Managing Stress While Transitioning to Civilian Life

Managing Stress While Transitioning to Civilian Life

You can be happy while you have a problem.

My husband and I had to make a conscious decision as a couple that we were going to choose to be happy even while we had problems.  Transitioning to civilian life is like having a tornado hit your house, your life and your emotions. There have been many times that we had MAJOR problems and we had to step back and realize that allowing ourselves to get depressed would only make our problems worse. I know that it can seem impossible to stay positive when several things go wrong but if you set your focus on being happy it gets easier to roll with the punches.

When you become overwhelmed make a list of everything you are grateful for.

Some days my list included; indoor plumbing, AC, breathing, healthy children, food and clean water. It can also be uplifting to post the things you are most grateful for around the house. It is as simple as writing down your list on notebook paper and hanging it with scotch tape. Hanging scripture around the house (also on notebook paper if you need to) is also a great reminder to pray.

Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. -Glen Turner

You can worry all you want about how your going to make life work but worry won’t help.  Be more productive with your time and inststead of worrying mark something off of your to do list to relieve stress. Knowing that you have a million and one things to do is stressful enough without having other things go awry. Do yourself a favor and use your energy productively. I came up with the mantra “Failure is not an option.” Every time I start to worry I remind myself that I don’t have to worry about failing because it simply is NOT an option.

Lose the battle and win the war. 

Your number one priority is to stay united. Stress causes people to be quick to anger and slow to listen. Our flaws seem to surface in times of great stress and the willpower to practice self control can be at an all time low. Staying united means fighting fair and sometimes will require you to be the bigger person. Your spouse and you are building a new life on a shifting foundation and there will be a few times more than likely the walls will come falling down.  There have been times when my husband was in the wrong and I had to let it go and vise versa. It is important to remember that the condition of your relationship is more valuable than winning an argument. Try to be understanding of your spouses outbursts even when unjustified. Yes, I know you have the same stress and it isn’t fair. Right now nothing is quite right and people aren’t quite themselves under the pressure of starting over. Show love when you don’t want to, because angry words can cause irreparable damage.

Get the kids out of the house.

While you are unpacking the house can become a cluttered mess. Their routine and surroundings are all different causing your children great stress. Children can also feel stress so during this transition they will most likely be on their worst behavior. We moved from a house with a large yard to an apartment with no yard and my kids were going nuts feeling locked up. It is as simple as taking them to a park or fast food restaurant with a playground. To save money you can pack snacks and feed them a meal before you go. Allowing them to get out energy will help them feel more calm. Moving can be very over stimulating for a child and it is important to remember that they are stressed out right now to and need you to be understanding. Keeping your relationships healthy is your number one priority right now so let some things go if you must to have the energy for your little ones.

When looking for a job you MUST do this!

Today’s high tech world of filling out job applications online can leave you feeling like a number. How you apply has changed but how you get a job has not. While searching for employment it is imperative that you get dressed in your best professional outfit and walk in to every business you apply for. If you do not have professional entire it is worth investing the money to make money. Remember to bring a copy of your resume and a customized cover letter to every business. Do not staple your resume and cover letter use a small silver paperclip. Avoid using color on your resume and don’t use humor.

Worried about how to pay for daycare so you can go to work? Check this out.

Many states offer a program to help pay for or completely pay for daycare expenses. These programs are income based and your co-pay will be based off of your income. To inquire about these programs you can search the internet or go into your local unemployment office for more details.

What did you do to manage stress while transitioning to civilian life? Leave a comment below and help others cope during this time of transition.



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