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The Pillars of Wellness3 minute read • March 5, 2020
Understanding the five areas of resilience can help you achieve resiliency and successfully meet the challenges that many military members experience.
Your Road Map to Resiliency
National Guard members may weather a number of unique challenges related to their military service, including difficult duty assignments, long separations from loved ones, combat stress, physical injuries, and others. Many service members also contend with issues at home that may affect their families, jobs, and local communities.
By identifying fitness areas and learning valuable skills to improve and maintain them, service members are better able to cope with stress, navigate life changes with greater ease, and be proactive in preserving overall resiliency. These fitness areas are known as the “Pillars of Wellness.”
Click on the links below each definition for more information, and learn about skills you can develop to assist you on your path to overall fitness.
Emotional wellness includes being self-accepting, self-aware and able to handle your emotions constructively. Some signs of emotional wellness include:
- The ability to identify and express your feelings where needed
- Managing your emotions in a way that maintains your flexibility and poise during challenges, conflicts, and other potentially destabilizing situations
Physical wellness may be achieved through proper nutrition, physical activity, and flexibility, and not just for your Physical Fitness Test. A physically well individual will:
- Maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Possess good eating habits
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Recognize the signs of injury and illness
Whether or not you connect with a religion, spiritual wellness means finding meaning and purpose in your life, which are necessary to foster hope. A spiritually healthy individual will:
- Cultivate an awareness of unity with something greater than themselves, whether that something is a cause, a positive emotion, God or humanity as a whole
- Contemplate questions like, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
- Feel comforted and hopeful, not isolated
Social wellness is all about maintaining harmonious relationships with your friends and loved ones, interacting positively with your social environment and cultivating connections to help you feel supported. Individuals who achieve social wellness are able to:
- Communicate easily with others
- Function well in their duty assignment, place of employment and community
- Engage in positive relationships
Your family unit is just as important as your military unit. Cultivating family wellness involves supporting your children, having support strategies for spouses, partners or parents, and maintaining the health and unity of your family. A healthy family will:
- Seek support in the absence of a service member
- Create a loving, accepting and stable environment for their children
- Approach challenges as a unified group