Know Where the Life Jackets Are – Personalize Your Stress Navigation Plan!

When you’re worried or stressed-out what do you do?  Do you avoid facing the causes of your stress until they begin to wear on you?  Or, do you find someone to talk to when you need to get things off your chest?  Stress is a part of everyday life, especially in the Navy. Whether you’re facing a potentially challenging move or career hurdle, knowing where to go for help ahead of time will help you stop stress issues from becoming stress problems. Do you know where your life jackets are? Readiness doesn’t begin at the time of a crisis. It starts with knowing which tools and resources will help us respond to unforeseen circumstances swiftly and with clarity. Knowing where to find help will provide us with the tools we need, to mitigate the potential negative impacts of stress before they affect our lives. Sometimes finding a way to de-stress is stressful itself – if we don’t know what to do or where to go.  Making a plan ahead of time and practicing it can be a life-saving drill.

Get ahead of your stress. Start by personalizing a Stress Navigation Plan, so you’ll know where your resources —your “life jackets”—are. Use the plan template to think through what you’ll do or who you can talk to when unforeseen circumstances divert your focus.

Stress Navigation Plan templates are now available here and only take 5 minutes to personalize. Take a moment to write down who you can talk to when you encounter work issues, or when you need to re-energize your spirituality. The few thoughtful minutes you spend now may have a significant impact later. Just by writing down what you can do to navigate stress, you’ll be strengthening your personal readiness and be better able to prevent future obstacles from compounding and affecting your life. You don’t have to show your plan to anyone. Put it in a place that you can access easily. Or have it next to your phone so it’s there when you need someone to talk to.

Readiness means being prepared.  Make a plan now and follow it. Knowing where you can go and what to do will help you have the confidence you’ll need to respond to life’s challenges.

Take the stress out of navigating stress. Life counts!

To access the Stress Navigation Plan template, visit and click on the Life Counts graphic. Encourage your shipmates, family and friends to personalize one for themselves! Let us know you’ve personalized your plan by tweeting to Operational Stress Control @NavStress or writing on our Facebook wall at

For Suicide Prevention Awareness Month details, reference NAVADMIN 259/12, visit or email


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