The pandemic disrupted life for families in and out of the military. As a veteran, you're under pressure to adjust to these changes with the same discipline and focus that were required when you were actively serving. As society adjusts to a new normal, you may feel disconnected and have mixed feelings about moving forward, especially after the strict routine and concrete expectations experienced in military service. Here are a few common dilemmas with tips for handling the feelings caused by changes that were forced on you, as well as any changes that you chose:
Lost Job Security
Over the past couple of years, you may have moved to working remotely, lost hours, seen management changes, or lost your job completely. The loss of certainty can lead to feelings of insecurity and grief. Experts recommend that you process these emotions by discussing your feelings with friends and family. Avoid withdrawing from society and try to recognize those things for which you are grateful. Develop a renewed feeling of being in control of your life as you move forward by staying close to friends, family, and coworkers and by accepting help when it's offered.
If you need a new job, update your resume to reflect positive changes in your abilities. Focus on any new skills you've developed and share the details of any volunteer work you did. Before turning your resume in, make sure it's as professional as possible by using an online resume builder. There are many free options that allow you to customize high-quality documents with your own details, photographs, colors, and other features. Check out these resume templates to get you started.
Major Changes in Family Structure
The forced social distancing caused many families to work and study from home. This required parents to juggle their work responsibilities with helping their children keep up with school assignments. While this was challenging, coming out of the pandemic, many families are realizing the ways that their relationships with each other have been strengthened. As restrictions loosen, focus on maintaining some of the new priorities you've developed regarding family time.
During this time, for many people, the structure of the family changed significantly. Death, new babies, divorces, and marriages were all impacted by the pandemic. Family members died alone. Grandparents were kept apart from their grandchildren. Couples were married with limited fanfare, and many relationships couldn't survive the strain. Some support can be found through military outreach programs. Be patient with yourself and your family as you work to resolve these difficult feelings.
Declines in Physical and Mental Health
Many veterans found it difficult to maintain their health and emotional well-being as restrictions limited their gym attendance and access to medical and healthcare professionals. Maybe you are out of the habit of heading to the gym and need to build back to your pre-pandemic goals. The loss of security and freedom of movement may have led to an uptick in PTSD symptoms; if this is true for you, reach out to a local source of military support.
The changes you experienced during the pandemic impacted you heavily. As you work to resolve many short-term challenges, you'll also face many long-term consequences. The good news is that with family, friends, and military connections, you can continue to press forward, making adjustments and settling into the present and future with new priorities, new skills, and new goals.
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Author: Ed Carter
Military Missions in Action is dedicated to assisting Veterans in need, members of the Armed Forces, and their families.
For more information visit our website or call 919-552-1603.