The time has come and your spouse has left for a deployment. You’re feeling a little out of sorts. You haven’t fully accepted that he is actually gone and now you have three, six or nine months ahead of you. Months of a deployment where you will not see your husband. Where you will be both mom and dad for your kids and where you know the loneliness will set in. How will you get through a deployment?
In order to get through this season, you are going to need to have a deployment toolkit. In the kit, you will keep the things that will help you while he is gone. Everyone’s toolkit is going to look a bit different but here are some ideas to help you get ready to conquer your upcoming deployment.
Having someone you can depend on during a deployment is so important. This can be hard to find sometimes because you might have just moved to your duty station right before the deployment or you best friend might have just moved away right before it starts. The key is finding places to go, to take yourself and your kids where you can meet other people. Think about groups or clubs that you would enjoy and go to them. Be friendly and let people know you are new or would like to set up a playdate. This is hard I know, especially if you are on the shy side but it can be worth doing in order to find a good friend to go through a deployment with.
I don’t have a lot of patience, especially during a deployment. But I need to have it if I don’t want to drive myself nuts. I need to have patience with the timetables, with the changing dates, with my kids and even my house. Sometimes even my dog. This is hard but I know I need to step back, take a deep breath and work on my patience.
Good Food and Drink
For some people, this is a good cup of coffee. I never really felt I needed coffee every day until our first deployment, then it was a must. Other people prefer tea or Dr. Pepper or a nice glass of wine. Just have something in your house that can make you feel good on a bad day. You can apply this to food too. Sometimes a nice bowl of ice cream is a good way to end a stressful day. Be careful, though. Stress eating is a thing and the deployment might be a good time to break that habit. Make a nice salad or try a new food you didn’t think you would like. It is easier to do this when they are gone and you can find new foods to add to your diet.
Books and Other Hobbies
Reading books, watching movies, tv, going on walks, working on your hobbies, etc, all of these will help you through a deployment. Focusing on your hobbies will help keep you busy. You can also work on your career, work on going to school or do something to better yourself. The best thing to do is make a list of all the things you want to do while your spouse is gone. You won’t finish that list but it will give you tons of ideas and allow you to fill up your time. A good book can take you out of a funk and get you interested in something else besides just missing your spouse. I love to read to help me through a stressful period of time. I lose myself in the book which is a good thing.
The Ability to Laugh
You really have to be able to laugh at military life. It’s not that things are funny, it’s that if you take everything too seriously, life is just going to get too hard. Don’t be afraid to laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at the situation. See that thing will get better in the long run. Don’t be afraid to have fun while he is gone and make a life for yourself.
Writing in a journal can help you get your feelings and thoughts out. If you haven’t ever written in one before, a deployment is a good place to start. Some couples like to keep one together. One will write in it for a week and then send it to the other and back again. This is a great way to connect during a deployment. Looking back at your old journals and reading about old struggles can help you get through your current ones.
You need a safe place where you can go when you just need a moment. This can be your home, a room in your home, even a corner. I like to turn my bedroom into this place. I want it comfortable with soft lighting. I want it to be a place I can retreat when I just can’t take it anymore. A place to relax, cry and figure out how to get out of my funk.
Deployments are going to stress you out which is why you need the right tools to help you through one.
What is in your deployment toolbox? How do you get through a deployment?
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