for Stress Management

By Christine Cioppa

Irritable lately? If you’re not “h-angry” (anger caused by hunger) or premenstrual and dealing with hormonal fluctuations, you might want to look at how you are managing your stress levels.

More than a third of people get irritable and angry when stressed, according to a recent report, “Stress in America: Paying with Our Health,” which was released earlier this year from the American Psychological Association. Of the more than 3,000 adults polled, six symptoms dominated in times of stress: irritability/anger, nervousness/anxiousness, lack of interest/ motivation, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed and depression/sadness.

“When you are not managing stress, it actually has an impact on productivity,” says C. Vaile Wright, Ph.D., director of research at the American Psychological Association. “We don’t get our tasks done as time efficiently or as completely as we might when we are in places where we are feeling more balanced and more in control of ourselves.”

Additionally, being chronically stressed out can have negative health consequences. “Stress can have an effect on your blood pressure, heart, weight and hormones. Stress can really impact every part of you,” says Dr. Wright.

For busy moms who are going back to school, she suggests delegating tasks and asking for help from family members or a partner/spouse. It’s also important to schedule “you time” on your to-do list. “Taking some time for yourself to recharge is not selfish,” says Dr. Wright. “Find ways to carve out that time for yourself. Maybe that means you wake up 15 minutes earlier. That may not seem like a lot. But, if you start getting these habits into your daily life pattern, then it can make a big difference over time.”


Feeling frazzled? Print out this weekly checklist ( from, a non-profit organization for mental health and well-being. Do any/all of these nine things daily and weekly and see what difference it makes.

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