Military life is hard. Military families have to deal with a lot. Military children have to deal with a lot. Military spouses have to take on a lot and sometimes it feels like too much. Sometimes the deployments are just too close together or they are too long or there is just too much loneliness because of frequent moves or friends having to leave.
So what do you do if you are in a place where it feels like too much? You know you are not going to walk away from your spouse but you know you need to do something.
1) Get Back To Your Faith. No matter what religion you follow, you do put your faith in something. Cling to it. Pray. Meditate. Grow in your faith. Try to find a good place to go each week. Look at what your post or base has to offer. Look online to see what you can discover locally.
2) Don’t be afraid to get help. I did just that. I made a call and now I will be seeing someone regularly. Someone I can talk to about what is going on. Someone that won’t judge and someone who can give me some good advice on how to deal with what I am going through. If you feel like you need some extra help you can find a Military Family Life Consultant to talk with or make an appointment with a local provider. Tricare will cover up to 8 sessions without needing a referral. Just call up the provider and let them know you have Tricare and they should be able to help you from there.
3) Let Things Go. Seriously. Let it go. Don’t worry about what isn’t important. I think I struggle a lot when I am trying to make things better than I have the ability to make them. When I try to put on the “Mrs. Perfect hat” I usually fail and have a much harder time. I am working on letting that go myself.
4) Depend on your friends. If someone offers to babysit, let them. If someone offers to mow your lawn, let them. If someone wants to bring you dinner, let them. Get together with friends. Make dates with them. Join them for coffee or a playdate. Invite them over for dinner. Friends will get you through, even if they don’t 100% understand what you are going through. If someone is making you feel bad, let them go. Surround yourself with supportive people. If you don’t have any local friends, join a club, playgroup or even start one yourself. Find something you enjoy doing and look for others to share it with.
5) Make Time For Yourself. Read that book. Watch that movie. Go on that hike. Take that bubble bath. Make a list of all the things that make you happy. When you get really upset, start going down your list. Try to surround yourself with things you enjoy. You might have to work ten hours a day. You might be with kids from 6am to 8pm. But whatever time you have for yourself, enjoy it. Even just 30 minutes a day can help. It will really do your body good to relax a little each day.
I worry about the Military community. Especially because of what is going on in Syria. I worry that us Military spouses are expected to take on too much. That we are going to break. I know I am not the only one to feel this way.