A veteran’s life after the military is quite different. There are no orders to execute, and you are free to build your own routine. However, transitioning into post-military life is tricky; with freedom comes confusion. Right now, you might be wondering about what things to include in your new life and how to ensure you are healthy. You might be unaware of your options as a retired army officer too. But you don’t have to worry; we can help you through the build-a-content-civilian-life mission post your military service.
You can follow some tips to complete this assignment successfully, so let’s jump right into them.
- Take Advantage of Your Wellness Visits
You don’t have to be sick to take your health seriously, which is why wellness visits are a great start. These annual visits are a preventive measure and often include a thorough physical exam. After the check-in, the medical staff runs lab and BMI tests. It conducts heart and lung examinations to ensure your organs are working fine.
Even though some tests can vary depending on age, gender, and medical background, most screenings are the same for everyone. Wellness visits provide a great chance to get tested for high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Unfortunately, there are various health conditions that veterans have to face after their service. From mental health issues like PTSD, anxiety, and depression to chronic illnesses like hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, and even cancer. Because just exactly how many times have you heard the words veterans and mesothelioma in the same sentence? Possibly countless. Even though veterans are at high risk of developing this deadly cancer, its symptoms are often misdiagnosed as asthma. As your wellness visits can help track your lungs’ health, they can assist in the early diagnosis of the disease, and you can get VA benefits and treatment early.
The wellness checkups are covered by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), so you don’t have any reason left to put off your free wellness visits.
- Tend To Injuries Without Delay
Military years come with many adventures and dangerous circumstances. These situations often result in broken bones, burns, and countless wounds. While many damages get noticed and get treatment during the military years, many can go unobserved. As a result, you might be oblivious to hidden injuries for several years until you develop an unfortunate complication.
Whether you have a physical injury or PTSD, you must seek medical attention as early as possible. Likewise, if you happen to sustain any new injuries, you should promptly seek medical help. Studies show that getting early treatment minimizes the time taken for recovery. Delaying care will aggravate the condition and reduce the chances of recovery. So, if you have an unrecovered or torn muscle, getting timely treatment might relieve the pain and save you from a long struggle.
- Take Care of Your Mental Health
Service isn’t just physically laborious; it impacts your mental health too. Every task requires extreme vigilance and carrying out commands perfectly. As a result, the military service years are filled with high stress. Moreover, witnessing loss and death on duty can leave scars that cannot be seen. Because of this, mental health is a struggle for many soldiers. Sadly, mental health stigmatization has withheld many struggling veterans from reaching out and receiving proper mental health services.
According to substance abuse and mental health administration, only 50% of the struggling veterans get the mental health attention they need. A recent study also highlighted that mental health is neglected the most amongst veterans; veterans committed 17.8% of the recorded suicides. It is why you should make your mental health a priority and never shy away from signing up for therapy if you need it.
Remember, being a soldier doesn’t translate to never needing help.
- Start Yoga
To stay healthy, being physically active is essential. While many choose aerobic exercise, we suggest you go for yoga. Like any other exercise, yoga boosts energy, but unlike most workouts, it also engages the mind.
Yoga increases flexibility and maintains a balanced metabolism. It also prevents joint and cartilage breakdown and improves muscle strength and tone. Moreover, several studies show yoga can reduce the risks of hypertension and improve heart health. Since many veterans struggle with PTSD and depression, yoga can be a perfect fit as it also effectively reduces stress.
- Connect With Your Loved Ones
Human beings are designed to have a communal life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports social isolation increases the risk of dementia, depression, heart diseases, and stroke. These all inflate the chances of premature death. In other cases, loneliness can lead people to commit suicide.
Research shows a strong correlation between healthy and supportive relationships and happy and healthy life. The people who have a wholesome support group in their life also tend to live longer. So, with military duties off your shoulder, now is the perfect time to foster healthy connections. Be it friends, family, romantic partners, or even colleagues, ensure a wholesome network surrounds you. Grab a drink with your friends once in a while, and bond over funny stories. Take a trip with your family or enjoy some recreational activity with your fellow worker outside of work.
Once out of the military, you have the liberty of restarting your civilian life the way you want. But no matter what you decide, you need to start by tending to your old injuries without delay to have a strong head start. Start by taking advantage of the VA-sponsored wellness health visits to keep medical issues away from you.
Since health is not limited to physical well-being, taking care of mental health is crucial too. You can sign up for therapy sessions or reach out to family or medical personnel to ensure you are mentally fit. Lastly, by incorporating yoga into your daily routine, you can further ensure you are taking care of your health – physical and mental.