When your spouse is deployed, finding time for yourself is a lot more complicated. There is always so much to do. And, there is no way to get it all done.
You hear about practicing self-care, but that doesn’t seem possible at the moment. You are always so tired and are not sure when you could find the time to take a bubble bath or read a book. You know you need to relax but you can’t figure out how at the moment.
The truth is, finding time for yourself during a deployment is going to take some planning. If you wait for it naturally to come to you, it probably won’t. You need to take some steps so you can figure out how you can make time for yourself.
The reality is, if you keep going and going and don’t ever stop, you will burn yourself out. You need to figure out how to help yourself, even within a crazy schedule. You need to figure out what works for you.
Self-care is very specific to each person. Some people love to get their nails done. They find doing so very relaxing. I really don’t. It’s just not my thing. But, I would love to sit at a coffee shop for hours with a good book.
The key is finding what you love and what you can do. If you have small children and a deployed spouse, you can’t just leave to go take time to yourself, you have to plan for it.
You might be able to hire a babysitter, trade babysitting with a friend, or take advantage of CDC hours.
You can also find some of that self-care time after your kids go to bed. I did this all the time during our early deployments. I would try to keep to an earlier bedtime for my kids so I had a few hours to myself before I went to bed.
Being able to make that time for myself was a must. I couldn’t imagine not doing so. Being able to somewhat relax recharged me and allowed me to be the best mom I could be, even during a deployment.
Often time, especially us moms, assume we can’t even find time to take a shower or take a short break. The truth is, some seasons will be harder to do so than others, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to do so.
Our mental health is important, and during a deployment, we have to be really aware of how we are doing emotionally. Many military spouses are going through depression or anxiety, or both. We have to figure out ways to help get through what we are dealing with in a healthy manner.
Here are some self-care resources to help:
See what you can do to change things up and give yourself permission to take time for yourself. You will be so glad you did!