Finding the Right Balance

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Trent C. Falon
  • 97th Force Support Squadron commander
As we enter an ever more fiscally challenging time within the Air Force, we are often asked to step up and do more with our limited time to accomplish the mission. It's what we do as Airmen--we accomplish the mission that is put before us. With that type of can-do attitude, it brings additional stressors to our already busy lives. Not only are our commitments on the job expanding, but our commitments and responsibilities at home seem to have increased over the years as well. There are college classes to attend, numerous children activities, wing functions and community events. With all that is going on in our lives, it simply makes it hard to find time for individual interests.

This brings us to the importance of having that hobby or activity that allows us to take our attention off of work and home-related stress. That activity may be a weekly lunch with a group of friends, a sporting event, or a daily workout routine. Many of these activities not only bring stress relief, but also connect us to others, and that social support that comes along with it. The benefit of such relationships aids in our self-esteem and confidence. This allows us to take a break mentally from our daily routine. It also gives us that activity that we can look forward to throughout the work week, which will push us even harder to accomplish the mission of the day.

Lately for me it's flying remote control airplanes and model rockets with my kids. It's that time in my schedule that gets my mind off of my stressors, allows me to recharge and do something that is enjoyable. For me it brings a lift to my mood, which in turn makes me much more productive at work.

Hobbies provide an outlet to meet new people, develop relationships and socialize at a level that work often cannot provide. Hobbies have no deadlines, no rules and no pressure to be successful. This is a great escape from the normal work routine.

Everyone should understand the importance of recharging and taking time away from the daily grind. We should make it a priority to look at the opportunities around us and take advantage of them.

In fact, there are many activities offered by the 97th Force Support Squadron that would be great resources for you and your family members. An example of some stress relieving options include golf classes at the Windy Trails Golf Course, bowling at Galaxy Lanes, attending the book club at the base Library, fitness activities at the base Fitness Center, morale, welfare and recreation trips, or hiking the wildlife refuge and exploring Quartz Mountain. No matter what you may choose, the point is to get in touch with your passion and the things that make you "uniquely" you. Taking the time for any hobby will pay off in the effectiveness of your job and your ability to "accomplish the mission."