WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – During these times, it can become easy to forget about the social aspect of life and how socially connected we are all meant to be.
Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Jason Shaffer, wing command chief, hosted a video on Airmen wellness in early August as part of the “Let’s Get it Wright” initiative.
They discussed the importance of all four wellness domains and how each one plays a major role in personnel taking care of themselves and the mission.
“We saw over the course of last year how important social connection is,” Miller said. “That was a drain on the soul, the spirit, impacting mentally and sometimes impacting physically because there were no social-connection points.”
Since COVID-19 restrictions have put a cease to many events on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and around the world that would usually attract a large crowd — and also changed the way of life for individuals and families — the usual social connection that people crave is now more important than ever.
Airmen are no exception.
“Some of the social disconnection has allowed some things to slip through the cracks,” Miller said. “As we work to get back together and relearn each other, I believe that we will see the well-being and spirit of Airmen rise.”
Not being socially connected to one another can not only bleed into other aspects of life, it can also attract loneliness, lack of motivation, increased stress, decline of physical health and more difficulty understanding other’s perspectives, said Kaley Bartosik, 88th Force Support Squadron community cohesion coordinator.
“Social wellness and having connections with those around us is especially important during these times because the stress in our daily lives has increased drastically due to additional precautions or restrictions that are constantly changing,” she said. “Making connections with those around, whether it’s friends and family at home or those you work with every day, helps alleviate some of that stress and keeps you grounded.
“Just knowing you are not alone or have someone you can lean on can shift your thinking and give you the boost to keep going and growing.”
Bartosik manages the Unite program, which allows her to coordinate with unit commanders and provide them funding to host cohesion and morale events for their workforce.
“The focus is to revitalize squadrons and build a stronger workforce through making connections and getting to know each other on a personal level while just having fun,” she said.
Opportunities for social activities throughout WPAFB include:
- picture framing
- auto repair
- amusement park and entertainment tickets from Information, Tickets & Travel
- trap/skeet shooting
- Outdoor Recreation rentals and trips
For more information about the Unite program or changes regarding Health Protection Condition Charlie, contact Bartosik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-713-2777.
Base leaders urge Airmen and personnel to remember how vital each wellness domain is to not only their well-being, but also how it can positively or negatively affect families and friends.
“What we need to do in organizations is find ways to use all of these domains in one way,” Shaffer said. “They are not separate because wellness is basically where all of these domains are of importance.”
To watch leadership’s “Let’s Get it Wright” discussion of wellness, visit www.facebook.com/WPAFB/videos/601966714540546/.