Gaining Abundant Health for Our Veteran and Retired Defence Forces

Retirement can have both positive and negative effects on one’s health. In some studies, negative effects are increased in difficulty in terms of mobility, the appearance of illnesses and a decline in mental health.

What is retirement for you? 

Most people will define this as being able to do what they had been longing to do. For some, this is freedom from the physical and mental stress of work. And for others, it can be more time with family and friends. We all have our own definition for this one word. For our veteran and retired defence forces, it is changing their whole life to transition and get used to civilian life.

During their service, veterans were used to the active lifestyle. They have their daily routines to follow and they were taught to strictly follow it. So, when retirement comes and they no longer have mandatory routines to follow, they might feel lost and out of place. This can impact their physical and mental health.

Impact of Retirement to Our Health

Retirement can have both positive and negative effects on one’s health. In some studies, negative effects are increased in difficulty in terms of mobility, the appearance of illnesses and a decline in mental health.

But there are also studies that connect retirement with positive effects like retired members being much happier and more open to other people.

In general, the impact of retirement on health depends on the individual. Our veteran and retired defence forces may experience these various effects. The negative effects of retirement can be lessened by:

  • having open communication to family
  • having social support from the community
  • continuously engaging in physical activities

A number of veterans may find the transition to a civilian life a bit challenging. But do not worry because there are helping hands that you can ask.

In DDDC, we have our trained coaches that can guide and help you adjust to retirement smoothly.

Getting Abundant Health After Service

People usually plan, talk and prepare for retirement so when the time comes, we can fully enjoy it. For some veterans, they find new activities and hobbies during this time of their life. Many will take this opportunity to travel with family. And some do even get new jobs after their service.

Having an abundance mindset is a key to achieving this. There is just one hindrance with all this. Their health. Health meaning not just physically but also psychologically. 

Abundant health can be attained when both physical and mental aspects are functioning well. And it is not actually hard to attain it.

Here are some tips for our veteran and retired defence forces that can help them attain a healthy mindset and also a healthy lifestyle.

  1.   Expect emotional stages to go through

The initial emotion during retirement is freedom. But when that emotion wears off, the feeling of loss and lack of identity will kick in. It might involve them questioning their importance and value among their family members. They can also feel anxious because of uncertain routines. And they can also feel bored with the lack of daily activities.

To keep them emotionally balanced, our veteran should open and acknowledge their emotions. They should let themselves go through these stages instead of denying them which can lead to becoming emotionally unstable.

They can use writing, walking to the park and talking to family and friends as healthy methods on dealing with these emotions.

  1.   Plan your days

Our veterans’ days while in service were filled with pre-planned schedules. They are used to those routines and retirement just take that away from them. For them, civilian life can be seen as unstructured and it lacks order.

Creating and setting up routines can help them plan their days. This can help them restore their feeling of being organised and being in order. Our veterans and retired members can join various activities and see what works for them.

  1.   Create new friendships

Our veteran and retired defence forces might feel that they lose their support system when they retire, mainly because of the lack of communication with their brothers in service.

This can bring restructuring to their days. Meeting old friends and new people can lessen their feeling of isolation. They can participate in their local community activities to socialise with people in their neighbourhood. They can also participate in their many other community services.

  1.     Set up small goals

Life during service involves huge responsibilities like protecting the people and serving the country. These are huge goals that our veterans are used to. After retiring from service, they can still create goals to keep their sense of balance and a healthy mindset.

They can start with small goals that can bring back their sense of purpose. Accomplishing and finishing these goals can also give them a sense of achievement.

Our veterans can start with reading five books, learning a new recipe or skills or travelling to new places. They can also build excitement while planning these goals.

  1.     Consider getting another job

Our veterans may feel the loss of identity and purpose upon leaving the service. They may see retirement as equal to being unemployed. Staying at home and doing nothing might result in emotional distress. So, getting a “bridge” job can do them good both physically and mentally.

They can find part-time jobs in the community. A few hours of work will be fine as long as they can experience the satisfaction they had before.

  1.     Keep an active lifestyle

Physical activities help and keep our brain working. It increases the amount of oxygen in the brain and develops our feel-good feelings.

A healthy body and mind are important for our veterans. Exercising can do them a lot of benefits. Aside from being physically fit, being active can improve their mood and also lessen their stress. It can also increase their self-esteem which can push them to socialise more.

Retirement is not the end of the road but the start of a new chapter on one’s life. It is not something that we should be afraid of. If you are in your early retirement stage and are currently feeling loss, let us help you.

Book A Call With A DDDC Coach