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New Integrated Resilience Channel aims to help base stay resilient during holidays

Resilience, or the ability to withstand and recover from life’s adversity, has been a major theme for the Air Force for many years, but it has come to the forefront this year with the stressors that have come with a major pandemic.

Resilience, or the ability to withstand and recover from life’s adversity, has been a major theme for the Air Force for many years, but it has come to the forefront this year with the stressors that have come with a major pandemic.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

To ensure members of the base community are staying resilient during the holidays and beyond, Hill’s community action team has developed an Integrated Resilience Channel.

The IRC, found at www.hill.af.mil/integrated-resilience, delivers education and information through various formats, such as videos and virtual live sessions.

“This past year we have faced many adversities, both as individuals and as a community,” said Col. Jenise Carroll, 75th Air Base Wing commander. “Resilience affords us the capability to deal with change or loss as an inevitable part of life.”

Julie Pinchak, community support coordinator, said the platform will focus on providing a meaningful opportunity for Team Hill members to connect and build personal, team, and organizational resilience.

“Knowing people are spread across different work schedules, with many teleworking, we wanted to provide an opportunity for individuals to build resilience as it relates to holiday stress when and where it was best for them,” Pinchak said. “We have highlighted professionals who are skilled in their craft with the goal of increasing your resilience.”

The IRC will enhance the efforts of Hill’s Community Action Team, which has the mission of integrating base helping agencies into one seamless team that provides the right help at the right time to active duty military members and their family, retirees and DOD civilians.

In addition to videos and live event sessions, the IRC has resources for all of Hill’s helping agencies, including Chaplain Services, Health Promotion, Mental Health, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, Family Advocacy, Airmen and Family Readiness, Wingman Advocates, Employee Assistance Program, MFLC, and Civilian Health Promotion Services.

“Staying connected to each other is so crucial when we’re dealing with hard times and there’s no question that this year has presented us with enough of those,” said Col. Steven Behmer 388th Fighter Wing commander. “We all need to look out for each other every day, and also seek help when we need it. Hopefully this tool makes that a little easier.”

“This channel is a great way for folks to get connected with valuable helping resources right at their fingertips,” added Col. Matthew Fritz, 419th Fighter Wing commander. “Resiliency is more important than ever and I hope personnel across Hill AFB will use this valuable resource.”

Resilience, or the ability to withstand and recover from life’s adversity, has been a major theme for the Air Force for many years, but it has come to the forefront this year with the stressors that have come with a major pandemic.

Pinchak said the channel was rolled out in December as there is often added stress or demands placed on individuals during the holidays, but it will continue to grow and be a resource year round.

“We want you to experience the joy of the season, connected to that which matters most to you,” she said. “When we are overwhelmed and exhausted, we tend to react to life’s events rather than respond consistent with our values or in a manner that helps us reach or goals or improves our relationships with others.”

Pinchak said there are many ways to stay resilient in times of discouragement or stress, including connecting to your values, fueling your mind and body with hydration, nutrition, sleep, movement, and quiet time for prayer or meditation, and spending time with your family and friends are key elements of integrated resilience. 

“These can be accomplished by starting your day with a morning routine, keeping a priority to do list, and focusing on gratitude,” she said. “As we improve our own well-being, we have abundance to share our time and energy with others.”

Thoughts on the IRC and tips for keeping the holidays stress free:

“Do less, enjoy more! I may not be the best at it, but I try to remind myself often of what I enjoyed most from the last holiday season…what made me smile.  Turns out, it wasn’t last minute shopping, over the top meals, and a perfect Christmas tree.  It was the time I spent connecting to family and friends. “ -- Brig. Gen. C. McCauley von Hoffman, Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander

“The Integrated Resilience Channel is another tool we can use as individuals, as peers, and as leaders to strengthen our resolve. We have a responsibility to our teammates, and more importantly, to ourselves to be our best every day.  Resiliency is a key component of being our best and I hope Team Hill takes advantage of the great resources provided by this resilience platform.” -- Chief Master Sgt. Chris Walker, 75th Air Base Wing command chief

"“I appreciate that we have had the opportunity to collaborate across Team Hill and share different stories of resiliency, mindfulness techniques and a way to connect with others all in one place.  Knowing that Team Hill Family working together for each other is a reassuring feeling.  It reflects our ability to connect even in a pandemic, separation, and uncertainty.” -- Chief Master Sgt. Karen Cloyd, 388th Fighter Wing command chief

“Approach the holidays with expectations in mind.  Too often we’ve seen and expect the holidays to be like a Norman Rockwell scene.  Then when we don’t have the holiday spirit we expect or things turn out like a Griswold Family Christmas, we tend to have a depressed feeling.  Set your expectations and realize the holidays are like any other time of year with ups and downs, and frustrations and joys.  Put it into perspective and enjoy it as it plays out.” – Greg Hoffman, 75th Air Base Wing Safety

“The holidays have a bit of a different meaning depending on your personal values.  In the holiday rush we have to remind ourselves what is the most meaningful for you and your immediate family. There are too many positive things we could say yes to and end up overcommitted.  A few well-placed ‘nos’ may provide for a more meaningful and less stressed holiday.  Figure out what activities match your values and focus on those.” -- Richard Knudson, 75th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity

“I believe that lists are important because they provide the brain the opportunity to focus on other things rather than constantly remind you of the things that you need to do.  Writing things down provides the brain with the opportunity to rest and relax.   List help me organize and better plan.” -- LeeAnn Gossett, 419th Psychological Health director

“I find getting to the gym first thing in the morning a small win, and starts the day off positive.  For me it’s my own personal time to focus on my health and the daily tasks ahead.  I need small wins during this difficult time.” -- Lt. Col. Jason Haney, 368th Recruiting Squadron commander