First off – lets thrive during deployment, not just survive. I went into deployment number two with this mindset and I was a fumbling mess when I realized this goal was significantly more challenging to achieve than ever imagined. Envision Wile E. running off a cliff trying to chase the road runner! I told myself you are allowed one day to be a sobbing, and non functioning mess, then you need to hit the road running. I thought I can pull myself together in one day, no problem! There was just one little thing and that was I needed about a month to adjust to life (with) my husband away.
It is well known that there are five stages associated with the emotional cycle of deployment. They are pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, re-deployment, and post deployment. Today I am focusing on the deployment stage and how it has changed my life! This stage is often identified as the first month your spouse is away. Remember how I told you I only allotted myself one day to be a sobbing mess? That simply didn’t happen. I would start crying out of nowhere, not sleep more than a couple hours, have night terrors, and feel lost throughout the day. I know this sounds awful (and it was) but I have some good news… there are things you can do to face your situation.
I had to figure out how the thrive and get out of my survival state of mind. I did this through…
- Let yourself create a new routine! The hardest parts of each day were when I got off work and when I went to bed. I would make dinner after work almost every day, and end my night with my husband by my side. With this I learned the FUN of flexibility! If I didn’t feel like cooking I didn’t and if I wanted to have a dance party and watch funny videos for an hour I did.
- Find a hobby or create a goal just for you! Challenging myself to work out regularly: This is the area I am most excited about because I have started doing Yoga! I am currently doing a 30 day challenge and I love how it has positively impacted my life.
- Build your community -We have an AMAZING community and I am telling you friends take advantage of it. Join military significant other Facebook groups, find others in your area, and hang out with them! You never know what great friendships will come from a simple hello!
- Get your communication routine down! There are a few things that I learned from his first deployment. One was that my spouse did not want to talk to me every free minute he had (and that is okay!). It may seem like they are having a blast, but it stinks for them too. Oh, and learn the time zone differences ASAP! My husband and I communicate in ways that work best for us, and this keeps me sane while he is away. It may take trial and error to find what works best for you, but when you do there is a feeling of relief and peace that comes with knowing that you are connecting.
In my continuous journey to thrive during deployment and not just survive I have found that focusing on me is the key to my success! Each situation is defined by how we perceive it, and the same goes for deployment. I leave you with a quote I live my life by!
“What defines us is how well we rise after falling”