Tips for returning military members and their families
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Tips for Returning Veterans and Their Families
Whether you’re a reservist or in the military full-time, your return from active duty means personally reconnecting with family and friends and resuming everyday life. Returning to everyday life may be a major change that results in added stress. If accepted and handled appropriately, stress can be turned into a source of enthusiasm for new beginnings with family and friends
NewBridge offers the following tips to help returning military veterans and their families during the transition period
- Realize relationships may be different. Take time for yourself and others to readjust to home life. Accept that you, your partner and/or your family may have changed from the time of deployment.
- Be patient and tolerant. New experiences during deployment may bring changes to attitudes and outlooks.
- Spend time with family and friends. For months, family members and friends have been worrying about you. Upon your return make a special effort to spend time with family and friends.
- Share your time, talent and support with others. Strength not only comes from within, it also comes from community
- Do not assume old roles too quickly. Take time to ease back into your routine. Make a list of those things that must be done—such as banking, making living arrangements, contacting friends and relatives—and take them one by one. Trying to do too much too soon will only add to your stress level. Consider putting off major decisions until you have had plenty of time to adjust.
- Take care of your physical health and mental well-being. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid excessive drinking and maintain a healthy diet.
- Take a mental health break and do things you find relaxing, ie. fishing, attending concerts, or visiting a nearby park or lake and soak in the sights and sounds of your environment
- Communicate with others. Added stress can increase anger, feelings of hopelessness, and trigger traumatic recollections. Talk with others about your experiences and what you’re feeling can help relieve stress.
- Expect something of a letdown. Most service members experience this feeling. It simply means that you’re no longer running on pure adrenalin and that things are beginning to settle down. It may also mean that the homecoming hasn’t solved all the problems that existed before the mobilization. These feelings should go away after a short time, if they persist, consider seeking professional help from community resources.
- Watch your spending. Upon return, there will be a strong urge to spend. Don’t spend more than you can afford.
- Establish a normal routine. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed by daily activities.
- Most importantly, start the rebuilding process together as a family. Get involved in positive activities that encourage togetherness and reassurance.