After a long spell of being away from home, many military personnel find it difficult to re-integrate back into their previous lives. It can be a complicated process. But, it doesn’t have to be overly complex. For many, they feel a little lost when they return home. The lack of regimented routine can be difficult to cope with.
However, all is not lost. There are some brilliant tips that you can use to make re-integration easier to cope with.
1. Be Prepared For Lots of Different Emotions
Returning home can be difficult for everyone involved. Your spouse may feel that they have had lots of alone time and may be frustrated with having an extra body around the house. This is normal and to be expected. You may find that children are clingier than before, or they may be shy. There are going to be a whirlwind of emotions that can be challenging for you to deal with. But, preparing yourself for these is one of the best coping strategies that you can employ.
2. Be Patient
Patience is a virtue. Re-integration will not happen straight away. As such, you need to be prepared for people asking you lots of questions about how you are feeling. Your life will be different when you come home. Integration is not an easy process after the regimented lifestyle of the military. You may not feel integrated for a long time; sometimes this process can take months. Ensure that you are patient. Don’t expect miracles overnight.
3. Look at the Positive Changes
You may return home and feel that everything has changed. Your spouse may have a new look. The home may be re-decorated. This can breed a sense of uneasiness within you. But, try to view these changes as positive things. They have been done on your behalf and to make you feel welcome. Embrace them and see the good in these changes. It means that life has gone on in your absence and that people are happy.
4. Make Time For Your Family
One of the best things that you can do is to make time for your family when you are home. This is an excellent tactic to employ when you are re-integrating yourself back into your home life. Ensure that you spend quality, one on one time with each member of your immediate family. Rediscover your bond. That way, the integration process will be made easier to manage.
5. Take Some Time to Reflect
It’s okay to have some alone time. Use this alone time as a period of reflection. After all, you have seen and experienced many different things. Sit alone, take some time out, and gather your thoughts. This is important for your emotional well-being. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to help you re-integrate into your home life.
6. Professional Help
In some cases, you may feel that you are not coping as well as you would like. If you are finding reintegration difficult, seek professional help. The “talking cure” can be extremely positive for the journey that you are on. What’s more, talking to a psychiatrist means that you are talking in a judgment free zone.
7. Talk About Your Experiences
Many military personnel don’t talk enough about their experiences in the battlefield. Talk to your spouse openly and honestly about what you have experienced. That way, they can ensure that they are making your integration easier to deal with and less of a culture shock.