As a military spouse, I know being away from your partner can be challenging, irritating, and plain old sad! Deployments are draining, and all the training and preparation leading up to them adds to the time away. It’s easy to get caught up in the hard parts, and we can often overlook the wonderful opportunities we have for self-care, personal development, and built-in alone time. While we’d never choose to be away from our spouses, we might as well make the most of the time, right?
I’ve been a military partner for a number of years now, so I’ve spent significant amounts of time away from my spouse! It’s always hard, but I do have some suggestions that have helped me thrive as an individual during our time apart.
Improve your skill sets
Take up a new hobby, learn an instrument, get certified in something new, or even go back to school! What have you been putting off because you don’t have the time? When my husband is home, I want to spend every waking moment with him – and while he’s gone, I find the time goes by easier if I fill it with fun new challenges and experiences!
Spend one-on-one time with your friends and family
The older we get, the rarer it is to enjoy quality alone time with friends and family. Pick some weekends and visit your parents or that high school friend you’ve been meaning to see for the last 5 years. Time apart is such a great opportunity to nourish your other relationships and take advantage of your extended network and support system!
Practice more self-care
Being a military spouse means having extra alone time. Use your time to focus on your fitness and spirituality. Take more baths and get more sleep. Meditate for longer, read some inspiring books, or journal. Pamper yourself, you deserve it!
Watch your favorite movies
This is a given! Binge on your favorite chick flicks and re-watch all 10 seasons of Friends. Who doesn’t love complete control of the clicker?
Take care of yourself like you would if they were home
If you do nothing else, please do this. Let’s get honest here, when our spouse is away, it is easy to fall into the trap of microwave dinners and clothing piles all over the floor, right? You deserve all the simple (yet important) things you’d have if they were home. This includes beautiful home-cooked meals and a clean house. Make yourself some family meals and always have leftovers. Make your bed and put your clothes away. You will be amazed by how much better you feel. They want you to be taken care of, so get on that!
I hope some of my ideas will help you make the most of deployments. Or any time away from your spouse. Embrace the wait, and get moving on some serious personal growth and “me time”!