Fort Riley, Kansas



COMMUNITY CORNER – Reducing cabin fever through exercises building and fostering resiliency

By Col. Andrew Cole Jr. | GARRISON COMMANDER | February 23, 2016

     Cabin fever is starting to set in for many families — mine included. The days get warm — then cold — then the pattern repeats. It’s like we are being teased and tested before the real onset of spring.

     We normally have to wait for spring to bring warmer weather and outdoor activities — times to play and expend some pent-up winter energy. But we are getting a little preview of spring weather lately. Take a look at the opportunities to get out and play with your family during this unseasonably warm period. Play makes happy memories for them and helps us mentally reset and remember why and for who we serve. Those memories and that activity have resiliency written all over them. And, it is a resiliency you have total control over.

     Not all your play has to be outdoors. Hit a parent child arts and crafts class, take your friends to the Warrior Zone for some gaming time or hold a picnic in your living room with the kids or friends. DO things you normally wouldn’t get the chance to do until later in the year. The point is to set yourself up with shared time so that you and your family are resilient when those moments are scarce in the future.

     Soldiers, civilians, family members and — well, all of us — are busy at Fort Riley. That is our reality. It is also our reality to spend a lot of time separated from those we love because of our business. Not only are we busy now, but we will only get busier as the Army mission evolves with the threats and shrinking resources. It makes sense to take care of ourselves and our families by building some time for play; thereby, increasing the resiliency — through shared positive experiences — for ourselves and our family members.

     Since we are having some great weather moments – take advantage of them. Try new things. Moon Lake is full of rainbow trout — go fish. Google a new healthy eating recipe and cook your catch together. There are hiking trails and great walks to be had along the river at the park just outside the Grant gate and several recreation areas on post. We have playgrounds and parks all over the installation that are perfect for playing and building memories with younger children. If looking for more wide-open area or some hills — check out the Flint Hills and the Konza Prairie. Go on foot or by bicycle and enjoy a picnic along the way.

     If your family structure doesn’t include kids — then build memories with your spouse, significant other, a group of good friends or for yourself. Try a cocktails and canvas event put on by the staff at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. Find a 5K in the area and run for a cause. Do something that will cause you to smile whenever you remember it. At some point, we are going to need to look back at that moment and remember it — and we are going to need that smile.

     At the same time as you get outside and build those memories — you alleviate that cabin fever. I’ll claim that as a win also.

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