A big part of staying strong while your partner is deployed is being positive. Staying positive can help make things a little easier on you and family members. Making the time for new and old friends can help relieve stress. The more connected you are, the better you’ll feel.
Find things to look forward to
Setting goals and getting involved in new activities are great ways to manage stress, as well as build a new sense of self-confidence and independence. Here are tips to help you stay positive:
- Stick to a routine: Consistency is important for everyone, especially children. While your partner is away, create family rituals such as Friday make-your-own pizza night to keep the family involved and excited.
- Set a money-saving goal: While your spouse is deployed, you can expect to receive extra money. Set up a system for saving some of that extra cash with your installation’s Personal Financial Management Program or call Military OneSource for financial counseling.
- Plan a post-deployment vacation: This can be something to look forward to and talk about with your family while your partner is deployed.
- Try something new: You can find yoga, cooking and other classes and activities at your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. Consider volunteering. If you don’t work, volunteering provides an opportunity to serve the community, learn new skills and create lasting friendships. Your installation Military and Family Support Center can help you find opportunities on the installation and in the community.
- Treat yourself: Take time out for a relaxing bath, get a message or find a babysitter and go out with friends.
Stay socially connected
Your comfort zone might be at home, but getting out of the house creates opportunities to see old friends and make new ones. Here are ways to stay connected:
- Visit your family: Deployments can be an ideal time to visit good friends or family members you haven’t seen in a long time.
- Connect with an online community: Consider joining an online community like the Blog Brigade. This blog is a place where you can get tips from other military spouses on how they stay positive throughout the deployment cycle.
- Network with other parents: If you have children, you can set up play dates with neighbors and kids from school. This gives you a chance to hang out with other parents, and potentially find friends you trust to watch your kids while you do something for yourself.
Find support services
Reaching out to others who are in the same situation can help. Talking with others can reduce stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. The following services support military spouses:
- Military OneSource’s health and wellness coaching: A Military OneSource health and wellness coach can help you manage your weight, stress and life transitions. Call 800-342-9647 and a Military OneSource consultant will register you and schedule your first session right away.
- Confidential non-medical counseling: Both Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program offer services for coping with deployments.
- Family readiness groups: These groups help connect you with other military families and give helpful information about staying positive while your partner is deployed.
- Support centers: Call or visit your installation’s Military and Family Support Center for a host of free programs and resources that can help with managing stress.