75 Tips for Surviving Deployment

75 Tips for Surviving Deployment

75 Tips for Surviving Deployment

Deployment. Deployment. Deployment. That word is enough to turn a good day into a bad one. As military spouses, we know that deployments are a part of military life.

Surviving deployment is a must, even on those most difficult days. Whether your spouse deploys every few months or you go through a 9 or 12-month deployment every other year, you will need to figure out what works for you and how to get through.

Deployments are going to be a difficult part of your marriage, but that doesn’t mean they have to break you. That doesn’t mean they have to bring you down. With enough help and encouragement, you can get through your deployment, even if it is one day at a time.

Here are 75 tips for surviving deployment:

1. Make goals

Make a list of everything you want to while your spouse is deployed. Start on this list right after you say goodbye. Having goals will allow you to focus on something besides the fact that they are gone.

 

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2. Read some good books

Reading can be pretty therapeutic. Getting lost in a book will help you through those long deployment nights.

3. Try not to get jealous

Jealousy can be an issue during a deployment. You can get jealous of a friend who talks to their spouse more than you talk to yours or a friend whose husband is not deployed. Try not to compare your situation to others.

4. Find a routine

Routines are good. Even simple ones. Find a routine that works for you. Find one for your kids.

5. Take photos and make albums

Take lots of pictures, make albums, and then send them to your deployed spouse.

6. Learn OPSEC

OPSEC is so important! Learn what OPSEC means and make sure you don’t post what you shouldn’t on social media.

7. Call your Mother-in-law

She is the other person that misses your spouse as much as you do, even though it is in a different way.

8. Get organized

Organize your life. Having an organized home can help with your mood.

9. Be careful about the news

Some people can handle watching the news during a deployment; others can’t. Figure out which one you are and stick to it.

10. Pace yourself

Don’t try to do everything on day one. Pace yourself. You have a lot of days to get through.

11. Use technology for your advantage

We live in a time where technology allows us to video chat with a spouse deployed overseas. Remember how lucky we are.

12. Stay loyal

Don’t cheat. I know, do I even have to say that? But just don’t. Stay faithful. If you don’t want to be married anymore, you can talk about that with your spouse but don’t cheat on a deployed service member.

13. Start a countdown

Not everyone likes to countdown, but I do. It helps me celebrate the days I have been through and puts the deployment in perspective.

14. Know it’s okay if you don’t talk every day

Know that it is okay if you don’t talk to your spouse every day. Sometimes there will be missions that will take them away from the phones. Don’t freak out if you have to wait a few days. Remember, no news is good news.

75 Tips for surviving your deployment

15. Re-arrange your living room

Find a fresh look to your home. Move furniture around and have fun with it.

16. Go to church

If you are religious, go to church. Sundays are hard anyway. Being able to spend time at church part of the day is good for the soul.

17. Pray

Pray and use your faith to help ground you during the deployment.

18. Ask people to pray for you

Asking others to pray for you can help as well. If nothing else, you will know other people are thinking about you.

19. Pay off debt

Deployment is the perfect time to pay off debt. Get rid of extra bills and work towards your future.

20. Binge Watch

Deployment and Netflix go hand and hand. You can also have Hulu, Amazon, or any of the other streaming services.

21. Plan a Space-A trip

If your spouse is deployed, you get a higher priority when you Space-A. Take some time to look into how to Space-A and plan a trip.

22. Find a support group

Find a group you can depend on. It can be an actual support group or a more informal one. You can even start a deployment support group yourself.

23. Go to playgroups with your kids

Playgroups are the best. Time for your kids to play with other kids and you to talk with other moms.

24. Be open with your partner

During a deployment, it is important to be open with your partner. You are still married and being able to talk while they are away is important. Sometimes this might just mean writing letters and other times it will be phone calls and video chats.

25. Make new friends

Deployments can be a good time to make new friends. Find people who get you and what a deployment is like.

26. Explore your city

Take the time to get out and explore your city and community. It will be good for your soul.

27. Join a gym

Work on yourself during a deployment and join a gym. Hopefully one with childcare.

28. Wine

Drink the wine. But not too much.

29. Coffee

You know you need coffee. Invest in a nice coffee maker and have your daily cup.

75 Tips for surviving your deployment

30. Find a sitter

Find a good babysitter. She can watch your child when you head to the Commissary or just for a night out with friends.

31.  Start a business

Have you ever wanted your own business? Maybe now is the time to start. Doing so will keep you busy.

32. Start a deployment garden

Gardening gives you a chance to focus on something else and is good for you.

33. Listen to podcasts

Podcast are fantastic. There are so many awesome podcasts out there, on so many different topics.

34. Develop an easier nightly routine

When you have kids, bedtime is all up to you. Figure out if you can change your current routine to make the night a little easier for yourself.

35. Find me time

You are going to need to figure out a way to have me time during a deployment. Get creative if you have to and use the resources available in your community.

36. Let others know what you need

Don’t be afraid to let others know what you need. Friends want to help one another out.

37. Find something new to do

Find something new to try that you have never done before. Be adventurous.

38. Use the CDC

The CDC on your military post or base will probably have a CDC. Use it. Look into hourly care. It will save you.

39. Buy deployment books for your child

There are quite a few books on deployment that can help your child. Check them out.

40. Buy deployment books for yourself

There are deployment books for spouses too.

41. Send cute care packages

Get creative and send cute care packages. Holiday care packages are always a hit.

42. Buy cute stationery

During one of our deployments, I found stationery from where we went on our honeymoon. It was nice to write love letters on those and send them off to my husband.

43. Find your people

Finding your military spouse tribe is a must. Make plans with the people who can be there for you.

44. Go to an FRG meeting

I know FRG meetings get a bad rap, but they can be a very good thing. You will be walking into a room filled with other spouses going through the exact same thing you are.

75 Tips for surviving your deployment

45. Volunteer

Find a place to volunteer. This can help with boredom, help you develop friendships, and allow you to give back.

46. Trade babysitting with a friend

Find a good friend that you trust. Trade babysitting. This will save you money and still allow you to find that me time.

47. Ask for help

Sometimes we have to ask for help. We simply can’t do it all, all of the time.

48. Go on a mini-vacation

Spend the week in another city, visit a friend, or explore somewhere you have always wanted to go.

49. Visit home

Take a longer trip to visit home. See your parents, friends, and other family members. It will be good for your soul.

50. Work on your hobbies

Have you been putting off your favorite hobby? Deployment is a good time to get back into them.

51. Paint your house

Is there a room that needs a refreshing? Want to change the color? Start a painting project. Invite friends to help.

52. Join Facebook support groups

I have one for my blog. Reach out and help other people at the same time.

53. Follow Facebook pages

There are quite a few military support Facebook pages you can follow. Here is mine.

54. Get up and moving

Get up, shower, get dressed, and go somewhere. Every day. Even if you just take a walk around the neighborhood.

55. Assign chores

If you have kids, assign them some chores to help you out. If they are old enough, this can be such a good way to teach them responsibility and to give you a little bit of a break.

56. Write in a journal

Journals are amazing. You can write out whatever you feel like and no one can judge you for it.

57. Remember, this is temporary

Deployments don’t last forever. They eventually end. Remind yourself of that.

58. Drop the haters

You don’t need to be around people who are going to bring you down. Drop the haters and move on.

59. Check out activities on post

From MWR to the YMCA, see what is going on. There are always events you can go to, many of them are free.

60. Check out activities off post

Look into your local community to see what is going on.

61. Learn to cook something new

Try new recipes, look into learning something new. Get together with friends to share what you like to make.

62. Cry when you need to

Having a bad deployment day? Let it all out. Then pull yourself together to go on to the next day.

63. Seek extra help

Sometimes we need extra help. Don’t be afraid to start going to a counselor. They can help you more than you release.

64. Call your mom

Call your mom when you need to. Let it out. She can comfort you.

75 Tips for surviving your deployment

65. Find a new job

Find a new job, do something different, move up in your career.

66. Plan a post-deployment vacation

Talk to your spouse about what they want to do when they get home from the deployment. Plan the trip. That can be a fun distraction.

67. Start a blog

You have something to say about your experience. Start a blog and write about your situation.

68. Follow blogs

There are many military spouse blogs out there. Follow them. Learn from what they have to say.

69. Let things go

Sometimes we have to take a step back and let things go.

70. Know that you will have good days and bad days

Some deployment days will be good; some will be bad. That tends to be how things go.

71. Don’t worry about the next one

For many of us, there will be another deployment. Try not to worry about that during this deployment. You don’t know what the future will hold.

72. Text your friends

Texting can be a good way to connect with your best friends throughout the day. And can be helpful during a deployment.

73. Laugh

It’s okay to laugh. Smile. Have fun. It’s okay to do so during a deployment.

74. You be you

How you do deployment could be different than how your neighbor does, that’s okay. You do you.

75. Remember you got this. You are strong enough and brave enough to get through a deployment. 

 


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