Stress is an occupational hazard for people serving in the armed forces. We hear stories about people leaving the military because of burnout and young officers suffering heart attacks.
Yes, serving in the army can be very stressful, but there are ways to manage stress, such as finding time to practice self-care. The idea of self-care may be different for every person. You need to figure out what works best for you. Start by noticing what makes you feel invigorated and what makes you feel drained. Some people exercise and have a healthy diet as part of their self-care routine. In contrast, some watch television or listen to music. Below are some self-care tips for military officers.
Never feel shy to admit that you need help. Many people believe that self-care is just about exercising and eating healthy. But the ultimate form of self-care is to seek professional help when needed.
Active duty service members and veterans go through terrifying and dangerous situations during their deployment. These situations have a huge impact on the mental and physical well-being of a soldier. Post-traumatic stress disorder is very common in veterans. They need to recognize the symptoms and get professional help as soon as possible.
Similarly, officers who’ve served for years are at risk of developing mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure. So you must see a doctor if you start to feel some signs and symptoms crop up. Visit www.mesotheliomaveterans.org for more information on this disease and how you can seek compensation for treatment.
Find a calming activity
Active duty personnel and veterans need to find an activity that calms their nerves. Military officers deal with stressful situations, so they must practice de-stressing activities whenever they get time. These activities can help them calm their nerves in chaotic situations.
Although meditation is among the best ways to seek a sense of calmness, it may vary from person to person. Some find solace in journaling, listening to music, taking a warm bath, or going for a walk. They can also do breathing exercises or find some activity that works best to calm their nerves. Just think back to the time of your deployment. What comforted you at the end of a bad day? Perhaps it was looking at photos of your loved ones?
Exercise helps you become physically and mentally strong by managing your weight, reducing stress, improving muscle strength, and strengthening your brain. It has been proven that exercise can improve your mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It stimulates changes in the part of the brain that regulates stress and anxiety.
Exercise increases the production of endorphins that produce positive feelings. Active duty officers deal with stressful situations regularly. Therefore, they need to exercise regularly for physical and mental strength.
Simple exercises such as walking, jogging, running, or swimming can be rewarding. It doesn’t matter whether you do intense workouts or simple exercises. The intensity of the exercise rarely matters; even the simplest exercise, like yoga, benefits your mood. A study of over 400,000 people demonstrated that walking a day for only 15 minutes can reduce the risk of heart disease by 33% and increase your life expectancy by three years.
Exercise helps you manage weight since it increases your metabolism. For active duty soldiers, it is important to be healthy and physically fit to be combat-ready. Aerobic exercises improve the cardiovascular system and the health of the lung. This, in turn, helps in increasing energy levels. Over time, it will reduce the strain on your lungs, so less energy will be required to perform the same tasks. With increased physical activity, your heart and muscles become more efficient.
Eat healthy food
Military officers need to consume a balanced diet. You can have a hearty and healthy breakfast to kickstart your day, followed by snacks, a slightly lighter lunch, and a very light dinner. Due to the increased production of processed food and changing lifestyles, people eat unhealthy food. They do not include enough fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber in their meals. This results in malnutrition and several other illnesses. So make a change in your life.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Include vegetables and fruits in your diet. Add a portion of protein and fiber in the morning. Limit your consumption of alcohol since drinking too much alcohol harms your physical and mental health.
Connect with others
Connecting with others is vital for the mental health of active service members and veterans. It might be hard for active duty officers to see their loved ones, but they can always connect with them through audio and video calls. They can write letters to their partners and children. It is imperative to stay connected with their loved ones during deployment since officers face feelings of loneliness and isolation. Veterans can join a club to interact with others.
Get enough sleep
Many things can hinder a normal sleep cycle during deployment, such as long working hours, combat operations, or watch duties. To tackle this problem, soldiers can take infrequent naps called strategic naps to increase performance. They are advised to avoid using the screen before bedtime to sleep peacefully. They can read a book or take a warm bath before going to sleep. Avoid having big meals or drinking alcohol before going to bed.
Find a hobby
Changing your lifestyle is the most effective way to relieve stress. The best way to change your lifestyle is to engage in a hobby. There are many hobbies that soldiers and veterans can take up to give themselves a break from the stress of their daily lives. Some people enjoy playing musical instruments, while others prefer journaling, gardening, knitting, reading, or drawing.
Self-care requires time and effort. Always remember to make self-care a priority in your life. It simply means taking care of your physical and mental health. There is always going to be stress in the lives of military officers. This can be reduced by practicing self-care. You can include simple things such as taking a warm bath, reading, listening to music, exercising, socializing, or taking up a hobby as part of your self-care routine.