The number one tip you are going to get to survive a deployment is to stay busy. That you need to stay busy during a deployment to make it through. To fill up your calendar. To have something going every day. This is true. The busier you are, the faster time will go and the sooner the deployment will be over. When you don’t have anything to do, time drags.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do each day to stay busy during a deployment, especially if you are new to the area and haven’t met a lot of people yet.
Here are 22 fun ideas on how to stay busy during a deployment. Things you can do to keep busy and help your deployment go by a little bit faster. Take these as a starting off point and create your own list of ideas to help you stay busy during a deployment.
- Join a club- Whatever you’re into, join a club about it. Love to read? Join a book club. Love to hike? Joining a hiking club. Can’t find a club for what you want? Start one. Finding something you love to do is the best way to get through a deployment. You also have a big chance of making some friends while you do.
- Start a sport- Sports can be a great way to pass the time. You could sign up for a local team such as indoor soccer or volleyball. They might just meet once a week but that is okay. You can have fun at the practices, at the games and get to know the other people on your team.
- Playgroups- Playgroups are such a great way to spend your time when you have little kids. You take them, they go off and play and you can hopefully talk with other moms. Even if you don’t meet anyone the first few times, if your child is having fun, keep taking them. Eventually you will start talking with the other moms and hopefully, make friends. You can also go to playgroups around nap time, which makes the day go by a lot faster.
- Regular dinners- Having regular dinners with friends is also a great idea. Get a group together and take turns meeting at each other’s houses or even a park. You can have your kids eat before you go and then let them play while you eat your dinner with your friends. This can help with the nighttime routine and will help with the loneliness around that time of day.
- Regular coffee meetups– Another way to get together with friends is plan a weekly coffee date. Mondays work well because it is the day after the weekend and sometimes the weekends are the most difficult part of a deployment.
- Walks- Going for a walk is such a great idea. Not only will it help you pass the time but it can get you out of a funk. It is also good for your health and can allow you to reach the weight loss goals you made for yourself during the deployment. You can walk with a friend, listen to music, listen to podcasts and audiobooks. You can also stick your children in the stroller if they are young enough and take them with you.
- Start a new hobby- Deployments are the perfect time to start a new hobby. Think about what you have been wanting to learn. You can take a class or do it on your own. Finding a new hobby is something you can enjoy for years to come, not just during the deployment.
- Go back to an old hobby- Is there something you used to do that you haven’t done for a while? A deployment is a great time to get back into your old hobbies. Especially if you still have supplies or equipment in your home.
- Photography- Taking photos can be a great way to destress and to get to know your area. Go on photo walks and remember to bring a camera or even your phone out with you to take photos. Learn how to be a better photographer. Take a photography class. You will be glad that you did.
- Travel- Deployments can be the perfect time to travel. The idea of going places without your spouse can be scary or you can feel badly that he or she is missing out. This is something to think about. You don’t have to take a once in a lifetime trip. Save that for when they are home but take some time to plan at least one trip. You can go visit a friend, family or just go sightseeing
- Write a book- Have you always wanted to write a book? Now is your chance. Spend the extra time that you have on starting that book. You might not finish the book during the deployment but you can get started and that is a good thing.
- Start a blog- When your spouse is away it might be the right time to start a blog. Even if you are just writing down your thoughts about what you are currently going through. You don’t even have to show the blog to anyone or you can have a private blog for a select audience.
- Organize your home- When you are the only adult in your home, getting organized can be a little easier. You can go through your home and declutter, work on home projects and change things around. Deployments are a great time to do this type of thing.
- Paint your house- Want to change the color of your bedroom? Meaning to paint the kitchen and it just hasn’t happened yet? When your spouse is away, make plans to paint. Make sure to run any color choices by them if you think they would care about the colors. Then buy your supplies and make a plan to paint. You can even invite friends to come over and help you.
- Look for a new house- If you are planning to move after the deployment, you could start your home search early. You can look online, research schools and neighborhoods or even go look at homes with a real estate agent. There is a lot you can do to prepare for your future move.
- Find a job- If you feel you have too much time on your hands or you want to further your career, go find a job. It might take time to find one and then once you do, you will be able to stay busy. You will also be adding to your own career which is always a good thing.
- Go back to school- Deployments are a great time to go back to school. Whether you do so online or in person, find a program and apply. It will be easier to study when they are gone.
- Take one class- If you don’t want to go back to school full time you can take a class or two. You could take one on a skill you have been wanting to learn or you can take a class toward a degree you would like to eventually to get.
- Volunteer- Working as a volunteer can be a great way to spend the deployment. Whether you do so at your child’s school or for the FRG. Find a way to give back. This is also a great way to make friends.
- Visit Family- If you get along with your family, plan a trip to go see them. Stay a few days, a week or even a month. Whatever works for you and your situation.
- Exercise- Working out and exercising can be a great thing to get into when he is away. You can work on losing weight or just becoming a healthier person. Join a gym or a working group or get together with friends to do a workout video together.
- Read more books- Books are the best and can be a great way to pass the time. Make a list of books you want to read while they are gone and get started on them the day they leave. Need some suggestions?