A large part of being in the military family is spending important days alone. Instead of spending the months away from your loved one sad and miserable, be positive! Negativity and depression will spread like a cancer and all you will see are shades of blue. Every now and then you are allowed a moment to lament, but as soon as the moment is over – Get happy!
Ways to catch the happy bug
- Find someone having it tougher than you. You might think your current situation is the worst ever, until you meet the girl who is pregnant with triplets and her car broke down after going to the commissary and no one stopped to help while her husband was deployed. Trust me. Offer her a helping hand! Helping others is great medicine to stop focusing on our own problems and help someone through theirs.
- Stay far away from sap. Don’t watch the saddest romantic dramas when you are lonely. It just makes you feel that much worse that your prince charming or princess is not there with you. Same thing goes for books and music. Remember, no wallowing in self pity!
- Give social media a break. Our generation loves painting a perfect life portrait for the world to see. If your loved one is far away and in constant danger, looking at pictures of your friend having a baby surrounded by her husband and family will only make you jealous, sad, and worse off. If you notice all of your status’s are about being lonely, missing them, or inserting a sad face- you need a hobby.
- Get a hobby. The comedian Sinbad once said “If you don’t have a hobby, you will die.” A bit extreme but in long solo situations, you really need something to do to take your mind off of your current situation. Some ideas might be sewing, scrapbooking, Crossfit, or even jigsaw puzzles. These hobbies will distract you and you will have something fun to do! Find something that you enjoy and keep searching until you find something that makes you feel good!
- Do something you like! If you have something that you love to do that you usually can’t around your spouse, now is the time to do it. For example, maybe order a pizza with your favorite toppings or do an activity that your spouse is not interested in. Horseback riding, scuba diving, or maybe a round of golf.
I’m not suggesting that you tell your spouse you are having the time of your life while they are away, but you shouldn’t be miserable the whole deployment either. A positive outlook on life will make the days so much more enjoyable and you a pleasure to be around (instead of a ticking time bomb). The best quote I know is “No one benefits from a bad mood. Not even you”. Remember that whenever you feel like the deployment will never end and you feel sad, catch the happy bug and spread it around! I’m sure there are people around you who can use it!