A support network is essential for anyone leaving the military. Isolation, loneliness and depression are all linked, so finding a diverse support system is critical. Avoid relying too heavily on any one person and create a large group of trusted loved ones you can rely on for support.
There are many ways to build a support network. Ensure you stay connected with old military buddies, find new civilian friends and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Here are some of the best ways to improve your support system once you leave the military.
When you’re struggling, ensure you reach out. Cast a wide net and find people you can confide in about various elements of your life.
Make Use Of Technology
If you can’t physically meet up with someone, use technology that allows you to connect remotely. Use video calling platforms, instant messaging, or email to stay in touch with loved ones. Make plans to meet in person when you can.
Take A Class
Find a class that interests you locally. Get to know your classmates and start building new friendships based on your shared interests. Suggest a trip to the bar or a restaurant after class is finished.
Join A Club
Research local clubs and societies to find ones relevant to your interests. Consider starting a club if there is nothing suitable nearby. Advertise the club on local social media pages and newspapers. Take up a new sport and join an amateur team or league.
Relocate Nearer To Loved Ones
Consider relocating to be nearer to loved ones. Use a VA home loan if you want to buy a property. The housing market is hot right now, making it an ideal time to buy. Find out more on how to qualify for a VA loan with this explainer from Hero Loan.
Find A Therapist
Seek professional help if you are concerned about your mental health. A therapist or counselor will teach you healthy coping mechanisms and help you work through complex emotions. Find a therapist with experience working with veterans.
Consider A Support Group
Find a support group for veterans locally to connect with people that have a similar experience to yours. Getting support from people who have been through the same things as you is invaluable. Ask your military buddies for recommendations or use one of the charities aimed at veterans.
Get To Know Your Colleagues
Make workplace friends who you can talk to about work problems. Invite colleagues out for drinks after work and engage in social events your employer throws. Becoming friendly with coworkers will improve your productivity, job satisfaction and employability.
Connect With Veterans’ Groups
Join a veteran’s group that offers support to other veterans and helps you stay connected with your military life. Research local chapters and associations to find the right fit.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone Get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. Say yes when asked to join a group of friends or acquaintances for drinks or a meal. Try new activities and make an effort to befriend people you meet along the way