Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ten Ways to Stay Busy During a Deployment

Deployments are a very real part of military life. They can also be a very lonely and stressful time as a spouse. During our first two years of marriage, we spent more time apart than we did together. Starting our marriage with a string of deployments was a good lesson in how to find independence and happiness outside of marriage. Today, I thought I'd share ten things I did during our various deployments to stay busy and happy. Trust me - the time goes much quicker when you're a busy bee.


Before we get into the list of things you can do to stay busy, I want to point out that not everything on this list is going to appeal to you and that's okay. It's a matter of finding what works for you and committing to it one hundred percent. I like to make a deployment bucket list to insure that I don't run out of ideas while my husband is away. Below you'll find a few of my favorite ways to stay busy during a deployment.

Workout

I have a love-hate relationship with working out. There are days where I absolutely love it and then there are other days where the mere thought of working out makes me upset. I did find that working out - specifically in group classes - was a great way to stay busy during a deployment. Group classes allowed me to meet new people and helped me stay committed since there was a schedule and money involved. Pole fitness, bootcamp style workouts, yoga, and barre are just a few of the workouts I tried while we were living in California.

Declutter 

One of my favorite things to do during a deployment is to declutter and organize the house. When I organize, I tend to make an even bigger mess because I remove everything before putting it all back into a space. This giant mess is much easier to deal with when my husband isn't around. I was careful to make a pile of his questionable belongings so that he had the final say before I got rid of them. Please don't get rid of your husband's stuff while they are away! That typically won't end well.

Make something

I love making crafts, but I don't always take the time when my husband is around. I found that crafts were a perfect way to kill some time while he was underway. I would often visit my Pinterest boards and find those items that I pinned but never got around to doing. (Let's face it - that's 90% of the stuff people pin.) Without a husband around to distract me, I was able to invest some time in these crafts.

 

Be social

Spending time with friends is my favorite way to pass the time. It kills away the loneliness that can creep in with a deployment and it gives you something to do. If you don't have friends in your current area, then I recommend getting out and meeting some new friends.

Redecorate 

This one goes along with decluttering and organizing. I listed it on its own because you can definitely redecorate a room without decluttering and organizing. During my husband's first deployment, I finished decorating our bedroom with an Arkansas Razorbacks theme. This is his favorite team, so he was quite happy with the result.

Netflix

I want to preface this section by saying that I don't recommend watching Netflix all the time during a deployment. It will only add to the loneliness. However, I do recommend using a deployment to enjoy all of the girly shows that you might not watch as often when there's a man in the house. Binge watching can be a great way to pass some time when used sparingly.

Try out new recipes 

I love trying new things - especially when it comes to recipes. I fond that trying new recipes during a deployment was a lot of fun. If the recipe was a bad one, then no one else had to know about it. However, if I stumbled upon a great recipe, then I had something new to share with my husband when he returned.

Explore

I discovered many of our favorite places while my husband was underway. I would get out and explore the area with friends or by myself and make note of anything I thought he would enjoy. Then, when he returned to port, I was able to show him the new things I discovered. Having these places to share gave me something to look forward to, which is very helpful during a deployment.

Work 

This one definitely isn't the most fun on the list but it is a very effective way to pass the time when you're separated. During our first deployment as a married couple, I was working full time as a teacher and it definitely took up a lot of my time. If you are in a position to work, then it's a great way to pass the time during a deployment. Even a part time job can make a difference in how fast time moves.

Visit family 

This is one of my favorite things to do during a deployment. I would always plan one trip home while my husband was deployed. My family lived on the other side of the country at the time so trips home were few and far between.

These were some of my favorite ways to pass the time during our deployments. Do you have a favorite way that's not listed? I'd love to hear how you pass the time during deployments in the comments below!

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