Military personnel plays an essential role in protecting and looking after their country. So whether you served in the army, marines, or navy, your country is indebted to you for your service.
Serving in the military is demanding, which requires a strict routine and actively guarding your post while on duty. This can lead to numerous injuries and disabilities that need immediate attention once you return to civilian life.
As a veteran, you must acknowledge all the factors weighing down on your mental, physical and emotional health and start actively treating them. At the same time, once you retire, you need to start focusing on your well-being and find a new balance in life that can help you become happy and healthy again. To help you embrace a healthier and more fulfilling life, here’s what you need to do:
- Go For A Consultation
As a veteran, you may be shouldering numerous injuries and diseases you don’t know about. Likewise, you may have scar tissue, unhealed wounds, or borderline symptoms of chronic illnesses that need immediate attention. Therefore, when you come home from active duty, you should check in with a general physician and evaluate yourself. The lab tests, scans, and biopsies will give your doctor a good idea of what you may be dealing with, such as benign cancers. If you served in the military for a long time dating back to the eighties, there’s a high chance you may be struggling with mesothelioma.
Military equipment made in the eighties was rich in asbestos, a microscopic fiber that accumulates in your body. Prolonged exposure makes you susceptible to this cancer which is why if you test positive, you can tap into navy veteran mesothelioma benefits and get yourself treated. Going to your doctor can also help you prevent serious diseases like cholesterol, heart problems, and even breast cancer.
- Join A Support Group
It is not easy adjusting to civilian life. You may not be used to the slow routine and struggle to connect with your family. This can be incredibly isolating for veterans who may feel they missed crucial bonding time with their families. As a result, when you try reaching out to your children or partner, you may feel like a stranger intruding on their life. This can be profoundly depressing, and you may feel alone, which is why joining a support group can help. Speaking to other veterans going through the same experience and motions as you can make you feel more understood.
Support groups give you the space to speak your mind, let out your fears, and share your deepest fears with no judgment. No one will hold your thoughts against you or make you feel guilty for the way you’re handling your transition to civilian life. The active sharing and conversations can act as a guiding light for you. Other support members may also give you practical advice that you can apply to everyday life.
- Ensure You Get Help For Your Mental Health Issues
Veterans deal with many health conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks. These ailments can numb you, suppress your appetite, subject you to hallucinations, and overthink. As a result, you may have intense reactions like sudden jolts of anger, night terrors, and tremors. Unless you get timely help, your symptoms will worsen with time, and your health will take a turn for the worst. Depending on your ailments, you may need to see a psychiatrist.
These are professional mental health givers with the license to medicate and diagnose you. A psychiatrist will also counsel you through your symptoms, check your progress and ensure you react positively to the treatment.
- Eat Well
Your diet plays a significant role in your physique and your mental well-being. Eating nutritious meals is good for you. They digest quickly and release an influx of serotonin which can boost your mood. Active military personnel is used to surviving on military food rations, which are not as filling as your regular diet. Your meal plan should have all the major food groups like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and natural sugars. While you need to go easy on the carbs and sugar, bulk up on proteins and unsaturated fats. Protein like meat, lentils, and quinoa is excellent for your muscles and gives you the energy you need to get through the day.
Bread and pasta may be delicious, but if you’re not actively getting rid of the extra carbs you consume, they will get stored as fats around your body. So treat yourself mainly to grilled meals with salads over pasta. If you’re looking for a snack, fruits and vegetables are better than chips and cookies. Therefore, look up healthy meal plans that are good for your physical well-being and incorporate them into your diet.
- Stay Physically Active
The military is known for its strict workout routines. Some of these may be too harsh on your muscles, making you susceptible to injuries. However, the end goal of all these fitness regimes is to keep you in shape. Following retirement, you need to maintain your fitness levels. If you let yourself go, your stamina may fall short, and your muscles may lose their tautness. Once you fall off the rails, it’s hard to get back on, so make sure you never allow yourself to compromise on your physical well-being. If you have an injury, talk to a physical therapist and your GP before starting your routine.
You need at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. These include activities like yoga and aerobics etc. To build your core, join the gym and do more weight-lifting exercises. Warm up before and after your regime is also a good idea. Your muscles need to relax after you are subject to stress and pressure. This prevents avoidable injuries from occurring and encourages healthy muscular growth.
Retiring from active military life is not easy. You have to say goodbye to a complex and highly intense routine and shift your gears to a mellower one. As a civilian, you should take the time out to focus on yourself and work on your overall well-being. This includes seeing a doctor, speaking to a support group, and checking in with a psychiatrist if needed. Likewise, your diet needs to improve too. This means indulging in meals rich in proteins and fewer carbs.
Proteins keep you in shape and ensure you don’t add extra weight. It would be best if you established a fitness routine, too. If you completely retire from staying physically active, it will take a toll on your overall wellness. Hence, work on yourself, make it to your timely appointments and look after yourself to the best of your abilities.