In today’s Friday Field notes, we continue our series of examining how cooperative extension can support Total Force Fitness. This week will explore the programs available through cooperative extension that support psychological fitness.
What is Psychological Fitness?
The ability to cope with the stressors associated with military life is at the core of psychological fitness. Both military and civilian families face a variety of everyday stressors (e.g., parenting, financial stress), but military families also face unique stressors (e.g., PCS, deployment).
There are many proactive and important coping skills, but social support is an important factor in individuals’ ability to cope with stressors. Join the Network Literacy and Nutrition and Wellness teams for the Avoiding Burnout: Building Resilience Through Relationships webinar on June 25th at 11 am to learn more about building relationships for social support.
Reach out to line leaders, doctors or chaplains for appropriate care right away if military family members:
- Can’t shake feeling down or worried
- Have thoughts that repeatedly cause anxiety
- Have sleep problems
- Have thoughts about hurting themselves or others
Resources are available and they work. Contact the Psychological Health Resource Center 24/7 by calling 1-866-966-1020 for answers to questions.
Cooperative Extension and Psychological Fitness
Cooperative extension provides programming that supports psychological fitness. Check out your state’s cooperative extension website for blog posts, resources, and events near you. Here are some great examples of resources from Alabama, Louisiana, and Virginia.
Mindfulness Education. Mindfulness is a great way to learn to cope with everyday stressors. The practice of mindfulness involved focusing on the present in order to reduce anxiety and stress. PennState Extension offers a great resource for information on what mindfulness is and some ideas for practice. Many local extension programs also provide mindfulness training to small groups. Contact your local county extension office to inquire about any upcoming mindfulness events.