Deployment is stressful, of that, there is no doubt. According to Mental Health America, some adverse effects of deployment include lack of appetite, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping or feeling withdrawn.
Additionally, a study done in the UK on the consequences of deployment showed that military personnel were more likely to abuse alcohol and or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) upon return from deployment.
However, statistics are just numbers. In reality, it is possible for those who were recently deployed to stay healthy during their service. Check out these tips below.
1. Stay Active
People in the military know there’s not a lot of downtime during active duty, but for those deployed to bases outside of war zones, a fairly regular schedule is common. Keeping active is a way to make time move a little more quickly.
Many soldiers hit the gym to help time pass, but this can get old day after day. Try engaging in an outdoor activity like playing a round of paintball with your fellow comrades in arms. There are many health benefits to paintballing, such as increasing your interpersonal skills or simply blowing off steam. If you don’t know yet how paintball guns work, don’t worry, they’re safe, accurate and capable of operating extremely fast. It’s the perfect way to take your mind off of pestilent thoughts while you’re engaging in physical activity.
2. Send and Receive Letters
Feeling disconnected from your life back home is an unfortunate reality almost every soldier faces during deployment. It can be difficult keeping up with family if they’re in a different time zone. Although a little old school, sending and receiving letters or care packages can make those long months more bearable, and give you a little piece of home to keep with you. It could be your personal project, something like a hobby. And hobbies are great at keeping us feeling creative and just make us better at many other things.