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Participants at the “It’s All About You,” mid-deployment workshop at the Russell Marine and Family Center aboard the base take a moment to take care of their bodies by practicing yoga techniques, July 7. Classes were thought on reflexology, yoga, making healthy treats, and making homemade spa treatments.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Spouses release stress with spa, workshop

7 Jul 2012 | Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Military spouses face a different set of challenges than their civilian counterparts.

The weight of managing any household can be tough, but for those who have to concern themselves with deployments, training, and the tempo of the everyday military lifestyle, it can prove to be quite draining.

“It gets a little wearing to be the one person who takes care of everything all the time,” said Milinda Rau, the Readiness and Deployment support trainer with Marine and Family Programs aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

To give spouses an opportunity to take out some time for themselves, Marine Corps Family Team Building held a mid-deployment workshop for spouses where they learned ways to bring a spa into their home, called “It’s All About You,” at the Russell Marine and Family Center aboard the base, July 7.

The event held sessions teaching participants about reflexology, yoga, homemade spa treatments and making healthy treats such as smoothies.

“(The workshops) are designed to help military spouses in the midst of a deployment when you’re not quite over the hump yet,” said Rau. “They’ve been doing things by yourself for a while, and they need a little energizer to get over the hump. The workshops are designed to be fun and very interactive while letting spouses connect with others who are going through the same experience.”

However, the class is open to all base patrons, not just those who are in the midst of a deployment.

“It is not specifically about deployment because we realize military life itself is stressful,” said Rau. “Every once in a while we need a break and an energizer just to get revitalized again. Deployments are not the only challenges military families face.”

In an auditorium draped in pink fabric and taffeta with bubbling fountains on Greek pillars, participants created scented bath salts and coffee rubs to exfoliate, they learned how to make breakfast smoothies, and partook in reflexology and simple yoga techniques with soothing music in the background.

“For many of our family members this is the first time they’ve ever lived far away from their own family, so they don’t feel like they have a good support system. They feel like they’re doing it all by themselves,” said Rau. “Spouses who plug into their unit and activities around the installation are able to weather a lot of those challenges relatively well. It’s the ones who don’t plug into a support system who struggle.”

Participants can learn about many things as well as gaining a support system, added Rau. By participating in events like this they learn about relaxation and the importance of taking time out for oneself, while connecting to their community and opening a doorway to learn about other events.

Guests learned techniques to fall back on to better handle stress when the load of the military lifestyle gets to be too much.

For more information on future classes, call 451-0176 or visit