Military personnel are not the only ones who suffer from anxiety and stress. Their spouses are equally at risk. Most military wives, for instance, also suffer from Secondary PTSD which is brought on due to exposure to their partners’ PTSD. While the condition may be inevitable in most couples involved in the armed forces, only the partner on active duty is given treatment preferences. However, there are some ways military wives can alleviate their anxiety without opting for therapy. The following are some tips that can create a coping mechanism that can alleviate that stress.
- Give Yourself Options. As a wife and partner, you have certain expectations for your future. You might even have taken time to create a step by step manifesto on how you will achieve certain goals. The disappointment that sets in when things don’t go according to that plan can be devastating. This is a common issue among military families that have to relocate several times due to posting schedules. Yes, it isn’t fair to the family but since you cannot change where you end up, give yourself options and create a Plan B if the original doesn’t work out. This will help you remain in control of your feelings, and how your family takes it.
- Choose Your Inner Circle Carefully. As a military spouse, your time and energy is valuable whether your spouse is deployed or not. However, due to the additional demands placed on you during a deployment, you are short on time already. Spending it with negative people will do nothing but make your situation seem worse than it actually is. There is nothing wrong with avoiding people who suck the life out of you with their presence. During a deployment and even after it, you need positive people around you who can give you emotional support. Once you cut out negative energy from your life, there will be a noticeable difference in your energy levels and mood.
- Reduce Your Workload. Like most military wives, your workload probably increases when your partner is deployed. However, instead of trying to do everything yourself, there are ways you can cut back and still be productive. For instance, if yard work gets too tiring, you can hire someone to cut that grass for you. Similarly, you can hire a teenager to shovel your driveway free of snow in the winter. Make grocery shopping easier to manage by shopping in bulk. That way, you will save yourself multiple trips to the store and open up your schedule for other essential tasks. Stock up on important grocery items in one trip and you will reduce your stress and fatigue significantly. This will also help you save money down the line which can be used for other essential expenses.
- Make Time for Yourself. With a family to take care of and no one to help, taking care of yourself may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you break down, who will take over? Prevent burnout by prioritizing yourself sometimes for a change. Hire a babysitter, and spend a day at the spa getting pampered and spoiled. It’s not selfish - it’s self-preservation. Even setting aside a couple of minutes each day is better than nothing. There are also several military sponsored childcare programs you can take advantage of. These have been established to give deployed service members a break when they need it.
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- Apply for a MyCAA Scholarship. One of the main causes of stress among military wives is lack of income due to an absent spouse. If you want to go back to school and start a career to support your family, apply for the MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Account) scholarship program. The program is open to any military spouse who is eligible for the career training tuition grant. Make money to support your family, and acquire experiences that can help you advance in your career. The scholarship program pays for your education and training courses, as well as the exams you need to clear. This includes the costs for acquiring a license and certification at an accredited college or approved testing facility.