Several years ago, I attended an all-day Zen retreat with Claude AnShin Thomas (AnShin means “peaceful mind”). After several hours of silent zazen (seated breath awareness meditation), I had the opportunity to meet with AnShin for a private interview. Although we only spoke for a brief period of time, one thing that he said really stuck with me. I can’t remember his exact words, but I remember him saying something like, “The challenge for combat Veterans like me who have had the illusion of themis (divine order, fairness, law) shattered is to learn to live with their new reality. Dying is easy. We know how to do that.”
Blog posts with the tag "Staff Perspective"
In September of 2017, soon after my active-duty husband passed his 20-year mark in the military, I wrote a blog looking at current data on the transition from military to civilian life. Now, two years later, he’s currently on terminal leave, and it seemed like a good time to revisit this topic.
While there are a variety of challenges during the reintegration process, the most commonly reported ones included determining where to live, career/educational pursuits (i.e., Do I go into the workforce or go back to school? What kind of job do I want now?), and establishing new routines. One thing that most all Service members will say is that the military provides a structure to life that simply isn’t inherently found in a civilian lifestyle. One friend noted, “Going from a set schedule and working outside the home to being a stay-at-home parent and fulltime student has been challenging.” Another noted, “I wasn’t sure if I could do the same job in the same place with the same people year after year.” He indicated that the intrinsic changes associated with military service was one aspect he valued and during the reintegration process he was struggling with fears of stagnancy possible in a traditional civilian career field.
We're going to mix things up a bit this week. Instead of our usual one topic, we're going to take a quick look at a series of relevant stories from around the web. The articles we'll be looking are:
- Prolonged exposure therapy is more effective in treating veterans with PTSD, alcohol use disorder
- Virtual Reality as Therapy for Pain
- Frustrations mount over lack of progress on preventing veterans’ suicide
I don’t have to tell you that jet lag can impact the first few days of travel, regardless of whether you’re on vacation or a deployment, and even if you’re only traveling through a couple of different time zones. Many of our physical and cognitive functions are regulated by our circadian rhythm, including alertness, logical reasoning, and appetite (Kryger, Roth, & Dement, 2016). So symptoms associated with jet lag – grogginess, mood changes, fatigue – result from a systemic mismatch between our personal circadian rhythm and the local time. In general, it takes about one day to adjust to each hour of time change when traveling across time zones. However, a recent trip to Australia, which is (on average) 16 hours ahead of my Eastern US time zone, would take some serious adjustments ahead of time.