By Dr. Michael J. Jarzombek, 157th Air Refueling Wing director of Psychological Health
/ Published December 10, 2013
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- This year the primary Psychological Health Program focus has been on the topic of resilience. We have identified the many foundational stones that support our resilient lives, and we have explored how best to manage ourselves when storms strike. From an organizational perspective, our ability to build and maintain strong foundations of personal resilience has been clearly evidenced in the level of excellence Team Pease has achieved; this in spite of problems and uncertainty experienced by many during frequent periods of government discord.
In addition to the many high profile visitors who have journeyed to the base this year, we have been nominated as recipients of the KC-46 aircraft contract, and most recently have achieved an "Excellent" rating on the long-awaited NORI inspection.
Congratulations to all on an amazing year and a job well done! Your resilience has been remarkable.
During this holiday season continue to engage in those activities that fortify your resilience foundation, and remember the importance of balance and moderation:
Diet is typically a struggle during the holiday food fiesta that occurs between Thanksgiving and the advent of the New Year. Remember to balance those times when you indulge in the many tasty treats of the season by making healthy food choices as often as you can coupled with regular exercise.
Rest can be strained during the season of merriment as we try to pack more activities into our already busy lives. Be mindful that you are more than likely running a bit faster and perhaps a bit longer during the holiday season, so be sure to balance long busy days with time to rest including time to enjoy the beauty and the meaning of the season. Sleep in once in a while in order to restore some balance; take a nap; watch a movie; recharge.
Exercise might be put on hold during the holiday season while other activities dominate one's schedule. There is never a better time to exercise than those times when stress is high and diet is less than stellar! Our bodies need the balance of exercise to counteract poor diet and increased stress, and to also counteract the shortened amount of daylight we are exposed to during these darker months. Take a walk, go skiing, skating, snowshoeing; whatever will help you burn calories, get sunlight and restore healthy chemistry. Exercise will also help you sleep better.
Share in the spirit of the season by interacting with family and friends. Connecting with family and friends that we do not see on a regular basis can sometimes be stressful during the holidays, but these encounters can also be very meaningful to us and important to our good health long term. The fact that these relationships are so important to us is precisely the reason why they carry a higher emotional charge. Discharge this energy through laughter, exercise, and by engaging in enjoyable activities together.
Take time to enjoy your home and family free from work-related activities/concerns. Disconnect from the electronic world and connect in the present moment with those you care about. These most precious moments we spend together are of a limited quantity and should be enjoyed as often and as thoroughly as possible.
Laugh until your sides hurt, hope, dream, and exercise your beliefs.
If storms come along do your best to remain strong and resilient as you consider options and solicit feedback, but remember that it is also okay to feel poorly in the storm's wake. This is the time to step back, take stock, reset priorities, accept what is to be and gather resources. As always your best resources include family, friends, and professional assistance. In that regard, I am here to support you through all storms; those big and those small.
What a great year at Pease! Congratulations to all. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!