The life of a military person is way more complicated than a civilian’s. During their service, veterans lead an arduous life with exposure to the challenges of war, explosions, or injuries resulting in serious health problems. These include wounds on the body, leaving scars, and sometimes chronic pain. Moreover, veterans suffer from huge mental stress from various factors, such as living without family or losing friends in war zones. Therefore, being a veteran, you should deal with these physical and mental health issues with care to return to living a normal life after retirement.
Luckily there are many ways you can follow to regain your health. So instead of worrying, every veteran should proactively take these steps to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
- Keep yourself updated on the governmental health benefits
Usually, all over the world, veterans are entitled to medical care from their governments. A lot of military people develop symptoms of various common diseases during the time of their service. For example, you may develop hypertension, hearing loss, strains, or sprains. Some veterans have also been exposed to hazardous materials like gunpowder or asbestos. U.S. military used asbestos in aircraft, equipment, ships, and other vehicles because of its low price and its resistance to heat and fire. Due to regular contact with asbestos, many navy officials are at risk of getting a chronic lung cancer called mesothelioma. If you are one of those mesothelioma navy veterans or you served between 1930 till 1980, you may get medical help as well as financial assistance from the government.
Further, you can check if community healthcare providers have anything to offer. You should check your eligibility to be able to receive these services. Before getting any treatment, you must inform them about your specific needs and special circumstances.
- Get a professional consultation
During service, you must have experienced many terrifying incidents that you carry along as horrible memories. According to RAND research, one out of five U.S. veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression. Another study spanning a period of 5 years from 2017 to 2021, has shown that, on average, more than 75% of U.S. active military members and veterans have suffered PTSD due to their military service after 9/11. So, if you are dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any other mental health problems, consulting a psychiatrist or a mental health counselor can be of great help. Your consultant can use talk therapies that may or may not be trauma-focused to help you overcome stress. Or he might give you some medications to help you cope with such issues.
- Eat a nutritious diet
Eating the right food with the right amount of nutrients is crucial to healthy living. A balanced diet improves the immunity system of your body and helps prevent diseases. You must include leafy vegetables, legumes, and fresh fruits in your daily diet. A deficiency of essential vitamins or minerals can give you mood swings or concentration problems. Furthermore, you should reduce your consumption of sugar and alcohol to avoid diabetes, heart or liver diseases, and obesity.
As the age of a veteran increases, the risks of severe ailments also increase. It would help if you reached out to a dietician or a nutritionist to get a perfect meal plan according to your needs. You may study the dietary guidelines for Americans, which offer guidance on what to consume based on scientific research.
- Stay active and engage in healthy activities
Active participation in daily chores, gardening, or walking your pet could be a few ways to improve your overall health. Daily walking or exercise is another great step to boost your energy level and revitalize your internal organs. You may also start yoga to feel calm and relaxed and forget the harsh memories of war. It involves breathing techniques and physical postures to strengthen your body and mind.
On the other hand, lying on a couch and watching tv for hours may be more depressing for you. A sedentary lifestyle will only aggravate your health issues. Instead, you should find an enjoyable hobby or learn a new skill that can become your hobby. There are a lot of exciting activities like camping, hiking, playing musical instruments, or keeping a pet if you love animals.
It’s human nature to associate and mingle with fellow human beings. Spending time with your loved ones is a great blessing and another way to combat your emotional traumas. You can play indoor games with your family and kids, such as scrabble, puzzles, or chess. These games help you exercise brain cells while winning or losing a game gracefully with your family may give you a reason to laugh out and enjoy. Overall, these games can boost your relationship and give you a sense of achievement.
Some veterans feel they don’t have a close bond with their family members or children because they spent a long time away from their homes. Kids grow up to get busy in their own lives, and they don’t give you proper time or attention. The feeling of loneliness or isolation can again bring depression or anxiety. Rather than thinking and stressing about your situation, you should find a way to get out of your routine.
Interacting with like-minded people can bring relaxation and boost your mood. For example, you may find people of your age or interest in your neighbors and spend some time with them regularly.
Life as a soldier is tough and brings a lot of challenges to every veteran. But proper planning and care can help you overcome all the hurdles that come your way to a happy and healthy life. You can undoubtedly do or achieve anything in life if you have a positive attitude, willpower, and determination. Following the abovementioned guidelines can improve your health and make you feel much better after your service.