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Facilitator offers stress-relief tips

By Ryan Cornell

As the government shutdown continues with no end in sight and thousands of federal employees remaining out of work, it's a stressful time for many.

Christine Langley-Obaugh opened the doors of her Winchester-based Stress Reduction Spot in mid-September and provides traumatic incident and life stress reduction services for her clients, which include fire and rescue, law enforcement, military and hospital personnel.

She said it's important for people dealing with stress to take a four-step approach: acknowledgement, awareness, adjustment and achievement.

"Acknowledge the reality of the situation," she said. "Unemployment is genuinely heartbreaking, it's a loss of identity, self-esteem and purpose."

Once the acknowledgement occurs, Langley-Obaugh said, people should be aware of and process their feelings of depression, anger or anxiety.

"The adjustment period is when you're adjusting your support system," she said. "How can you reduce living expenses? Are you taking care of yourself?"

Lastly, she said the achievement phase involves taking a plan of action, whether by pursuing opportunities or learning new skills and abilities.

"People need to find particular ways that relieve stress that will work for them," she said. "Everybody's is different."

Langley-Obaugh, who earned a master's degree in counseling from George Mason University, said she likes to think of herself as a facilitator rather than a counselor. She said many people have a stigma against counseling and are fearful to admit that something might be wrong with them.

She said she went through a traumatic experience in the late 1980s and wasn't able to process it.

"It used to be that you didn't talk about it," she said. "The only way out of it is through it. You have to talk about it, process it, grieve it, acknowledge it."

She said it's important to have a balance among the four quadrants that include social, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

"It's important for people to have a positive attitude and hope," she said. "People forget they still need to be living their lives. It's still possible to achieve happiness while encountering sadness."

To set up an appointment at the Stress Reduction Spot, contact Langley-Obaugh at christine@stressreductionspot.com or call 540-737-8078.

Her business address is 2400 Valley Ave., Suite 6, Winchester. Her website is: www.stressreductionspot.com

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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