Why I started to prioritize self care

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dakota Raub
  • Space Launch Delta 45 Public Affairs

One thing that is always on my mind is success. Success can be looked at in many different ways. What success means to me is achieving all my goals, both professional and personal, while having a great work/life balance.

Most of the time, my main focus is work and achieving all my professional goals.

I currently work as a public affairs specialist for Space Launch Delta 45 at Patrick SFB. This may be biased, but I have one of the coolest jobs and missions in the military. I get to witness historic moments almost every single week and I couldn’t ask for a better team or better experiences.

It is very easy to do this job because I enjoy it, but sometimes, it is hard to ‘turn it off’.

When we launch twice in 24 hours, and the U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations shares one of my launch photos, it is very hard to stop and slow down.

I always want to do more, be better, and continue contributing to the team. However, in order to do all of that, I was forgetting to take care of one key element – me.

I was bringing work home with me, and found myself always thinking or talking about work. I knew I needed to make huge changes in my life so that I did not keep heading down this path.

When I heard about Patrick SFB Outdoor Recreation’s new campaign, ‘Recharge for Resiliency,’ I figured it would be a great way for me to switch up my routine and take a break from work.

I decided to sign up my husband and I for the bioluminescent kayak tour. Bioluminescence is when a living organism gives off a bright blue glow caused by a chemical reaction. These tours take people into the river by kayak to witness this beautiful glow underneath the water.

Normally these tours are over $100, but through outdoor recreation, it was only $10 per person.

Even though I was timid at first, this experience was exactly what I needed to recharge. The kayak tour was an incredible experience for my husband and I. It was my first time kayaking at night and the moonlight was the only source of light. Even though I was out of my comfort zone, my mind was free to focus on this experience.

As we kayaked, we saw an alligator floating on top of the water just 30 yards away from us. We also toured through tons of narrow rivers surrounded by vegetation. 

Due to the recent hurricane, we did not get to see much of the blue illumination from the bioluminescence, but we did get to see comb jellies. A comb jelly is a small, oval, clear, jellyfish-like creature. When they’re moved, they light up like lightning.

It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and an amazing ending to an incredible experience.

This activity really opened my eyes to the importance of branching out, trying new things, and getting my mind off work. While this experience may not have seemed extravagant, it showed me the importance of self care and the role it plays in my pursuit for success.

Taking a pause was just what I needed. I plan to continue participating in events through outdoor recreation going forward.

If you are interested in participating in events through the Patrick SFB Outdoor Recreation Office, you can visit their website: