MSgt Heather Klein shares her story of how the DPH from the 133AW helped her through a difficult time.

Holiday Resilience

For many people, the holidays are spent dashing around trying to find those perfect presents, slaving over a hot stove and running from one party to another.  As the whirlwind weeks go by and stress levels soar, it might be time to slow down and remember what is important:

Tip #1: ENJOY THE SIMPLE THINGS

Research shows it is often the most ordinary things that have the most extraordinary power.

Slow things down and focus on enjoying the everyday moments before they’re gone.

Tip #2: UNPLUG FROM ELECTRONICS

It can be hard to connect with the people around us during the holidays when we are constantly glued to our smartphones, tablets and computers. Set aside time each day to power down your phone, put it in a drawer and focus on family or loved ones.

Tip #3: RESPECT OTHERS

While the holidays are a time when family and friends come together, they are also a time when joyful gatherings can quickly turn into heated exchanges. Before responding ask yourself 3 questions: 1. Does it have to be said? 2. Does it have to be said now? 3. Does it have to be said by me? And remember silence is always the best option!

Tip #4: LEND A HELPING HAND

Helping others is not only a benefit to them, but to you, as well. Helping others can bring about feelings of self-worth, happiness and even optimism.  

Tip #5: CULTIVATE MOMENTS OF MINDFULNESS 

If you find yourself losing focus of what the holidays are all about, utilize mindfulness techniques such as deep-breathing to relax and regroup. Step outside and take a few, deep breaths.  Inhale the air slowly and deeply through your nose or mouth. Count to three, and then exhale through your lips. This can help you return to your state of calm, so hopefully, you can get back to focusing on what’s important.” 

Source:  Deveraux Center for Resilient Children

Emotional Health Tips

  • Get to know yourself. Ask yourself questions like, “Do I have close relationships with people who have a positive influence in my life?”, “How have I handled conflicts in my life?”, “Am I able to accept responsibility for my actions?”, “Is stress affecting my attitude, my relationships, or my health?” And answer honestly!
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  • Keep a journal. Journaling helps cultivate mindfulness by letting you be the spectator (or “narrator”) of your life. Write down any thoughts, feelings, reflections that come to mind, and read over what you wrote. Like someone on the outside looking in, you can arrive at information about yourself you never knew before.
       
  • Practice optimism. Smile more. Laugh more. Reach out to others or try to put a positive spin on a stressful situation. Even if your heart isn’t in it at first, practicing the act of optimism will eventually become a habit and change the way you feel.

  • Learn to manage stress. Time management strategies that help de-clutter your mind (or at least your desk) can offer relief when you have a stressful schedule. Relaxation techniques including deep breathing, Yoga poses, progressive muscle relaxation, and positive visualization are other proven methods for reducing stress. Remember, scheduling time for yourself can be as important as scheduling anything else on your to-do list! And where possible, remember to rest.

  • Seek advice from a trusted professional. Counselors, chaplains, therapists, and your Director of Psychological Health are all available to you when you need a confidante or military support. They are experienced professionals who are there to serve your immediate emotional needs as well as work collaboratively with you to develop emotional habits that work better for your needs.
  • Mission and Vision Statement

    ANG MENTAL HEALTH MISSION STATEMENT: Ensure, maintain, and enhance the ANG mission readiness by promoting individual, family, and community resilience through readily accessible and exceptional psychological health services.

    ANG MENTAL HEALTH VISION STATEMENT:
     To strengthen operational capabilities by normalizing help seeking behaviors through outreach, prevention, and early intervention driving ANG resilience

     


    Phone Numbers

    Suicide Prevention
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Military Crisis Line
    1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)

    Sexual Assault Response:
    DoD Safe Help Line

    1-877-995-5247

    Signs of Distress

    If you or someone you know exhibits any of the signs of emotional distress below, call your Director of Psychological Health today:

    • Inability to eat, sleep or concentrate
    • Negative outlook or depression
    • Thoughts or attempts of self-harm
    • Irritability, inability to control anger
    • Impulsive behavior
    • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
    • Fearfulness, nervousness or anxiety
    • Hypersensitivity to perceived threats, unexplained suspicion or fear
    • Feeling emotionally numb or detached
    • Inexplicable sadness
    • Flashbacks to traumatic event
    • Confusion or disorientation
    • Resistance to engaging in everyday activities
    • Extreme mood swings
    • Loss of work ethic or social functionality
    • Poor self-care

    Helpful Websites