I always thought I was strong and independent, then I met my husband. For the first time in my life, I was finally able to relinquish some of my independence and control and build a life with my wonderful man. Then came trainings and possible deployments. Now, I have to reconfigure my life and figure out how to do it independently again, which is a hard transition back and forth.
In my short time of being a military spouse, I have learned that developing strength is a must. What does it mean to be strong? That question can be answered in many ways. Strength comes in many facets such as; physical, mental, and spiritual. Each of these areas can help you become the strong military spouse that is a prerequisite to survive this lifestyle.
Developing physical strength:
- Do you prefer to sweat it out alone? Check out the gyms on post. Most are free, and only charge a fee if you want to take a group fitness class. Keep in mind that there are only a few that offer childcare.
- Do you want to workout with other moms and military spouses? Look no further than Heart on a Mission. This fabulous group allows you to bring your children to their workouts all across post. Not only will you be sweating it out, but you will also meet some pretty amazing women just like yourself.
Finding your mental strength:
- Never be afraid to reach out and talk to a professional. If you’re working, see if your employer has an EAP (Employee Assistance Program). If not, another free resource is Military One Source.
- Think positive. I know it’s hard sometimes, but try to get negative thoughts out of your mind as soon as they enter. A positive mindset allows for beautiful things to flourish in your life, and it beats the blues.
- Be creative. To beat the blues or negativity, build something. If you like the outdoors, build a garden. If you prefer indoors, create a craft or begin writing about your experiences. Expressing your creativity can help you build your mental toughness because you are creating a positive outlet for yourself.
- Make new friends. This is the biggest complaint I hear from military spouses when they PCS. The best way to find friends is to get out of your house and get active in your interests. If fitness is your thing, find local fitness groups in order to find friends with similar interests. Go to spouse events on and off post. I met my closest milspouse friend at a spouse event sponsored by the USO. Having friends can help you through all of the ups and downs of this life, which in turn, helps your mental strength.
Becoming spiritually strong:
- Do you prefer to worship with others? Find a church group on or off post that you feel comfortable in. Ask your spouse’s chaplain for guidance in finding a new church home.
- Do you prefer to worship alone? Make time for prayer, reflection, and study. This will help you to incorporate spirituality into your day.
- Do you prefer the companionship of a pet? Check out rescue organizations or local shelters to find your new furry friend. If you already have a pet, be sure to spend quality time with him or her. Pets, most especially dogs, are a true reflection of God’s unconditional love for us. If you don’t believe me, check out this documentary that connects a dog’s love to God’s love.
Developing your strength will help you in so many ways as a military spouse. It will help you through all of the tough times, and help you to appreciate the happy moments. This life is not easy, but loving and supporting your service member is one of the most honorable things any spouse can do. Finding your strength will help you to develop into the very best version of yourself. If you do that, you can never go wrong in this thing called life.
© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2017.