The holidays are right around the corner. It’s time for get-togethers, holiday cheer, grand feasts, shopping, and enjoying the holiday spirit.
…Unless your spouse is deployed.
Military spouses who are either alone, or maybe even alone in a new duty-station, can have a hard time adjusting to the holiday season when it’s supposed to be all about “family”. Some spouses keep busy and do a great job of handling the holidays with a smile.
Some may be new to military life, or have difficulty making new friends, or it’s their first deployment, whatever the reason, here are 10 ways military spouses can face the holidays alone during deployment.
- Limit being a hermit. It may be easy way out, but try your best to get out of the house and do something, anything, to help you cope. Look for get togethers from your FRG or ombudsman. See what’s going on with your local MWR or USO.
- if you have to be a hermit, bring people to you! Host a potluck or get-together with fellow spouses of deployed service members. You can have an activity together as a icebreaker: wrapping gifts, doing care packages, decorating ornaments, etc.
- Take care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, eat right, rest, workout. Mentally, have a goal you want to accomplish or hobby you like to do to keep your mind invested in something. Emotionally, vent if you must. Talk to a military life counselor, family and friends, me?
- Keep connected. Not only with your spouse, but with family and friends. The holidays are a great time to catch up with those who you, perhaps, may not talk to very often.
- Volunteer. Although you may feel down in the dumps, there are people who may have it worse during the holidays. Volunteer to help those less fortunate, and it will truly make you feel grateful for what you do have.
- Don’t overdo it. I tend to go all out during the holidays but when my husband is deployed, I needed to scale it back to save my sanity. Fewer decorations, a simpler holiday feast, etc. definitely eased some of my stress.
- Spoil yourself. We tend to give, give, give, during the holidays. Don’t forget to splurge on yourself a little bit. A mani/pedi, an early holiday gift, something to remind you that you’re doing a good job, keep it up.
- Get a part time job. If this is an option, getting a part time job can add up to some great spending money for the holidays or for when your spouse returns.
- Visit home. It’s not “being weak”. It’s being with people you love and trust.
- If you can’t visit home, then remember: “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the ones you are with”