Addressing personal needs to overcome mental health, trauma, and substance abuse and establishing a fulfilling professional life are essential elements of effective recovery and healthy daily life for veterans. However, tending to one must never come at the expense of the other; developing new strategies to balance these needs and goals is crucial. At Hawaii Island Recovery’s unique Hawaii rehabilitation programs, learning to manage both of these aspects of veteran life is a core part of every effective veteran recovery plan, with skills for balancing work and managing personal needs and stresses personalized for each individual to promote sustainable sobriety in civilian life.
The Need for Balancing Work and Recovery
Both work and recovery are important for veterans as they navigate the tumultuous transition to civilian life. Navigating trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders is incredibly difficult, and each veteran’s personal needs can be further compounded through the use of addictive substances. From alcohol and illicit drugs to addictive prescription painkillers prescribed to address injuries from their time in the line of duty, each veteran will have a unique collection of needs and challenges to overcome throughout their recovery efforts.
However, the transition to new careers and civilian professional life can add a new dimension of stress for veterans pursuing a healthy, sober lifestyle. Additional feelings of anxiety or depression are common as a result of work stresses, and an individual may also need to address prevalent symptoms of trauma and its effects on workplace attendance or performance to ensure consistent employment. Professional treatment is necessary to continue working towards personal healing goals and milestones while tending to professional responsibilities. Moreover, learning to balance work and dedicated recovery efforts ensures that veterans can tend to their unique needs while also pursuing professional advancement in civilian life.
Exploring Strategies for Balancing Work and Recovery
Each veteran will have their own best strategies for balancing their needs in recovery with their continued professional development. Meanwhile, finding the right strategies for each veteran is part of their transformative recovery journey. Professionals and peers alike at Hawaii Island Recovery can help each person explore the various options available to create the most effective and personalized approach to balancing work and recovery goals.
Start With Communication
Open and honest communication is crucial for veterans continuing to prioritize their recovery even amidst professional change and stress. Using effective communication skills with employers can create new levels of understanding and open avenues for further discourse about professional needs, schedules, and more. Additionally, effective communication skills are also necessary to set clear workplace boundaries to ensure veterans still have time for tending to treatment programs, outpatient care, and personal needs.
Self-care is an essential, yet often overlooked, part of every recovery journey. While each veteran will have their own journey with self-care practices, engaging in personal hobbies or interests is not something that should be an exception. Rather, it is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy approach to recovery and effectively tending to professional responsibilities.
From engaging in personal interests to ensuring that each veteran has enough sleep at night or eats healthy meals, making self-care a priority with which to construct new strategies around is paramount for effectively balancing each veteran’s continued recovery efforts and their professional responsibilities without reaching burnout or becoming overly fatigued in the process.
Keep Schedules Consistent
Consistency is a major component of balancing work and recovery needs. After establishing an effective daily schedule with regular start and end times for work and dedicated recovery activities and programs, maintaining such schedules is paramount. For some veterans, this means constructing a daily work schedule around the available treatment and recovery options available.
Keeping these schedules consistent also means working with a person’s workplace to avoid unexpected overtime, changing shifts, or other tasks that would affect such schedules to prioritize a consistent balance. Furthermore, consistent schedules can help minimize stress, as well as empower veterans to best manage their energy while at work, promoting better workplace performance and a fulfilling professional career.
The list of needs, challenges, and responsibilities that veterans face while balancing work and recovery can feel endless, and there always seems to be something else that demands a person’s attention. However, learning to prioritize which tasks are most important and when an individual should take a break to pursue personal care and recovery efforts is a crucial skill.
Setting realistic goals for oneself on a daily and weekly basis and learning to acknowledge and celebrate when such professional and recovery goals are achieved is crucial for treating both sides of each veteran’s life equally while leaving time for self-care as well as physical and emotional rest.
As veterans reach new recovery milestones and professional heights, it is common to set new goals and experience some degree of change. Learning to balance each veteran’s needs in recovery with their ongoing professional life after service involves adjusting to these changes. Being open to adapting new skills and strategies and staying open-minded in the face of such change is crucial. Hawaii Island Recovery’s community of veteran peers and dedicated veteran programming can empower each individual to adapt to new or unforeseen changes and stresses while continuing to prioritize a healthy balance between recovery efforts and professional responsibilities.
Balancing work and continued healing for veterans can be a difficult task, and we at Hawaii Island Recovery can help you today. We personalize the recovery journey and treatment options for each veteran, ensuring that you have the opportunities to develop the necessary skills for balancing your success in overcoming trauma, addiction, and mental health disorders with your developing personal career in civilian life. Each of our unique Hawaii rehabilitation programs is also backed by a community of peers and trauma-informed professional care, ensuring that each step of your journey in recovery is approached with the best strategies and an accepting atmosphere. For more information on how we can help you balance your work and recovery needs, call (866) 390-5070.