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Friday, December 30, 2005

Well Ladies

Here are my tips for surviving deployments and separations:

Based on my experience with these issues over the years, here are the top tips from my journal for surviving deployments and separations.
  1. Volunteer!  Helping others is good medicine for your soul and spirit.  Call the Red Cross, ACS or the Installation Volunteer Coordinator for volunteer opportunities.
  2. Set a goal.  Start the program or project you’ve been putting off.  Begin a self-improvement program.  Go back to school, learn a new skill or hobby.
  3. Don’t wait for the phone to ring.  Plan an outing or a special dinner, then call several friends to join you.
  4. Travel.  New scenery and change of pace, if only for a day or two, does wonders for the spirit.
  5. Go to work.  A full or part-time job can provide extra income as well as opportunities for interaction.
  6. Take a break.  Single parenting wears you down, so go to dinner or see a movie with friends once a week.
  7. Laugh.  Don’t lose your sense of humor.  Look for roses and take time to enjoy them.
  8. Don’t feel guilty about going out with friends and leaving your children with a sitter.  That’s the cheapest form of sanity check available.
  9. Keep a journal of your thoughts and activities while your sponsor is away to help “catch up” when they return.  Include snapshots of you and the children taken while he/she was away.
  10. Join a support group.  Whether it is your Family Support Group, Waiting Spouses Support Group, your church or work, the support of friends makes the going easier.
  11. Don’t always call or run home to “mother” if the going gets rough.  That, at best, is a temporary solution, and may become very expensive.
  12. If you and your spouse have some differences, try to work them out before he leaves.  They’ll get bigger and bigger if you don’t.
  13. Find a “buddy”, another military spouse who is also alone temporarily.  Time passes quicker with a friend.
  14. Little things can help a lot:  Cook a special dish that you enjoy, but that your sponsor dislikes; start a small project; do some physical labor -- it will help relieve “emotional stress”
  15. Don't sit home on weekends thinking, “Oh, if only I weren’t alone”.  Get a group of friends together and DO SOMETHING.

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