Military spouses know how to hold down the fort while their spouse is deployed, but there are times when he or she just needs a momentary distraction from it all. Spouses may go to work and keep busy, but many can’t escape even fleeting feelings of loneliness or worry.
If that’s the case, here are some fun ways to distract the mind a little and cope with the hardship of deployment.
You can decide how deep you indulge, but music can be a very therapeutic way to distract yourself. Sing along to some cheerful or inspirational songs and belt out some stress. You can also reconnect with an instrument to practice or pick up one as a new hobby.
You can host a girls/guys night with fellow spouses where you all enjoy each other and have a mutual sense of understanding. Treat yourselves to movies, sports, games or just pure chitchat. Another idea is to befriend some of the new spouses in the unit. Recall how lost you may have felt and use this time to mentor another.
About once a week or so treat yourself to some pampering. Perhaps it’s getting a massage or manicure/pedicure, buying a new video game, getting a fancy haircut, eating at a nice restaurant or whatever else you typically don’t do.
Use the extra time to enroll in a certificate or degree program. Not only does it keep your mind in the books, but it is also a way to invest in your future. There are multiple scholarships and programs such as MyCAA for military spouses.
Whether it’s the classic novels or the trashy magazines, allow yourself to get caught up in a fantasy world. If it’s not enough to read, try and write your own novel or simply make entries in a journal about your daily thoughts.
Rent and watch every chick flick or man movie that you’ve always wanted to watch and make a night out of it. Pop some popcorn, cuddle up with a blanket and enjoy yourself. You can also brighten your mood with inspirational movies it you need a boost of optimism.
You can perfect the art of quilting, knitting, antiquing, scrapbooking, or whatever hobby you’d like to do for fun. Not only can you use it as a distraction, but you might also be able to turn it into a profit-making hobby. Throw yourself into a new project or even make a long term goal that you can work towards. Now is the time to start scrap booking, dive into volunteering or start training for that marathon!
Not only can gardening be a stress-relieving distraction, but it can also be a great way to get outdoors and in the sunshine. You can learn to appreciate nature as well as gain the rewarding experience of creating your own beauty.
A nice word, crossword or Sodoku puzzle can be a quick way to engage your mind. You can distract your mind and strengthen it at the same time.
Take up drawing or painting to process your emotions or use as a simple distraction. You can explore your artistic capabilities and produce something beautiful to share with others later.
How do you keep busy during deployment? Do you have special projects, long term goals or other hobbies that you take up to help keep busy during deployment? Let us know in the comments!