Thanks to social media, I’m able to reminisce about life events from the past. Recently, I was reminded of an unaccompanied tour my husband started 3 years ago.
It feels like so long ago because a lot has happened since then (we had a wedding, PCSed, bought 2 cars, adopted a cat, you get the point…). But, when I spent a little time thinking about that year, I remembered how lonely I felt.
We have no kids. No pets at the time. And nothing else going on in our lives because we got married and he left a week later.
I am being a bit dramatic because I did have 2 amazing roommates that helped me cope. At that time, I was also introduced to the amazing military spouse community. Still, it’s was hard for me to completely let go (cue the music of “Frozen”) and live life when my heart was halfway across the world. Alas, I made it through that year and many, many, TDYs later, I feel like I’ve put together a good routine to help me get through the time by myself.
Hopefully these 21 things will help get you through your lonely bouts like it did for me.
- First know that there is so much to do when you are by yourself! Take advantage of your time.
- Talk a walk outside at your favorite park or try out a new one. I find it very peaceful to be by myself in nature.
- Explore downtown city streets or a local museum to learn something new.
- Write in a journal. You don’t have to be a writer to put together your thoughts. Be as raw as you can be.
- Write to a loved one. You can decide to send it or not. I’m a fan of getting greeting cards to send friends with thoughtful messages inside.
- Pick up the phone or video chat with family and friends. Technology is awesome, so use it to your advantage!
- Visit family and friends. Plan a mini-getaway!
- Read a new book or go to the library and ask for a recommendation.
- Get dolled up at the salon or better yet, get a massage. Do something that makes you feel amazing. We all deserve it.
- Volunteer at a local organization that is close to you. The military community has tons out there or try your nearby community (i.e. animal shelters, soup kitchens, etc.)
- Go to the gym or take a fitness class. I adore Zumba! Haven’t found your cup of tea yet? Give them all a try.
- Binge watch TV (“SVU” or “Criminal Minds” anyone?).
- Watch an old favorite movie that you absolutely love #HP4Life (mad points for anybody that gets it).
- Play with your pet, if you have one. My cat DOES play fetch.
- Deep clean your house. When I say deep clean, I’m talking about under your refrigerator-type cleaning, so be careful.
- Plan a night out with friends. Sometimes we need to let loose.
- Have a quiet meal at a restaurant. This is the perfect time to frequent the places that your spouse doesn’t like. In my case, it would include any Indian restaurant.
- Take a nap. That one was suggested by my husband. Sleep is everybody’s friend.
- Pick up or continue a hobby.
- Create a to-do list. It doesn’t have to be formal and can be jotted down on a piece of paper. I like to have plans written down, even if they are only for the day.
- Finally, do something that is completely and utterly for yourself. For example, getting the boots you’ve been eyeing or attending a lecture that’s important to you…whatever floats your boat. Do it!