Finding Emotional Abundance For Veteran and Retired Defence Forces

When people hear the word abundance, they easily understand it as having extremely plenty or over the quantity of supply. On the other hand, the word emotion is understood as any feeling like sadness, happiness or anger.

When people hear the word abundance, they easily understand it as having extremely plenty or over the quantity of supply. On the other hand, the word emotion is understood as any feeling like sadness, happiness or anger. 

But what does emotional abundance mean? And how is it related to our veteran and retired defence forces?

If you are a veteran and retired defence force, or you know anyone, this article might help you a lot. So, read on!

Emotional abundance vs. Veteran and Retired Defence Forces

Emotional abundance means feeling and understanding our emotions so we can respond properly to circumstances in our lives. It means being able to cope and adapt to changes in daily events, and find meaningful reasons to move forward.

There is a saying that changes are inevitable. Whether we like it or not, there will be changes that we cannot control. That is the same with members of our defence forces. There will be time that they/you will need to retire.

Retirement is a major change for everyone.

Transitioning to civilian life can be hard. For our veteran and retired defence forces, this could mean leaving many important parts of their lives, the organization, the service, the brotherhood, and the nation.

For most of us, retirement could mean freedom. It could be physical freedom or emotional freedom. We can see it as having time to do what we want. 

But it is different for our defence forces. When it’s time to retire, it’s easy for them to get lost with their emotions. They could feel out of place and a little lost. And sometimes they are dejected since their purpose becomes vague. They immediately lose their emotional balance.

Changes that Affects their emotional abundance

After transitioning to civilian lives, veterans and retired defence forces have to deal with changes in their daily living. This causes them stress which in turn affects their emotional balance. 

Below are some of the changes that retired defence forces and their families may experience.

  1. Loss of support system

There are unique camaraderies and brotherhood in defence forces. Though they may still be in contact after retirement, the closeness and availability might be lost over time. Veteran and retired defence forces might compare their civilian companion to those in service.

  1. Change in financial status

This could be temporary or a permanent change. But this means a decrease in family gatherings and activities, etc.

  1. Change in daily routine

Members of defence forces have a structured and organized routine to follow. Being a veteran or retired could mean the loss of this structure. This change can trigger stress since it can lead to a feeling of loss if they can’t find the routine that suits them after their service days.

  1. Lack of new knowledge and skills

During their service, retired members were always on the go. They had training and they’re constantly learning new things. They do physical and mental exercises. It’s a means to help them improve and maintain their physical and mental well-being. Sometimes upon retirement, they will lose their willingness for personal growth.

  1. Lack of sense of purpose

After leaving the defence force, lack of purpose can overwhelm our veteran and retired members. They tend to miss the feeling of doing their roles that has a real impact on the lives of most civilians. They could even question themselves on who they are now after their service.

Dealing with life changes can be tough. During this time, you might feel out of control. You may feel that you are lost and don’t live with the expectations of people around you.

Here in DDDC, we have trained coaches that can help you understand emotional balance and intelligence. Our certified and fully-trained coaches can provide you with the support and guidance that you’ll need. 

Tips for Emotional Balance after Service

Becoming a civilian after serving the defence forces is not easy. One’s coping mechanism is different from others. But here are some useful tips that can help our veterans and retired defence forces gain control of their emotions and overcome changes.

  • Manage expectations

This is all about their emotional mindset. Once they are back to their family, they will realise that everyone has changed. Some family members, their wife or kids, may feel awkward towards them. Managing expectations and adjusting their emotions towards it can help them adapt better.

  • Take time in transitioning to civilian life

It is almost impossible for our retired members to come back home and not bring any “baggage”. Of course, they will need time to get used to the new environment. 

When you continuously work hard for years, you get used to the “adrenaline rush” of daily activities. The same is true for our veteran and retired defence forces. They might even get bored with the “ordinary” life where everything is relaxed and quiet. Some of them might feel uncomfortable since they are used to daily organized routines.

During this time, they should focus on their family activities and health. They should continue being active, like doing exercises. And of course, talking to people around you, especially those that can understand your experiences, can help a lot.

  • Find a new career

Several young people come back from the defence forces. This could mean a new job instead of the end of a career. Some of those who retire would just do nothing and stay home. This leads them to think of awful experiences in the service. This can even cause emotional distress. Emotional instability can lead to depression, addiction to alcohol, smoking and other vices.

Instead of focusing on the sad side, they should take this time to learn new skills and find new jobs. This will take their mind away from negative thoughts.

  • Find your place in the community

Sense of belongingness is one thing that our veteran and retired member of defence forces miss. This is why it is a good start to get to know their community. They can start by connecting to their neighbours and friends who appreciate their time in service. Some veterans find their place in the community by becoming a member of service organizations or civic groups.

It doesn’t matter what their interests are, there are several groups and they will surely find one that suits them.

Changes are expected for those who come back after their service in defence forces. And that is surely a normal thing. Do not expect to be the same person when you first enter it. Learn to accept things.

Life can be full of uncertainties right now. But you are not alone.

And let us help guide you to take back control of your life.

Book A Call With A DDDC Coach