The following is one of many articles from Vets Help Center to offer support and insight to war vets.
5 Ways Veterans Can Boost Their Sleep and Mental Health
Are you a veteran who is sick and tired of being tired? You’re not alone. Veterans are commonly impacted by sleep issues, which can have detrimental effects on their mental health. Since mental health can also be a stressful issue for veterans, it’s important to have the resources and information you need to make improvements to the quality of your sleep and overall well-being. That’s where these simple wellness and health tips from Vets Help Center can come in handy:
Seek Out Social Connections
Mental health and sleep can be closely intertwined, which means that if you are struggling with depression and other emotional issues, finding relief could also help you find better sleep. One way you can take better care of your mental health is to stay socially connected, especially after your separation from active duty service. Social connections are essential for both your mental and physical health, so look for ways to stay in touch with friends, family members, and even other veterans. If you’re missing out on the comradery you felt while serving, you can also check out your local VFW or American Legion chapter to meet up with fellow veterans. Joining one of these organizations can be a great way for veterans to stay socially connected so they can boost their mental health and sleep.
Eliminate Sleep Disruptors
Do you wake up with jaw pain or headaches? Have your teeth been chipping or cracking? If so, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, which reduces your sleep quality and can lead to other problems that make it more difficult to sleep. The good news is that it’s easy to solve this issue with nighttime aligners. They provide a soft, slick surface between your top and bottom teeth so they don’t wear down, and as a bonus, they can even straighten your smile in as little as 10 hours a day. There are a lot of options for aligners (with Byte and Smile Direct Club among the most popular), so consult an online buying guide to help you decide which option is right for helping you sleep more soundly.
Schedule More Time for Self-Care
Many people seem to think that self-care is a luxury, self-care is actually a basic necessity for managing mental and physical health. So if you are not making self-care a priority, you could be putting yourself under more pressure and strain that can lead to more issues with your mental health, and of course, your sleep. For maximum sleep benefits, try adding relaxing self-care to your evening routines. Unwinding with a hot shower or breathing exercises can help quiet any thoughts keeping you up at night and prepare your body for sleep. If you tend to have racing thoughts that make it hard to fall asleep, you can also keep a journal by your bed so that you can get them onto paper and off of your mind at bedtime.
Shop for a New Mattress
Are you still sleeping on a full-size mattress leftover from basic training? Upgrading to a quality queen-sized mattress could be the key to improving your sleep. A queen mattress can be a great option for individuals and couples alike, providing more space to sleep without taking up too much space in your home. Having a bigger mattress can actually be better for couples and provides more room when sleeping with your partner. Sleep style and support needs can impact your mattress choice, but brands like Purple and Nectar have multiple options that could be a good fit. Finding the right mattress is one of the most basic steps you can take to reduce discomfort and disturbances during the night, so no matter what size you buy, you should make sure you purchase the best bed for your body type, needs, and sleep preferences.
Search for Veteran Benefits & Support
When you are constantly missing out on quality sleep, you are doing some pretty serious damage to your body and brain. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to chronic disease, cognitive impairments, and even premature death. So if improvements to your bedroom or routine don’t seem to improve your sleep, you may need to reach out to professionals. Thankfully, the VA does offer help with sleep issues, since many veterans experience sleep issues after their separation, particularly if they have PTSD. You can use these benefits to complete sleep studies and you can work with your healthcare provider to create a treatment plan that will reduce those sleepless nights. If stress about your mental health is making it difficult to sleep at night, you can also seek mental health help from your local VA or veteran organizations.
If you want to get back on track with your life and improve your mental well-being, you have to find ways to get back on track with your sleep. The tips above can be helpful for improving all aspects of overall health, but they can be especially beneficial for enhancing your sleep and taking back control of your life.
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Helpful Resources and Ideas for Vets Looking to Become Entrepreneurs
About 200,000 service members begin their transition to civilian life each year. While there may not be enough military-oriented jobs available to employ every veteran, there are still plenty of opportunities for making a fulfilling, successful career. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and dream of working for yourself, then starting a small business might be the perfect path forward. By gathering the right resources and making good decisions along the way, you can put yourself in a position for long-term success.
Vets Help Center gives veterans helpful information and advice on a variety of topics. Here is some practical guidance on how you can lay a solid foundation for your new small business.
Thankfully, there are quite a few resources available to veterans for financial assistance. The best place to start is probably with grants, as you won’t be required to pay them back. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much luck with grants because loans and other types of funding can also help you to get your business up and running.
Begin your research with the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC), which is managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and offers a variety of financing programs, among other things. Other options include—but are not limited to—the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, Street Shares Foundation, and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.
Training and Education
There are also many agencies and organizations that specialize in providing veterans with business training and job training. The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD), Boots to Business (B2B), and Entrepreneurship Boot camp for Veterans (EBV) are all worth looking into. And of course, you could always go back to school, which could prove invaluable for your business and career as a whole. Look into the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to figure out what your benefits are for covering the costs of education.
Business Growth Information
Along with obtaining funding and training, it’s also essential to arm yourself with a variety of information pertaining to business growth. After all, you’ll need to understand how to build and scale your business if you are to experience long-term success. Research government agencies and private companies such as Zen Business that provide helpful information and programs that can help you learn things like how to create a solid financial plan, how to adapt your business operations during a pandemic, and how to take advantage of technology.
Business Ideas for Veterans
There are many types of businesses you can start that will allow you to make the most of the disciplines, skills, and knowledge you acquired in the military. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Retail store owner
Keep in mind that you don’t have to start a business that centers around your military-specific skills. At the very least, the discipline and self-determination required to serve in the military will prove to be a valuable asset, no matter what kind of business you start.
Many employers covet the qualities that veterans bring to the table and are always on the lookout for veteran applicants. But if you want to work for yourself, or for some reason you haven’t been able to land a promising job, starting a business could be the best way forward. Look into all of your resources in terms of financial assistance, training, education, and business growth that can help you begin your business on solid footing. These resources abound, so continue your research to see what all is out there, and think carefully about the type of business you would like to run for the foreseeable future!
Are you looking for information and advice on how to navigate the world after service? Visit VetsHelpCenter.com today!