When your partner is away training, on a mission or deployed, your mental and physical health can suffer. Here are a few tips to help you keep your health a priority.
- Drink plenty of water — at least 8 glasses each day.
- Plan your meals for the week, make your ingredient list, and grocery shop or try a grocery delivery service. You’re less likely to choose a fast food pit stop if you know you already have ingredients at home.
- Sometimes ready-made or partially cooked meals are stress relievers for a busy family. Before you add one to your cart, check the food labels to make sure it isn’t high in sodium, added sugars or saturated fats.
- Turn screens off 2-3 hours before bed — blue light can interfere with your circadian rhythm. If this is the only time you can talk to your partner while they’re away, see if your phone has a blue-light filter in its display settings to help minimize the effects.
- Do a few simple stretches before you go to sleep, like bear hug and child’s pose.
- Practice meditation. Focus on deep breathing for a few minutes, choose a mantra to repeat, or find an app you can download to help guide you.
- Prioritize your to-do list and delete nonessential tasks altogether. Maybe not all the housework needs to get done, or you can skip an activity that seems more like a chore than something fun.
- Talk to a professional. TRICARE covers mental health services.
- Get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.
- Join a class at your park, rec center or gym.
- Involve your kids in a game of tag or mommy-and-me yoga.
- Turn your video off during a meeting and go for a walk while you work. Or if you work in an office, ask your colleague if they’d like to join you in a walking meeting.
- Go to all of your annual checkups. Try a virtual or telehealth visit to save time.
- Talk to people you love and trust frequently. A phone call can go a long way.
- Join the family readiness group (FRG) or other military spouse groups to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
- Join a music class, swim class, or just go to the park with your little ones to meet other moms.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Some grocery stores have apps for you to quickly access coupons and savings.
- Many companies, including phone and internet providers, offer a military discount you may be eligible for.