After Your Tour: How to Adjust to Life after the Military

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By Brooke Chaplan

When you’re in the military, you’re free from making many decisions. In fact, your entire day might be designed by a superior where you eat, relax, and work at specific times. As you enter civilian life, the world is suddenly a strange place. Take your time and learn how to adjust to daily life after a military career.

Create New Roles at Home
If you have a family at home, they’ve created their own schedules to work around your absence. They might be thrilled about having you home, but adjustments may take some time. Sit down with your loved ones, and ask about school and work schedules. At first, you might only be able to take the kids to school so that the spouse can head off to work. You’ll soon be part of the everyday schedule once again with little tasks like these.

Consider Your Military Skills
Most newly discharged military workers are unemployed when they arrive home. Take some time out to think about your service. Write down certain skills you learned along the way.

All of these skills can be translated into civilian positions. You simply need to look at them from another angle. If you were a sharpshooter, for instance, you might want to consider a career in the police department. A more technological based job might set you up for a career in IT work.

Challenge Yourself with Everyday Tasks
The everyday tasks of shopping and making dinner are confusing when you first arrive home. Commit to working on one task a day until you feel more comfortable. Meals were set and cooked for you in the military. Look through family cookbooks or go online to find a few recipes that you prefer. Try to cook dinner one night with the items that you’ve purchased. Simple tasks that you can accomplish with flair will help you adjust to life outside of the military.

Seek Physical or Mental Help
Your military career may have involved mental or physical issues. If you have any medical ailments that require attention, make an appointment with an appropriate doctor. You might visit a veteran’s hospital for care, or simply reserve an appointment with your old doctor. Both your mind and body need to be cared for in order to adjust to life outside of the military. Don’t neglect your health as you adjust to this stage.

Whether you have a military history degree and are a seasoned veteran or are simply a high-school graduate just off your first tour, your work with the government has incredible merit. Be proud of your service, and slowly assimilate to civilian life. You’ll be able to use your unique skills and build a new life in no time.

 

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