Health & Safety

September 15, 2013

Blocks to build on: The social pillar

Senior Airman Joshua Cedeno and Senior Airman Andrew Longaker, 355th Comptroller Squadron financial management flight technicians, play rock, paper, scissors during a squadron burger burn Aug. 29. Relaxed interaction with coworkers is one way Airmen can strengthen the social pillar of their Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

 

You’ve had a day for the record books. Not even 15 minutes into the work day you receive a verbal counseling from your supervisor, after which you are so preoccupied you realize you’re running late to a dental appointment. You and your significant other decided to call it quits over lunch, and when the day came to an end and you drive home, ready to decompress, you scrape the side of your car pulling into a parking space in your apartment complex.

You expect to feel anger toward the lemon tree that has suddenly put down roots in your life, but instead an overwhelming feeling of stress, rears its ugly head.

This stress has created a mountain of pressure on your shoulders. What can you do to relieve this weight? How are you going to sort through and deal with everything you’ve faced today?

Circumstances such as these show the importance of being socially fit to maintain one’s Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

“The social pillar is not about the number of friends you have,” said Vincent Howard, 355th Fighter Wing Community Support office coordinator. “It’s not being an extravert. It’s not even necessarily being social in the strict definition of the word. It’s having quality relationships, where you can communicate with others.”

According to a study, conducted by the University of Michigan, just 10 minutes of talking with another person can improve your memory and performance on tests.

“To me, the social pillar is about building bonds with the people around you,” said Senior Airman Joshua Cedeno, 355th Comptroller Squadron financial management flight technician. “That’s an important part of an Airman’s life because those friendships you build early on continue to grow throughout the years and the memories last a lifetime.

Air Combat Command defines the social pillar of CAF as developing and maintaining trusted, valued friendships that are personally fulfilling and foster good communication, including the exchange of ideas, views and experiences.

“An Airman with a strong social pillar maintains healthy relationships with their peers,” said Senior Airman Andrew Longaker, 355th Comptroller Squadron financial management flight technician. “Trust in one another is possibly the most crucial aspect in maintaining our status as the best Air Force in the world.”

There are many events hosted by the base that provide opportunities for healthy social interaction.

“You don’t wait until you’re broke to start managing your money,” Howard said. So don’t wait until you need to talk to start communicating.”

For more information concerning 355th Force Support Squadron events, visit dmforcesupport.com.




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(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

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