Invest in your mental health

  • Published
  • By Ms. Mary Arnold, 301 FW director of psychological health

Hello 301st Fighter Wing! I think it’s time for a check in! 

Who would have thought this time last year that we would still be dealing with this pandemic? So much has happened… social distancing, quarantines, loss of jobs, loss of LIVES… and that’s not even close to everything! But, through it all, we have been able to keep the mission going!

And now it looks like things are beginning to return to some sense of “normal” (even though most places still require the beloved accessory… your mask). 

So… what does all of this mean?

We have gotten used to the slower pace of teleworking and quieter days of social distancing. We have learned ways to be more productive in an environment with less interruptions and distractions. We have become more innovative in how we keep the mission going. The good news is that some of these things will stay!  We will continue to be creative and effective at fulfilling the 301 FW mission. 

We have also found ways in our personal lives that have helped us through this pandemic. We have been resilient and I encourage you to continue the healthy habits you have developed during the past year.

As activities resume and schedules fill up, self-care is more important than ever!

Exercise is HUGE for building resilience. The days are longer and the weather is perfect right now, so I can’t think of a better time to get back into a regular exercise routine. This will help balance moods, give you energy, AND help prepare you for your upcoming physical fitness test!   

Get out and meet some new people. The Liberty Program with MWR hosts activities throughout the week which focused on our unaccompanied Airmen. They have game nights, bowling, and even take trips in the area (most of the events are completely free AND Reservists are welcome!). Don’t forget that MWR offers family events as well. 

If you want to get connected to the community, the local area is huge and offers so much! Volunteer somewhere, attend a community event, explore the downtown areas of the smaller towns… you may be surprised at the gems you find!

Focus on your purpose. We often wonder what our purpose is in all aspects of our lives. What are your priorities? What are your goals? What is your center? The thing (or things) that keep you going? Spend some time connecting with this.

Spending time to take care of our own mental health is also extremely important! This past year has taken a toll on us; we are exhausted and stressed. Many are struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some may even have had thoughts of suicide. Reaching out for help takes strength and courage. There are a ton of resources available to you; you don’t have to struggle alone. Reach out to a Wingman, your chaplain, or to me. You are amazing and we are better together!

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