Trying to keep busy and sane during a deployment is no easy task. For many military spouses, this is a time when you find out that you’re strong enough to endure the many months apart from your soldier. Here are a few tips to help along the way.
Never miss a call. Although it can’t be entirely avoided, there are a few ways to make sure you never miss that call. Send your spouse a weekly schedule, listing your appointments, which day you’re doing your shopping or your work schedule. This will ensure you’re not getting a call when you’re at a dental appointment, in line at the commissary or in a meeting at work. Forward your calls from your home phone to your cell and vice versa. Put your cell phone in a zip-top sandwich baggie, so you can answer the phone in the shower, at the beach or the pool without getting your phone wet and still be able to use touchscreen capabilities.
Set a personal goal. Take time during the deployment to do something for yourself. Finish your college degree, train for a 5k or marathon, get to a healthy weight or learn something new.
Take a class or get involved in a group. Look into a class at the gym or see what classes ACS has to offer. Join a book club or if you have a preschooler, find a local MOPS group.
Travel. Take this time as an opportunity to travel somewhere new or go back home to visit friends and family.
Adopt a pet. Deployments can be a bit lonely and a pet can help fill that gap. Adopt from a local shelter, rescue or SPCA. If you’re not ready to adopt, check out the Dogs On Deployment website. Volunteer to board a service member’s pet during their deployment. http://dogsondeployment.org/
Volunteer. Take time to give back by volunteering with your FRG, your child’s school or the USO.
Spend time with friends. Host game night, throw neighborhood barbecue, have lunch with a friend or find a workout buddy.
Keep the kids busy. Chances are if you’re miserable, your kids are too. Find playgroups and story times for younger children. For older children, enroll them in SKIES classes on post, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or community sports league. Also, plan trips to the zoo, local parks or kid friendly museums.
Take up a hobby. Make projects that you’ve pinned on Pinterest, take a cake decorating class, try scrapbooking, learn photography or tackle simple DIY projects around the house.
Pamper yourself. Deployments can take an emotional toll, but stay one step ahead by pampering yourself once in a while. Schedule a massage, get your hair or nails done, get a new outfit to wear on your next Skype date with your spouse or even do something as simple as buying yourself some flowers to have around the house.
What are some ways you beat the deployment blues?
Nikki is an Army wife currently living in Fort Drum, New York and is originally from central North Carolina. She is married to her husband of 11 years, mother of two boys, ages 6 & 8 and the newest addition to their family is a rescued Weimaraner named, Hunter. She enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, long walks on the beach and is addicted to the soft drink, Cheerwine.
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