9 Tips for Helping Single Service Members Return From a Deployment
Coming home after a deployment can feel great, but it's also a time of adjustment. These tips can help:
- Tell your friends and relatives how you'd like to celebrate your return. If you want to keep it low-key, gently tell them that you're not ready for a large gathering yet.
- Avoid a tight social schedule for the first few weeks. Instead of trying to see everyone right away, give yourself time to relax and return to life at your own pace.
- Establish your new living situation as soon as you feel ready. If you need to find new housing after deployment, doing it soon can help you feel more settled.
- Expect to feel out of sorts for a while. Loneliness, fatigue, anger, and sadness are normal parts of readjustment.
- Talk about how you're feeling and encourage friends and family to do the same. People may wonder what you've gone through, but may hesitate to ask you.
- Be patient with yourself and with others. Remember that those who are close to you are also adjusting to having you home.
- Limit your use of alcohol. Overuse of alcohol can increase feelings of depression and loneliness.
- Watch your spending. It's tempting to celebrate your return with a shopping spree, but it's important to stay within your means.
- Know when to seek help. If you're feeling signs of stress, physical or emotional, it's important to seek expert help - the earlier the better. Contact your installation's Family Support Center, a VA Vet Center in your area at (877) 927-8387, or Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647.
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