WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: RANDY JOSEPH
Growing up, sports allowed me to meet an array of people from various areas. I didn’t play AAU or travel ball like many young people today, but we did travel from county to county in our section of Northeastern, NC. In middle school, I had the opportunity to link with Randy and we competed against one another through high school.
We stay in touch to motivate, inspire, and congratulate each other through life’s changes. Recently, I was able to chop it up with Randy to see what unique stressors he faces as a Electronics Technician in the US Navy.
HEY RANDY, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I have been a Electronics Technician in the US Navy for the past 6 years.
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Many think of the military as more physically demanding than anything, ironically, mental health has been more important in the experiences I've encountered. Day-to-day my mental health is constant thought of mine.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
Deployment was a huge mental challenge I recently face. In September, I was told that I would be deployed the following June. However, 3 weeks later I receive an update stating that I would have to leave home for 7 months the week before Thanksgiving.
Just to give a glimpse of the stressors forming, 3 months into deployment a family member passed away, 4 weeks later, another family member passed away, and 3 weeks after that, another family member moved on to a better place.
All of this happens, on top of the day-to-day things that I have to do on the ship while at Sea, all while being involved with certain events that may or may not make the news. Not to mention, when I thought I was about to head home, the ship was extended to stay out to Sea another 2 months.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
The first period I realized that I should consider my mental health day to day, was actually during the 8 weeks in boot camp. It was so important that you found a way to deal with the stressors. Being an athlete, the physical demands on the body wasn't foreign territory, but no communication to the "outside world", unless a letter was written, not so familiar. Imagine a Sunday when the mail comes in from Family/Friends for everyone, but the mail is not coming from the Family/Friends you thought it would come from. That alone causes a mental rollercoaster and that's just a tip of the iceberg.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Listening to music is my favorite way to manage my stressors.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
No matter what is going on you, have to find a way to mentally take care of yourself because others depend on you to stay alive.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
While on a ship out to Sea, your options for "getting away" are cut down to exercising, listening to music, reading, sleeping, video games or watching movies. That doesn't sound too bad, but doing it every day for 7-9 months is a little different.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
I tell everyone that I encounter starting out or aspires to be in my position to always remember the big picture.
Any other information you want people to know?
To all who have once served or currently serving, the sacrifices made are appreciated, but never forget the Family members and support systems for those who serve.
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?