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Small steps can lead to big strides in your overall well-being.

Many people benefit from professional counseling, but there are also things you can do to help manage symptoms as you progress toward recovery.

Self-Help Strategies

When addressing a mental health challenge, you can take several practical steps to begin feeling better. There are many resources available to support you in your recovery, including a variety of brief self-assessments.

Taking care of your mental and physical health is essential to your well-being.

These self-care practices can improve both body and mind health. Try to work them into your daily routine:

  • Walk, jog, or work out within your physical limits.
  • Eat nutritious meals regularly.
  • Sleep well.
  • Practice relaxation and stress management techniques (like meditation, prayer, or a stress-free hobby) to help focus your mind.

"My PTSD was discovered by therapists at the VA medical center. My avenue of tranquility vacation is art. I have found that art touches everyone. It speaks in volume beyond words. It touched the very core of self-healing."

Some coping behaviors may actually make your situation worse.

Try to avoid unhealthy ways of managing your emotions, including drinking alcohol, taking drugs either recreationally or against dosage instructions, or engaging in risky behavior like gambling or driving recklessly.

When faced with challenging situations, practice healthier ways of coping.

Many find these methods helpful:

  • Use grounding and relaxation techniques. A shower, deep breathing, or time in a quiet place to collect your thoughts can help relieve stress and get your through difficult moments.
  • Learn what triggers your bad feelings and make a plan for how to handle them before they bubble up again.
  • Take advantage of online tools to guide you through immediate steps to manage what you're experiencing.
  • Explore mental health apps for Veterans, which cover a variety of topics, including PTSD, anger management, quitting smoking, and more. 

If you feel lonely or isolated, reach out to your family, your friends, or other Veterans to help boost your overall well-being.

  • Participage in clubs or hobbies focused on things you enjoy.
  • Connect with Veteran groups or other social organizations.
  • Recognize that your valuable experiences and abilities can make a difference in the lives of others and volunteer in your community.
  • Talk with other Veterans whose experiences are similar to yours.

Be willing to let others know how your feel and to ask for support.

Seeking information, advice, or options for tackling the challenges that affect your health, daily activities, or relationships can be a good first step. Consider connecting with:

  • Your doctor. Ask if they have experience treating Veterans or can refer you to someone who does.
  • A mental health professional, such as a therapist. 
  • Your local VA medical center or Vet Center. VA specializes in the care and treatment of Veterans.
  • A spiritual or religious adviser. 


There are many resources available to support you in your recovery, but many Veterans like to start by completing one of a variety of brief self-assessments.

Find out whether your feelings and behaviors are related to a treatable condition.

Take a Self-Assessment

Additional Resources

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Self-Help Tools

Veterans can access online courses that provide instruction and training in problem-solving, parenting, anger management, sleeping better, managing stress and more.

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Mental Health Apps for Veterans

These apps equip you with tools and information to assist you in managing symptoms and stresses, learning to practice mindfulness and strengthening parenting skills. 

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Veterans Crisis Line

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one? Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. Free support is confidential and available 24/7. Dial 988 then Press 1, chat here or text 838255. If you have hearing loss, call TTY: Dial 711 then dial 988.

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