Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deployment 101

Here is a list of things that can help you stay busy during a deployment and also ways to help prepare for a deployment. I have gathered these ideas through things that have helped me or other women that I know. I hope this list helps you in some way! If there is something that has worked for you that is not on the list, please comment it below and I'll add it to the list and give you full credit for the idea :)

1. Start A Blog - that is if you haven't already!

2. Find a Support Group - Nothing helps more (in my opinion) than having people you can go and talk to that know what you are experiencing. The support group can be people on your blog, or another group like the one I'm in: USMCgals. If you don't know of a support group, search for one on Facebook. They have great groups and fan pages where you can meet others in your same situation.

If you don't have anyone to talk to and are having a hard time Military OneSource can help. Whether its for emotional support, child care, personal finances, tax preparation and filing, relocation, or any other resources for special circumstances - Military OneSource can help you and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Each person that answers your phone call has a MA in Counseling or is at least ready to take on any phone call. They can even set you up with a counselor that is in your area and will pay for 12 sessions! It is a wonderful resource and everything is confidential!

Contact MilitaryOneSource today at  www.militaryonesource.com or call 1-800-342-9647.

3. Make a Deployment Bucket List - Are there things you've always wanted to do? Now is the time to do them! Write a list of all the things you want to do by the time your troop comes home. Make sure you place the bucket list in a place that you can see daily to remind yourself of your goal!

4. Redecorate an Area of Your House - I am currently in the middle of reduing my bedroom and planning on having it done by the time Mister comes home on leave. Is there a room that you've always wanted to update? Do it now and to keep your loved one update you can send them pictures of the process. You could always surprise them too :)

5. Get Into Shape - this seems like the most popular goal among people waiting for their loved one to come home. There are some great sites out there that can keep track of your progress for you - all you have to do is work out [easier said then done, I know!!].


6. Set Goals For Yourself - don't make these goals something thats unreachable or far fetched. Simple goals like cooking a homemade meal once a week or working out three times a week.

7. Volunteer - This will help keep your mind off things [as much as possible] meanwhile your helping someone else out too! Find a local charity and volunteer your time.

6. Explore New Places - pretty self explanatory.

7. Scrapbook - a great way to look back a memories and organize pictures.

8. Teach something - If you play an instrument or love a certian sport, why not take up some of that extra time of yours to teach it. You may even get paid - nothing wrong with a little bit more income!

9. Remember: Don’t overbook yourself in the name of keeping busy - You’ll only stress yourself out more.

10. Don’t be a news junkie - It will just make you crazy.

11. Save money for a vacation - the vacation can be while your loved one is deployed or for once they get home!

12. Do something nice for yourself once a week - Have your nails done, get a massage, have a shopping day, eat out at a nice restaurant. You need to take care of yourself during this time.

13. Focus on your kids (if you any) - they are missing their mommy/daddy and need your love.

14. Accept the bad days - they will happen! Read emails, letters, and look at pictures during this time.

15. Create a countdown - nothing beats having a "come home day." Watching the number get smaller and smaller is the best feeling. If you don't have a specific day yet, at least create a day around the time you think they may be home so you can still see the days are getting closer.

16. Dig down deep - You CAN do this! Remember that!!

17. Keep plenty of chocolate on hand - there's nothing like a piece of chocolate on a day where you just feel like laying in bed.- besides its just plain delicious! (ADDED BY: Hannah Noel @ That [Officer's] Wife)

18. Take a Family Readiness Class offered at your installation -  "At McLewis, they offer tons, such as Battle Mind Training, Army Family Team Building (Levels I-III), Stress Management, Time Management, Budgeting/Car Buying/Investing 101, FRG Leader Course, Care Team Training, etc." Check out your installation to see what classes they have! (ADDED BY: Jessica @ {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife)

19. Accept His Enthusiasm (that is if he is enthusiastic) - Everyone reacts differently to leaving. In my case, Mister and I usually fight the week leading up and he tends to be distant while away. If this is your case too - don't worry, it's normal!  If they're excited, let them leave excited - try not to bug them about why they'd be excited to deploy. If they are deploying to a combat area, they need to be focused, they need to have good morale, and they can't have other things on their mind then the job at hand.

20. Acknowledge Your Feelings - and find positive outlets for those feelings.

21. Trust each other - "My husband and I have not always had the perfect marriage, and we've had some serious trust issues in the past. The trust issue presents a huge problem with deployments, and is one of the big sources of pre-deployment arguments. But I just try to keep my husband informed at all times, and he tries to express his fears reasonably instead of with snide remarks. As a result, we often have excellent communication during deployments and always make it through okay." (ADDED BY: Rita- USMC Gal)

22. Keep your routine - "I have learned not to get upset over the pending deployments. There is really nothing I can do to stop them. I try to keep home life as normal as I can for my children." (ADDED BY: Carmen - a member of USMC Gals)

23. Be proud - "I remember that he is gone not because he wants to be away from me, but because he is a terrific person and is dedicating his live to serving his country." (ADDED BY: Anita - a member of USMC Gals)

24. Do not drown your sorrows - " I would go out with friends (fellow deployment widows) on Friday nights and have a few beers, and then on Sundays I'd try to figure out why I couldn't stop crying! I them remembered that alcohol is a depressant, and it wasn't conductive to me being ' happy girl '. So, I became more careful about the amount of alcohol I consumed." (ADDED BY: Carly - a member of  USMC Gals)

25. Focus on other things - "Keep your chin up. Find things to keep your mind off your loneliness. But avoid sappy movies, unless you need a good cry." (ADDED BY: Zoë - a member of USMC Gals)

more to come soon... <3


Hannah Noel said...

#16 is probably my favorite!

How about "#17 keep plenty of chocolate on hand"

Anonymous said...

I would add to take all the family readiness classes offered on your installation. At McLewis, they offer tons, such as Battle Mind Training, Army Family Team Building (Levels I-III), Stress Management, Time Management, Budgeting/Car Buying/Investing 101, FRG Leader Course, Care Team Training, etc...

Anonymous said...

#4 is a good one...except for the suprise part. While deployed my wife renovated the entire house to stay busy. It was to be a suprise. When I left it was a home and I felt comfortable. After I got back it felt like I was living in someone else's house. It was awful. I had no say or input on anything. Don't use this as a suprise. Talk with them about your ideas so they are a part of the project.

It's Something Beautiful said...

This is a great point. Thank your for sharing :)

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