• S2:49 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 30

    Today is the last episode of the month. This has been a hard journey for me, both mentally and emotionally. My wife dealt with multiple nights of me crying at the laptop while I listened to LoFi music and typed out the scripts for the past 31 episodes. This was a form of therapy for me, but not really the kind I would recommend. Talking things out and getting your thoughts and feelings out are a great way to work through some things, but make sure you have a supportive network around you to give you a nice warm hug and rub your back a little bit. My youngest gives some pretty good snuggles and I took advantage of that on numerous occasions. Regardless of your current mental or emotional state, we all need support from time to time. Please use the resources available to you and reach out if you or someone you know needs them. Don't wait until you need them to start the Google box... put the numbers in your phone or download some apps. If you ever need assistance in getting to a helping organization, reach out to the Art Resiliency Team 24/7. If you are unsure of what helping agency will best fit your needs, let me know; I'll walk you around to all of them until we find the best fit for you. Remember to take care of yourselves, and if you can, take care of someone else too.


    S2E49 - 5m - Sep 30, 2021
  • S2:E48 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 29

    Mental health and physical health are closely linked. One way to ensure that physical health is maintained, diet. This episode gives some specific tips in thinking about how you eat and what to think about while you eat. Mindful eating is something I practiced when I stayed at Buddhist Temples in Korea. Sitting in silence, eating 5 grain rice, feeling each grain between my teeth and how my saliva started to break down the carbohydrates before I even got to swallow. It sounds boring, right? It was at first, but allowing time for your body to fully respond to nutrients that are being provided can definitely be a spiritual event. I have only done mindful eating for weight loss once, when the Air Force enforced a waist measurement. I was definitely more round than I am today and in order to pass the waist tape, I needed to lose about 8 inches off the midsection. I used this to ensure I knew when I was hungry or when I was bored and it helped me from shoveling Zebra Cakes down my throat while I watched Stargate SG-1.

    S2E48 - 4m - Sep 29, 2021
  • S2:E47 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 28

    Today's episode discusses a Korean Linguist that succumbed to suicide in 2012. If listening to the story is going to cause you additional stress, please skip today's episode. These are not easy discussions and believe me, they are not easy to record, but they are truly necessary. They show us that too many of our brothers and sisters, actively serving or previously awarded the DD 214, are making permanent decisions to temporary problems. We need to come together to ensure that connections and bonds are forged and strengthened so that isolating thoughts or beliefs that the world is a better place without one of our own are removed from each of our Airmen and Guardians.

    S2E47 - 4m - Sep 28, 2021
  • S2:E46 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 27

    I can never overstate my thoughts and feelings on reaching out to those who can and will help. It is literally the reason why I am still on this Earth today. This time of the year is difficult for me as I attempted suicide in September. I lost my uncle and a fellow Korean Linguist, Cari Loggins in October. My brother-in-law and a fellow Korean Linguist, Chris Hethcoat were lost in the month of November. I find myself listening to Imagine Dragons - Wrecked, even though he is singing about his sister-in-law that succumbed to cancer, the words still hit pretty hard. Let's not be vulnerable with each other, but brave enough to discuss our sorrows. I am not alone in our Group when it comes to suicide and, although I wish it would, suicides are not going to stop in the world. Let people in and know who you are, the beautiful and the ugly. You are not alone in this world when it comes to your torment or trauma. Reach out and join the community that is here for you.

    S2E46 - 4m - Sep 27, 2021
  • S2:E45 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 26

    This episode is another message about connection and boosting them. Just like the dinner via the interwebs from September 17th, you can have a great conversation and enjoy some time with friends or family that are not local. Text a friend you haven't talk to in a while and catch up with an activity you can both do, remotely. Life is better with other people, trust me.

    S2E45 - 3m - Sep 26, 2021
  • S2:E44 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 25

    How would you feel if you walked by someone that was literally giving themselves a pat on the back? Would you judge them? You might question if their leadership is so absent that they have to seek appreciation or acknowledgment from themselves. Perhaps they accomplished a personal goal that they have been working on for a few weeks and the efforts just came to fruition and it's a personal victory. I will say, sometimes we need a pep talk; from both external and internal sources. Let's normalize positive self-talk and personal congratulatory expressions. Maybe the yoga you started practicing from Day 11 can help with flexibility if you had trouble before reaching your back. Someone is going to need to provide some assistance to MSgt Cyr in the DO Section of Group Staff. I am not sure the amount of muscle on his shoulders or arms would allow him to physically pat himself. He's got a team of Wingmen, just like each of you. 

    S2E44 - 5m - Sep 25, 2021
  • S2:E43 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 24

    I am not sure how many people I have talked with about planning the night before, but it's more than one. There are so many techniques for planning and execution that I could devote an entire season of podcasts to them. Take 10 minutes tonight to reflect on the week you just had and write down the things that you need or want to accomplish next week. Get it out of your head so your weekend is free of worry and you can truly rest; you deserve it.

    S2E43 - 3m - Sep 24, 2021
  • S2:E42 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 23

    Today I want to talk about our Chaplain's and their ability to assist you in your mental health and resiliency. With the 100% confidentiality they allow and are legally bound to, nothing you say to either Chaplain Edison or (T)Sgt Orlando is allowed to be discussed unless you expressly provide written approval. You don't have to be religious or spiritual in any way shape or form, if you need someone to talk to, they are available to you 24/7. They are an amazing resource to provide guidance, a sounding board, a source of validation, and an unbiased ear to listen to your concerns, issues, or dilemmas. Asking for help may seem like a bridge too far, so instead, just sit down and talk to our Religious Support Team about Fantasy Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Wrestling, or Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If the conversation leads to troubles in your marriage or feelings of isolation, that's perfectly fine.

    S2E42 - 7m - Sep 23, 2021
  • S2:E41 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 22

    If you have read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell, he discusses Dunbar's Number and that the size of an effective social network is limited to 150 members. Social scientists theorize that 150 is the limit of the human ability to remember and respond to all the members in a group. All I am asking is for you to reach out one. One person that has made an impact on you for the better. We all have at least one person who drove us to be better than we thought we could be. If that person is still alive, text them, call them, write them a letter, or just post a message on social media describing the impact that this person has had on you. Letting them know that they matter to you will not only improve their day, but it'll do some pretty cool things for yours as well.

    S2E41 - 4m - Sep 22, 2021
  • S2:E40 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 21

    I personally use belly breathing when I go into the ART and any medical procedures for two reasons. First, I have "White Coat Syndrome" and my blood pressure spikes when I go into any medical facility and I don't want the Doc to think I'm about to have a stroke due to my blood pressure skyrocketing. I know Maj Olmstead, MSgt Navarrette, or TSgt Johannesson can't tell you that this happens with me specifically, but I give them permission to confirm what I said. It gets rough sometimes and I try not to take more of their time. The second reason why I practice belly breathing is before I need to talk about something difficult. I've done a lot of belly breathing this month prior to recording and during the writing of the episodes as these are not easy topics for me either. There have been hours of audio deleted because I stop breathing from holding back the feelings and pain that some of these episodes have brought up. A few deep belly breaths and I'm ready to go a few more minutes, depending on the topic. Give it a few tries when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed and focus on your pulse, you'll be able to feel it better and you should see a drastic drop in beats per minute.

    S2E40 - 4m - Sep 21, 2021
  • S2:E39 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 20

    This episode is about ensuring your personal safety when times get tough. A reoccurring theme throughout this month and something I hope you remember well after, suicide is preventable. I discuss multiple steps you can take to ensure your own safety but remember that reaching out and seeking help, although extremely difficult, is the best way to protect yourself and those you love. If you need help, raise your hand and we'll come to you.

    S2E39 - 8m - Sep 20, 2021
  • S2:E38 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 19

    You have 168 hours in a week, make sure you use at least some of that time to talk with friends, family, or colleagues about the importance of mental health and self-care. Recognize that sometimes, our best may not reach the same heights as other days, and that's perfectly okay. You are not a machine and no one expects you to be one. All I ask is that you take the time necessary to ensure that your mental health and self-care are prioritized as high as your work tasks. Service before self does NOT mean service instead of self.

    S2E38 - 3m - Sep 19, 2021
  • S2:E37 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 18

    We all have a mandate to stay physically fit but that is not only so we look good in our service dress. Physical exertion has so many health benefits for the mind and the spirit. We all want to have the peace of mind of being able to pass a PT test at any time, so a consistent exercise program will not only provide the reassurance needed for passing tests, but it will also provide endorphins and allow the stress of the days and weeks to be shaken off. Here's a challenge for anyone willing to drop their times: do the following exercises and let me know what your time is. 50 air squats, 25 burpees, 40 sit-ups, 25 burpees, 30 push-ups, 25 burpees. 

    S2E37 - 6m - Sep 18, 2021
  • S2:E36 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 17

    Cooking is not something I particularly excel at. I've made a few dishes in my life that were worthy of praise, but for the most part, I stay out of the kitchen, especially when my wife is cooking (she doesn't need an extra child in there). Also, I am useless without a recipe and directions. If you try this out, let me know what dishes you made.

    S2E36 - 3m - Sep 17, 2021
  • S2:E35 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 16

    As someone who is affected greatly by my sleep issues, I can't stress how important adequate, restful sleep can be. When I don't get my 7½ hours of beauty rest, it affects each part of my life, with how productive I am, how I treat people at work, and how I interact with my family. If you are not satisfied with your sleep quality, talk to Maj Olmstead, MSgt Navarrette, or TSgt Johannesson to discuss some options and learn some helpful tips and tricks.

    S2E35 - 8m - Sep 16, 2021
  • S2:E34 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 15

    Journaling has been a big part of my life since I was a child. Anyone who has gone through trauma and seen a therapist was told or recommended to keep a journal or diary of their thoughts and feelings. Someone once said that "Everything you need to know, you learned in Kindergarten." Well, I didn't learn to journal until 3rd grade so I am a little behind the curve in that aspect, but I've been a work-in-progress for a while. After the death of a friend and my suicide attempt, I have kept journals and filled numerous composition and other notebooks. Today, I've upgraded to keeping my journals and notes in Obsidian (obsidian.md) so I can link specific feelings, thoughts, and events together with a graph view to aid in recognizing patterns. However you want to manage the chaos in this world, journaling is a simple and cheap way to keep order. 

    S2E34 - 5m - Sep 15, 2021
  • S2:E33 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 14

    Gratitude is a simple thing to track. Some people recommend to write down three things you are grateful for at the end of the day so you are actively looking for things to be grateful for throughout the day and others recommend writing down three things first thing in the morning so that you start your day with gratitude in mind and allows that to permeate throughout your day. I know that keeping a gratitude journal of the things I am grateful for when it comes to my wife and kids has transformed how I interact with them. When you are actively looking for gratitude inducing situations, you see more positivity in the world around you. That is never a bad thing, especially with your loved ones. 

    S2E33 - 5m - Sep 14, 2021
  • S2:E32 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 13

    This episode almost feels like a follow-on to yesterday's. The message is still the same, if you notice someone in pain, help. So many nuances and tones are missed through digital communications so if you ever feel like something is off with someone, say something. Talk with them on the phone or in person. Verbal cues and vocal intonation can provide so much of a person, regardless of the words they say.  

    S2E32 - 8m - Sep 13, 2021
  • S2:E31 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 12

    We have all gone through ACE training and for many of us, we have never felt the need to use it. It's a very difficult to put yourself in, especially if you are way off base. However, that slight uncomfortable feeling can be the start of a conversation that saves a life or, at least, helps you find out what is going on in a colleague's life. If you see someone in pain, help.

    S2E31 - 5m - Sep 12, 2021
  • S2:E30 - Suicide Prevention Month - Day 11

    Yoga is a great way to connect to your body. We all need breaks throughout the day and some light stretching is a great way to refocus your mind and keep blood flowing throughout the limbs. No one is going to judge you if you step away from the desk for a few minutes, strike a Warrior Pose for 30 seconds and complete a sun salutation. Even if they do, you'll be more energized and ready for a snarky comeback if the need arises. 

    S2E30 - 4m - Sep 11, 2021
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