See the picture on the left' That's what I come home to many days. While cute, sometimes it can be a little discomforting, especially one day last week.

Here I was, coming home after a long day at work and all my roommate's dog was doing was chilling out, enjoying life. Envy is probably the best word to describe the situation.

Writing about it now, being envious of a dog, makes the whole situation seem silly. However, at the time, my mind was out of balance. I had assumed the position of Sentinel editor, and having no other staff, was put in a position to do two people's work. My applications seemed to have run out of gas, stalled on "application referred to selecting official," while the BRAC countdown clock seemed to have put its foot on the accelerator.

Weekends speed by far too quickly, and even moments that should have been stress free were filled with thoughts about finding a new job, moving and the financial applications of both.

In short, I was headed toward the cliff of mental breakdown. Sadly, it wasn't until I was close to the edge that I realized what Charlie knew all along: sometimes you just have to forget about everything and relax.

With BRAC upon us, the delivery of certificate of expected separation letters, and more and more of our co-workers leaving by the day, many Civilian employees and Soldiers are falling into my boat, taking on more and more responsibilities while still trying to balance their personal lives. All I can say is don't pull a "Stabinsky" and get worked out of shape. Pull a "Charlie" and slow down and relax.

Thankfully, Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem are doing their part to help those seeking some relaxation.

The Fort McPherson Strike Zone offers free weekday bowling and shoe rental from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., perfect for a quick office getaway to recharge the batteries.

For those looking for excitement off the post, the Fort McPherson Leisure Activities Center ticket office offers reduced-price tickets to local and out-of-state attractions for Families to enjoy. A sample of what is offered each week is available in the "Leisure Activities" section of the Sentinel.

For those looking to get away while staying at home, Fort McPherson also offers free Friday night movies at the Post Theater. This week's movie not strike your interest' There are hundreds more available for free rental at the Post Library. Or check out a book and enjoy a different type of relaxation.

For those more-action-oriented people, there are plenty of ways to work out stress. Spin cycles classes are still being offered at the Fort McPherson Wellness Center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Classes will run until May 11.

The fitness centers on both installations will remain available for those seeking relief through exercise. The Fort McPherson Gym will stay open until June 1, and the Fitness Center until Aug. 1. On Fort Gillem, the Neal Fitness Center will remain open until July 15.

While BRAC, our jobs and our interactions on Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem may cause a lot of stress, rather than dwell on it, people need to realize the installations also provide plenty of opportunity to relieve stress.

Take advantage of those things and don't feel bad for doing so. The Army was on to something when it gave Soldiers leave during deployments. A little rest and relaxation to charge the batteries goes a long way to improving morale and increasing job performance.

So the next time things get crazy, don't be dogged by stress ... be like a dog and relax.