You are not alone in your feelings. Finding a balance in all aspects in your life during this time is hard. I am currently about to go through deployment number 3 with my husband. I am definitely no expert but, I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to keep myself busy and away from the drama and depression.
1.FIND A HOBBY!!
I do not think I can elaborate on this enough. In fact this should be a blog in itself. I see beautiful relationships fail during these times because of boredom. Many spouses let those lonely thoughts cause doubts in their relationships and allow bad friendships to encourage this. Here are some hobby ideas to keep your mind busy: write, draw, DIY off Pinterest, cook, hike, train for a race, meet lifelong goals!
2. JOIN A GYM
So many benefits from this! Think about how amazing you will feel after a good sweat session! This is a great outlet for stress. Punch a punching bag or run until you cramp (that’s 0.2 miles for me). Come in with bad energy and leave feeling great about life.
3. JOIN A COMMUNITY GROUP
I personally joined a group in my community called EYP; Emerging Young Professionals. I wanted to be apart of a group of like-minded individuals. I surround myself with positive women who love life and who eat, breathe and sleep success. I am thankful for the great friendships that have grown from it. You can volunteer at a local shelter or habitat for humanity. Make rounds at a hospital or nursing home.
4. GO TO SCHOOL
This was a big goal for me when I was going through the first deployment. I did not have a good outlet or job. I know I wanted to go to school. I had no clue what for though. I sat back and analyzed my skills and decided to go to a cosmetology school in my area. I am thankful that I did! Analyze your goals and your skills and excel at them! Get a license or degree in something you have been daydreaming yourself doing. What is stopping you? Check out all the great scholarships the military supplies for spouses! https://www.military.com/education/money-school/2018/02/20/deadlines-soon-these-2018-military-spouse-and-family-scholarships.html
This is my favorite. I love a good makeover! This can range from you personally to your home or a small project like a shed or closet. Make a list of things you would like to see change and make them happen! Don’t like the paint in the kitchen? Perfect time to change it! Plant a garden. Organize your closet. Go through old boxes and throw away junk! It is revitalizing. Like a fresh start when your spouse comes home! When my husband came home, our deck was gone and I renovated 2 rooms in our house. I had time and I did it alone. If you do a personal makeover, please tag me on Instagram (@sammchloemakeup) I would love to see!
6. START A SPORT
During our second deployment I decided to train and accomplish a Spartan Race. I did a Spartan Super. I believe it was around 9-11 miles. Took me about 3 hours and I walked 90% of it. I felt like I could accomplish anything. Everyone was so helpful and it was a great time. I went with 2 friends but did the whole race alone (I was slow). Train for a goal. Whether that is bodybuilding. New personal record in CrossFit or a weight loss goal. You can also join a local dance company or local sports team. Be apart of the community and open your friendship circle!
7. MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS
Friends play an important role during deployment. There will be times you will not hear from your other half. That is the worst. You need to surround yourself with positive people in your life. Evaluate your support group and reach out to those that help better you as a person and help you reach your personal goals. Try to limit yourself with those that are negative and that make you wonder about your spouse. You are vulnerable right now and you need encouragement. Take time and have a girl’s night. I used to host wine sleep overs with my girls and we would play games all night. Plan holiday parties with your friends or plan a night out.
I love to travel!!! I do not get to too much, but when I do I soak it up! My favorite trip I have done with a girlfriend (#momcation) was Estes Park, CO. It was so amazing. We went Cinco De Mayo weekend. I believe the entire weekend with airfare, Airbnb and Turo I did not spend more than $600. Take this time to go places your spouse may not like or care for. My husband hates bigger cities with crowds, where (living close to New Orleans) I do not mind them. I love NYC, and I would like to visit again.
9. FIND A JOB
This is important. Become independent. Find a full or part-time job. Babysit. Run a small business from a hobby you like to do. Get a license in something you enjoy and make it a career. Find something during the deployment to help pass time or save for something you really want. Having a job will help with maintaining a schedule and having to answer to something other than binge watching Netflix, crying in bed, eating an entire pizza…..2 bottles of wine later. (No experience with that at all! #TotalSarcasm)
10. START A DIARY….OR BLOG
I love this idea! During my husband’s first deployment I wrote like 20 letters for him to take with him incase we were unable to speak at times. This comforted me that he can still connect with me through communication. He also wrote me letters to open when I felt broken. This is not an easy time. You will feel alone. You will feel sad. You will feel like a mess, BUT, it will be ok. I love looking back on our letters and reading them. We have both come a long way. It’s a good keepsake for your children too (unless they are explicit).