It’s a well-known fact that it’s not easy for those in the military to adjust to life after they finish serving. It’s difficult to reacclimate to the everyday - it’s not as simple as falling back into the routine that you once had, because the person who comes back from the military is rarely the same one who shipped out.
For Nick Norris, cofounder of Protekt, a lot of that difficulty stemmed from his habit of compartmentalizing. More specifically, the way he would compartmentalize grief.
“As a human being, you're only capable of locking so much of that away before you start to turn to substance abuse, whether it's alcohol or painkillers, or just watching yourself change from a psychological standpoint.”
For Nick, he saw himself begin to change psychologically. He became apathetic and had no interest in doing things he used to love, things like working out, being outside, and spending time in the mountains. He lost the invincible feeling that he once had as a Navy SEAL and was no longer passionate about life.
He wanted to find a way to work through this dilemma without relying on antidepressants. After going through certain types of therapy (like ibogaine) to combat his PTSD that you can listen to him talk about more in-depth in this podcast with Ben Greenfield, he became more vulnerable and open to talking about compassion, gratitude, and love. By expressing his feelings more freely, he got a lot of his passion back and started to feel like the guy he’d been before.
Taking Care of Yourself
A big part of maintaining mental health has to do with keeping up with your physical health, and this is something that Nick Norris is very familiar with. And it’s simple, really. It all comes down to two things: hydration and sleep. If you can’t do anything else for yourself, if you’re not sure how to create a fitness plan, those are the two boxes that you absolutely have to check off in order to find some stasis in life.
“The mantra for the brand is to keep it simple - simple routines, effective results. It’s easy to get lost in the complexity of the supplement world.”
Because hydration is so critical, Protekt has created a hydration supplement to make it even easier to get throughout the day. If you’re going to take one of these liquid supplements, then it has to be added into 16 ounces of water, which only encourages the act of staying hydrated.
Getting water through other avenues is possible, too. It’s always good to consume foods that are naturally rich in water, but that isn’t the same as getting it from the source.
Protekt understands that drinking straight water isn’t for everyone - some simply don’t like the taste - which is why they created those hydration supplements in two flavors, raspberry and lemonade. This way, you can jazz up your water while getting the nutrients that your body needs to make it through each day.
Of course, living a happy and healthy life doesn’t completely center around hydration (although it really does play a big part!). Nick also carries with him the values of kindness, love, and humility.
“I tell my kids to be kind and be loving all the time. If they're yelling at each other, wanting to hit each other, taking each other's stuff, “Just be kind. Say something kind to your sister or your brother. You love them. I know you do, so you treat them as such.” I think the other thing I would love them to carry forward, if nothing else, is a deep sense of humility. Carry yourself with humility your entire life, regardless of what you end up doing. Wherever your purpose takes you in this life and whoever you end up being with, just be humble. Humility has been the cornerstone of my life. It was the number-one thing that I leaned on as a leader in the SEAL teams, and I gut-check with humility even in my marriage. Be humble with the people that you love, be humble with the world. I think that if people carried themselves with a little bit more humility, this world would be a much nicer place to be.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Protekt products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.