1. KEEP BUSY!!
This has to be the biggest and best tip out there. It seems like such an obvious one but it’s easy to find yourself staring at the walls sometimes and letting sad and lonely thoughts creep back in. Fill up that diary. Say yes to as many offers to go out and meet up with people as possible. And when you don’t have anything on, go out and fill your days up yourself. I’ve been on quite a few coffee and lunch dates with just the toddler and it’s fine! It’s always better to get out of the house for a bit.
2. Make time for yourself
Regardless of whether your days are filled up with looking after the kids, work, or anything else, always make sure to make time for yourself. Whether it’s going and getting your hair or nails done, getting into a really good book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, starting a home DIY project or just starting a really good box set, everyone needs an outlet and a bit of me time.
3. Plan fun things for when your deployed partner is back home
I find that having things to look forward to once the husband is back is such a motivation and drive to get through all the rubbish days you have whilst you’re in the middle of a deployment. Make lists of new pubs and cafes to try out, places to visit or if you’re feeling super adventurous, start planning future holidays. We’re hoping to go on a ‘re-do’ of our honeymoon next year when the husband is back (our first involved food poisoning, dodgy weather and half the all inclusive hotel being closed due it being the first week of ‘off season’).
4. Use your friends
That sounds bad and worded wrong! What I mean is when they offer to help out, take them up on the offer if you need it. They are your friends for a reason and will genuinely want to help out where they can. If they want to take you out for dinner, go! If they’re happy to babysit the kids to give you a bit of time to yourself, let them! If they want to come round and keep you company with a take away, say yes!
5. Talk to others in the same (excuse the pun if you are a Navy ‘WAG’ like me…) boat
The internet is a wonderful thing and if you are not on a marriage patch or don’t have friends who are military WAGs as well, then use Facebook etc to connect with other people going through the same thing. You never know, you might even find someone who’s partner is deployed in the same place as yours. As much as non military friends try to help, they’re lucky enough to not ever be able to ‘get it’ fully, so it’s good to have some contact with others who really do know, and understand, the feelings and experience you’re going through.
If you’re going through or have been through a deployment, then feel free to add your tips below!