A post by Emily Walsh

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I usually don’t have guest bloggers. But sometimes a message comes along that is worth sharing.

My husband spent more than twenty years serving in the military. The well-being of veterans is very important to me.

So without further ado, I would like to share this post written by Emily Walsh, Community Outreach Blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.


Helping Veterans Adjust to Civilian Life in a Healthy Manner


In many ways, military life is different than civilian life. Since most veterans enter service shortly after they leave home, many do not learn the skills they need to keep themselves healthy. Adjusting to an unstructured life can be difficult for many, and veterans may need help from friends or family members to adjust appropriately. Here are some of the ways in
which friends and family members can help veterans make the adjustment to civilian life.


Make health a structured activity
One of the best ways to help veterans is to help them structure their lives. Many aspects of health can be greatly aided by structured routines. For example, setting aside particular times for cooking and preparing meals can help veterans eat healthy. In addition, viewing
exercise as a requirement instead of an optional activity may help as well. One problem many veterans face is not adjusting their eating habits after leaving the service; military personnel burn many calories during the day, and those who keep eating the same amount of food while reducing their physical activity will likely put on a significant amount of weight. Structure can help.


Regular medical examinations
Veterans are often trained to quietly suffer their pains, and many are reluctant to rely on doctors when their health may be at risk. Friends and family members can encourage veterans to see their doctors on a regular basis and be honest about any problems they are experiencing. Those who are suffering from cancer, for example, have much better survival
odds if their cancer is detected early. Unfortunately, some veterans may have come into contact with as asbestos during their service, and asbestos has been conclusively linked to the dangerous cancer mesothelioma. By stressing the importance of making medical examinations part of their lives, veterans can increase their odds of surviving illnesses.


Building support networks
Veterans rely on others who serve with them while the service, but some become isolated upon leaving the military. Unfortunately, this can lead to isolation and difficulty in making new friends. By encouraging veterans to reach out to others and to build a support network,
it may be possible to stave off the likelihood of mental illness while giving veterans a group of friends they can rely on if they need help.

What do you think?