Today, over 22 million veterans in the United States of America, encounter various challenges when returning to civilian life.
Most veterans fight mental health, family and medical issues. Military service, especially combat-related duty affects veterans’ physical, emotional and personal lives.
Memories of combat violence and other life-threatening or traumatic experiences cause mental health issues in veterans. Approximately 30% of veterans are diagnosed with PTSD yet only 4% of adults in the general population do suffer from this mental health condition.
Furthermore, 20% of veterans with PTSD also struggle with drug abuse or alcohol addiction.
Veterans also struggle with other mental and physical health issues such as severe burns, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, or limited mobility. The veterans usually have to undergo various rehabilitation sessions and surgeries to treat their conditions.
Other issues that veterans struggle with include:
- Homelessness – veterans make up 7% of the entire U.S population. However, they make up 12% of all homeless American population. The rate of veteran homelessness has dropped by 30% since 2010 when it was at its peak.
- Poor understanding of military services – the general public and families of veterans don’t understand what military service entails and the challenges that veterans face trying to return to civilian life.
- Deficits in education – veterans experience education deficits in comparison to the overall population. Most veterans lack college degrees because they joined service post high school.
Whereas 30% of the general American population have graduated from college, only 26% of veterans have college degrees.
Veterans need to adopt healthy lifestyles to improve their general health, wellbeing and happiness. They must engage in routine wellness activities to live healthier, happier lives.
Prioritize wellness to develop a positive and stable life after military service. However, developing healthy habits after military life can be difficult. Here’re a few things you can do to enjoy improved health:
6 Ways Veterans Can Attain Better Health
Prioritize mental health
Wellness and mental health are interdependent. As an example, veterans with PTSD or depressions struggle to navigate their daily activities.
Prioritize mental health to help overcome related health issues. Attend group therapy, talk with a professional or seek virtual therapy services or telehealth to manage mental health issues.
Find organizations such as Disabled American Veterans that help veterans with filing for benefit claims such as Medicare health insurance or VA health benefits with the government. Other organization also help with employment, medical and other general needs of veterans.
Eat healthy to feel right
Veterans need a balanced diet to live healthy. Proper nutrition helps maintain the right body weight and increases levels of energy in the body for healthy living.
Make meal plans weekly to avoid consuming more calories than your body needs. It also makes preparation of meals easy. Avoid sugary drinks and drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to improve your mood and cut weight.
Veterans also need to drink clean water to stay hydrated. Look for a fantastic option water softener option based on reverse osmosis to soften hard well water. When picking the right filter, make sure what you buy is right for each category of intended use.
Get a service dog for a veteran
Get a service dog for veterans diagnosed with brain injuries, PTSD, impairments of vision, and physical injuries. Some organizations that offer service dogs for veterans include:
The Puppy Jake Foundation in Iowa’s Des Moines raise puppies as service dogs through the help of volunteers. Puppies Behind Bars in New York and Puppy Jake Foundation help veterans to raise dogs for their health needs.
Daily exercises can help you feel invigorated and motivated to get your job done. They also boost body energy. Attain physical or group activity to enjoy physical fitness and live a healthy lifestyle.
Some exercises you can do daily to improve your exercise level include:
- Engaging in a group activity
Boosts endorphins production – When you exercise, you engage your mind, body and soul for better living. Other great forms of exercise include:
- Tai Chi
- Lifting weights
Yoga strengthens the mind and body while calming it to relax. With a relaxed attitude, you can enhance your relationships. Veterans gain from better physical posture, and improved breathing techniques to lower depression, stress and anxiety.
Use Tai Chi’s slow, purposeful motions and deep breathing techniques to exercise. The low impact exercise exerts less stress on your joints and muscles.
Tai Chi can benefit veterans as follows:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Improve mood
- Enhance flexibility, balance and agility
- Improves stamina
- Increases energy levels
Fight homelessness and talk to loved ones
Veterans need shelter, food and health screenings, among other basic needs to enjoy good health. Organizations such as Stand Down and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans help homeless veterans to get homes.
Veterans also have the need to talk with their loved ones. USO Operation’s Phone Home and USO service centers offer access to high-speed internet and free phone calls to help veterans talk with their loved ones.
Free prepaid international calling cards allow veterans abroad to talk to their family members back home.
Finances and Health
Veterans need to know how their finances affect their general health. Understanding of your financial situation helps deal with it to achieve your goals and enhance outcomes. Some problems linked to financial stress include:
- Substance abuse
Veterans need the right services and help to live healthier lives. Various organizations offer veteran services for wellness. Understanding your finances help determine how to move forward. Veterans need to become literate financially and develop a better future for their loved ones.