A new year brings new hopes; the opportunity to realize dreams and achieve new goals. For veterans a new year can be a difficult time. A veteran can have a particularly tough time in seeing the joy and light of a new year and celebrating with the rest of the world. Past traumas can rear their ugly heads at the least likely of moments, with little or no warning at all.
What is most important at the beginning of a new year is to make sure that veterans are cared for and supported. While it may not be plausible for loved ones to continuously provide unwavering support, organizations such as the Veterans Association (VA) can help make everything a little bit easier.
New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep. Some fall on their face within days of the clock striking midnight, signaling the new year. When veterans make new year’s resolutions, it may be important for them to feel the success of keeping them. In that case, it is essential to back up the resolution with a plan of action, one that helps the veteran stick to resolution goals.
At the VA, trained health professionals are available to keep veterans on track to completing anything they have set their mind to. Keeping a new year’s resolution can give a veteran a feeling of accomplishment and mental strength.
Remember that stress may increase for veterans at the beginning of a new year. While the world reflects on years past and looks forward to the future, veterans may reflect on the trauma of war and conflict. Their psychological stresses may increase, which may then exacerbate any physical conditions. Spending time with veterans, visiting them, cheering them is the most that anyone can do to help.
Veterans who suffer in any way can be helped by an expression of compassion and companionship. Simple gestures are the most powerful. Visit the VA, assisted living facilities or nursing homes where senior veterans live. Volunteer to sit with them, sing with them, take them outside, for a walk or to sit in the sun.
The simple knowledge that someone cares about them, thinks about them and made the effort to spend time with them will boost the spirits and self-esteem of veterans.