Are you leaving the military? You might think the transition after leaving the military and going from military to civilian is an easy one. But for me and many of the women I have talked to on the Women of the Military Podcast transitioning out of the military is anything but easy. Transitions are hard, but as time goes on you will find a new path forward. But while you navigating the switch from service member to civilian it is important to take care of you. So today I’m sharing three things women can’t live without after leaving the military.
Leaving the military lifestyle was difficult. I had become accustomed to my life in the military over a ten-year process. So saying goodbye, especially because I switched roles and became a military spouse, was really hard. And it took me years to find my new normal and to understand the value of my military service and the value I still had to offer even though I had hung up my uniform. While you are in the military you can be led to believe that your service to your country is the ultimate sacrifice and fulfillment of your life. But the truth is the military gives you so many tools throughout your experience that you can continue to use after you leave the service. It isn’t the end it is the beginning.
Leaving the military can be overwhelming, lonely, and depressing. Taking the time to remind yourself of your worth and purpose will meaningfully impact your life. Once I opened up about the real-life struggles I was facing after leaving the military. I was able to embrace my new life. And easily remembered why I chose to pursue this new life of being a stay at home mom and military spouse.
One of the most helpful practices for me since leaving has been daily meditation. I really struggled to make this practice a habit. Feeling I needed to do it in the morning, but never spent the time doing it. Finally, I discovered a nightly reflection of the day and a time to pause and relax was so important to my mental health. Other people find practicing positive affirmations is a best practice that can help them. Telling yourself you’re beautiful and you’re powerful can go a long way for in your mental health and overall well being. No matter what you do, find something that helps you remember how important you are. And then invest in that. Investing in yourself is truly the best kind of self-love!
Last year I attended the Women Veteran Interactive Diversity and Inclusion Summit. I hadn’t been in a room full of women veterans ever. I didn’t even know what I was missing in my life until that conference. To be surrounded by women who could understand the struggles I faced because they had faced them as well. I have gotten more involved in the Veteran community by becoming a member of both Women Veteran Interactive and Women Veterans Alliance. I have also worked with Vets 2 Industry, Veterati, and other veteran organizations. And of course, capturing the stories of military women through Women of the Military podcast has been a special journey.
Find your community and then work to get involved. For the record, my first community support was through being a mom and building relationships with other moms and it has only been in the last year that I have ventured into the military veteran space. I have found it to be very rewarding and I am so thankful I found this community. But you don’t have to start there. Start where you are comfortable and what you are interested in. Maybe with time, the veteran community can help you.
A New Purpose
After leaving the military I felt lost. So long my guiding purpose had been to serve my country. And while attending the Transition Assistance Program I didn’t understand why there was so much focus on getting a job. I had planned to be a stay at home mom and I had crazy ideas of what my new life would be like. What I didn’t expect was to fill this huge void of confusion on what my next step forward was. I struggled in my new role as a mom and I really didn’t know where my life focus should be. I quickly tried various MLMs while not finding fulfillment or purpose. But then I started a blog (the one you are reading today) and through a lot of twists and turns I found the message I needed to share. Your Story Matters has been a guiding principle of my business. And through the different roles I have had the opportunity to fill I have found purpose again.
And you can too. If you are looking for help in your journey after the military check out this free guide:
I have put together advice to help you navigate life after the military and I am always open to talk or help coach you through your transition. If you would like to schedule a free 30 min chat with me sign up here.