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COVID-19: Finding Strength When Filled With Uncertainty

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

A few months ago, our lives changed drastically.  

While that change was appropriate and necessary, it was not welcomed. The quarantine and social-distancing requirements upended our routines, and uncertainties took hold. In turn, they fueled fears.   

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions humans experience. Designed for survival, it is an “alarm” that goes off in our minds of something painful, threatening or dangerous. If that “alarm” is ignored or poorly managed, it can comprise our mind and body. And, with the current circumstances, it seems as if the “alarm” keeps going off.

Focusing on one or more of the following four areas is a great way to address that “alarm.”

Physically: Monitoring our health, staying physically active, keeping social distances and wearing masks are ways to address that alarm physically. Medical personnel remain available by telephone and at medical facilities to ensure the care of those in need.  

Emotionally/Mentally: Talking to one other about our concerns and hopes, and sharing our stories and mutual concerns are important. Sharing the load alleviates stress and builds relationships. 

Socially: While we can’t be physically close, we must remain connected to those that matter - old and new. People are learning about those in need and finding unique ways to help them. Technology has greatly supported our ability to remain in communication while complying with social-distancing requirements.

Spiritually: We should focus on what is important and be grateful for one other and little things we took for granted. Everybody is in the same boat. We move forward when we remain hopeful.

It is important to remember that our worries are normal and manageable. American actor George C. Scott said, “The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” We get even stronger when we take care of ourselves and each other. 

If you need to speak with someone, call Military One Source 1-800-342-9647 or the Director of Psychological Health is available for you via email at kristi.mccann.1@us.af.mil.