It’s completely natural to feel sad during this time. Instead of letting loneliness and depression dominate your spouse’s absence, try coming at their deployment from a new approach. While they’re away, focus on yourself, your goals and your personal growth. This way, when you correspond with your spouse, they’ll be able to sense that you’re doing well. When they do finally return home, you’ll be able to report all of the growth and positivity that blossomed; in turn, being able to better support their re-integration. It all comes full circle! So let’s get started:

Focus on your health

If you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to tackle any of the goals you’ve laid out for yourself. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, take those vitamins and don’t rely on crutches like alcohol when you’re feeling down. Get some exercise, and you might even want to motivate yourself physically by signing up for an event, such as a 5k or even a half marathon, to start working toward that goal.

Examine and work through your stressors

Everyone falls into a funk now and again. Take some time to think about what’s bothering you. What’s in your control? What’s not in your control? Take some time to think through your troubles and try to find a way to turn them around into something positive in your life.

Fill up the bath tub, add a few drops of lavender, and some Epsom salts, and meditate on the present and the bright future that lies ahead.

Think about writing out your thoughts in a diary to work through and track your progress.

Channel your energy

Set personal goals for yourself. Whether that means losing weight, getting healthy and running that 5k, becoming your child’s troop parent and taking their troop to the next level, or developing a skill that makes you happy. Get creative!

Get out of your comfort zone

Trying something new can rejuvenate and empower you. Try something that you will be able to learn from, but don’t get crazy. We’re not talking base jumping or no-limits free diving. We were thinking more in terms of starting a business, volunteering at your local food bank, signing up for acting classes. Get involved in something unlike anything you’ve ever done – something you can learn from, and something that can help you grow as a person.

Focus on growth instead of loss. That way, the time away from your service member will be a lot less painful, more productive, and you’ll be able to better support them upon their return!

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