George Washington Teaches Stress Management Skills

Story Number: NNS141009-01Release Date: 10/9/2014 8:42:00 AM
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By By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) offered a stress management seminar to provide guidance and resources to help Sailors on and off duty, Oct. 8.
The seminar is part of the ship's Command Religious Ministry Division's (CRMD) life skills classes offered throughout the month of October to help further Sailors in personal growth and well being.
"A lot of Sailors, especially in the underway environment, have difficulty managing the stress caused by work and being away from their families," said Matt Shannon, George Washington's deployed resiliency counselor. "They may have personal problems going on, and this class gives them another tool so they can explore different ways to effectively deal with stress."
The hour-long class covers the basics of what causes stress and provides a wide-range of techniques Sailors can employ to combat those issues, such as reading, writing, exercise, and even meditation and breathing exercises.
"Sometimes, Sailors are just looking to find new ways to manage their stress or anger," said Shannon. "It can make a world of difference when they find healthy ways to deal with stress instead of going through the motions and bottling up their issues. This class is here to educate Sailors and also introduce them to options outside of a classroom setting. They may want a one-on-one counseling session or perhaps an introduction to therapy."
Shannon served more than 20 years in the Navy and Army, and worked as a licenced clinical social worker for both the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs and Department of Defense.
"The chaplains and I have years of combined experience, and I think we offer a lot of positive mechanisms for Sailors to cope," said Shannon.
The eight life skills classes offered throughout the month of October focus on topics including financial management, alcohol awareness, anger management, and sleep hygiene.
"I think it's a really good program," said Shannon. "The classes definitely give Sailors an opportunity to look at these topics from a different perspective."
According to Shannon, the stress management seminars are a viable option and preventative measure for Sailors to look into before any problem becomes too big.
"I think it's a very beneficial class for anyone who is stressed and seeing warning signs," said Shannon. "I welcome everyone to come out for the education."
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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