HomeNewsArticle Display

Keeping resilient during COVID-19

A graphic displaying ways to stay mentally fit during coronavirus disease 2019.

April is Stress Awareness Month. The graphic displays several ways for people to keep mentally fit during coronavirus disease 2019. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Life for service members and their families can feel like a whirlwind at times. Hectic work schedules, deployments, temporary duty assignments, permanent change of stations, maintaining a work/life balance and upholding the standards of the Armed Forces are just a few of the things placed upon military members and their family’s shoulders. Though some of these things have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these life stressors still present themselves to us daily. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we remain resilient.

 

“The focus of resilience is to thrive socially, mentally, spiritually and physically; and deal effectively with stress and adversity,” said Lorie Woodcock, the 45th Space Wing’s Community Support Coordinator. “Research tells us that those who make resilience practice a part of their life are better able to navigate change, communicate with others, and operate under pressure. This not only means performance at our military mission, but also our performance as a spouse, parent, co-worker, friend or family member.”

 

Much of the world is operating under strict conditions in order to flatten the curve, leaving large amounts of individuals working or isolating in their homes. For some, it may have been months since they were able to visit their loved ones, their children were able to go to school, or their spouses were able to work. All these recent changes require an incredible grasp of resilience to work through – and Team Patrick-Cape has just the right people to help with that.

 

“We have a talented team of 87 individuals who have completed a formal Resiliency Facilitator Training Program,” said Woodcock. “This team of Active Duty, Department of Defense Civilians, Air Force Reservists, and DoD Family Members can be called upon to share their expertise to our community through classes, small group discussions, one-on-one, or virtually during this time.”

 

Some might think of resilience as the act of “bouncing back;” when in reality, it is the act of “bouncing forward”. For some, everyday life stressors have been heightened with the introduction of COVID-19. Though resilience skills will not take that stress away; they can help deal with stress in a healthy way and help us take care of ourselves and our relationships.

 

“We have a tendency to fall into comfortable habits, and we sometimes want an escape,” said Woodcock. “That may mean being a caretaker and putting everyone else’s needs first, staying hunched over your computer all day teleworking, working long hours for our mission essential folks, or zoning out on TV and junk food. It is important to be intentional about taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. Just as we can’t run a car on empty, we can’t continue to go non-stop. We have to take time to refresh and fill our tank.”

 

Take a breather from work and walk outside for 10 minutes of fresh air. Turn off the TV and news to listen to music or read a book. Couples can trade off caring for children to give each other quiet time. Spending each day home, only leaving for work or necessities, can be an especially trying time for relationships.

 

“Be patient with one another,” said Woodcock. “Have a daily check in time where you let each other know how you are doing and what you need help with. Resilience also means having and using resources you can turn to, whether those are friends, family members or your base helping agencies.”

 

One key element to staying resilient is getting information from a credible source. Our Key Spouse network is an asset that each military family should have on speed-dial. This goes for our Chaplains, Airman & Family Readiness Center and First Sergeants as well.

 

“Anyone who has traveled has heard the importance of putting your oxygen mask on first so you can help others, and resilience is the same,” said Woodcock. “We have to take care of ourselves to be able to care of others and perform at our best. Reach out to your unit Resilience Trainers, your community and helping agencies. Regardless of what our role is, we are a part of the Team Patrick-Cape military family and are stronger together.”

 

Below are sources to keep you and your military family resilient during this time:

Airman & Family Readiness Center: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Patrick-Airman-Family-Readiness-114677033228511/

School Liaison: www.facebook.com/PatrickCYES.SLO

45 SW Chapel: www.facebook.com/patrickairforcebasecatholics & www.facebook.com/patrickprotestantchapel

Air Force Resilience: www.Resilience.AF.mil

Military One Source: www.militaryonesource.mil

Civilian Employee Assistance Program: https://www.afpc.af.mil/EAP