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By Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT

Work Stress

Stress…such a small word, but the emotional impact from just reading the word can be powerful! We all have stress to varying degrees…in both our personal and professional lives. Stress unifies us in a way. It also can be debilitating depending on when, where, and how it settles into our day-to-day routines.  I recently revisited an interesting TedTalk by Kelly McGonigal titled How to Make Stress Your Friend. She highlights ways to rethink your relationship with stress and gives practical ways to do this. I’ve got to admit, I’ve needed to reevaluate my own perspective and coping strategies in dealing with stress. After re-watching McGonigal’s TedTalk, I’ve had an itching need to take it a step further by capturing the ways that OneOp Family Development aims to help deal with unavoidable professional stress.

As OneOp Family Development (FD) project director, one of my responsibilities is to innovatively think through ways OneOp FD can provide you, our audience (professionals in the mental health, advocacy, early intervention, and academic realms that work with military families) with professional development opportunities that enhance and compliment the work we do. I’m also hyper-aware of the stressors that can present in this much-needed, yet often times cumbersome, work. So, one of the goals we strive to achieve is to provide ways to enhance the professional development experience of our audience while also providing strategies to alleviate some of the stress that can be associated with traditional professional development outlets. In a nut shell, we want to be a solution to your stress relieving problem, not the cause!

Let OneOp Family Development help YOU “get better at stress”…

It is our hope that we offer an accessible and valuable online hub of professional opportunities that cater to enhancing a less stressful experience when approaching professional development. Below is a list of 5 common stressors and reactions we’ve noticed are associated with finding and engaging in traditional professional development opportunities and ways that OneOp Family Development can alleviate these stressors in your life.

  1. OneOp FD offers webinars (live & archived), virtual learning events, podcasts, that eliminate travel and can be viewed at your convenience in home and/or at the office.
    • Planning for travel stress associated with face-to-face conferences and trainings is not fun. With OneOp FD you can obtain professional development continuing education credits from the luxury of your home. There’s no need to worry about if you kept all of your receipts for travel expenses/reimbursement! No Jet lag! No early registration deadlines! No need to hire someone to watch your kids! OneOp FD allows you the leisure and time to watch and complete the webinar trainings at your own pace!
  2. Expenses ($)
    • “Wow, that’s a stiff CEU fee! So much for saving money this month.” OneOp FD doesn’t want you to ever have to choose between your family vacations and professional development needs…this is why we offer completely FREE CEU’s. We understand that work training obligations can cut into your family time, which is so necessary for peace of mind. The online webinar trainings with OneOp FD give you one less thing to worry about.
  3. Organizing/finding resources when you need them:
    • “Now where did I put that handout from last year’s training session?” I know for me, I lose the paper handouts from job trainings almost immediately after receiving them. With OneOp FD there is no need to worry about lost resource items because we provide all of our webinar training resources in a one-stop shop. Resources and supplementary handouts are just a click away. A list of all of our webinar trainings can be found, here. Each webinar’s Learn Event page offers presentation PowerPoints, blogs, journal articles, books, and websites related to that particular training topic! Don’t forget to check out OneOp FD’s resources page, here! You don’t want to miss all of the valuable information available at the click of a button!
  4. Wellness and burnout prevention?
    • “Can someone just tell me how to schedule getting a bite to eat before my next meeting!” As a mental health clinician, I completely understand the importance of burnout prevention in this line of work. To meet that need OneOp FD strives to present webinars that help. In fact we have an archived webinar wellness series to give strategies to prevent burnout. During this series you’ll be provided practical strategies that don’t require revamping your whole lifestyle yet produce effective results. The presenters conducted a mindfulness exercise as part of the presentation. “Learn and relax all at the same time? What a concept!”
  5. Networking
    • “Anyone else feeling alone in their struggle?” MLFN FD aims to facilitate an online professional community of support. This includes helping you to make connections with people and research as well as offering a networking hub filled with other professionals, shared experiences and valuable professional development programming. Ultimately, OneOp FD wants to recognized that often professionals are unified in their struggle and can benefit from a strong network. We believe that strong networks promote strength in the families that we serve.
I know from personal experience how stressful balancing work obligations, family life, friends, etc. can be. Why not let OneOp FD work for you?!

This post was written by Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT, assistant professor at Valdosta State University’s Marriage & Family Therapy Department and project director with OneOp which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about OneOp FD concentration on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.

Cover Image: Flickr [Stressed by Dan McCullough, March 18, 2009, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] retrieved on September 9, 2015