by Amanda Marksmeier, Guest Contributor
No one wants to get the news a loved one is deploying. While it might be tempting to press the pause button on your life, instead press the reset button.
Deployments are the perfect excuse to reset and refocus on your health.
Everyone wants to know how to make deployment go by quickly. Our instinct is to rush through unpleasant times and circumstances. Instead of looking at a deployment as something to blitz through, use deployments as a time to set and achieve personal goals.
Goals Keep You Focused and Achievement Keeps You Going
I will be the first to admit, setting goals can be challenging.
If your goals are too low, you will get bored.
If they are too high, you’ll get discouraged.
What do you want to accomplish while your spouse is away? Want to form better eating habits, find balance or start exercising?
Whatever you choose, commitment to it. Decide what you need to do to achieve your goals and start preparing prior to deployment. Schedule time in your calendar to focus on your goals.
Your health is just as important as FRG coffees.
Once you have established your goals, write them down. Put them in plain sight where you will see them daily. Hang your goals on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. They will serve as a constant reminder and motivate you to keep going.
Set Realistic Goals
Saying “I want to lose 50 pounds in a month” is not only unrealistic, it is unhealthy. If your deployment goal is to lose weight talk with your health care provider and decide what is a reasonably goal.
Losing weight is like a marathon. Pace yourself and take it one day at a time.
Don’t Stay Busy, Stay Active
The thought of working out can be intimidating and exhausting, particularly if you haven’t done it in a long time. Don’t overthink it. Any movement is a step in the right direction.
If you don’t enjoy running, don’t sign up for a marathon. You’ll hate preparing for it and it will be so much easier to quit.
Find something you enjoy and start moving.
Love dancing? Try a Zumba class. You can show off your mad dance skills while burning a ton of calories.
Searching for balance? Yoga can help you breathe and stretch until you find inner peace.
Frustrated over the deployment? Boxing classes are a great way to get cardio in and frustrations out.
Whatever you choose to do mark it on your calendar, invite friends to join you and get moving.
You Are Not Alone
Human beings are not meant to go through life alone. We survive and thrive in community settings.
Build a community with people who share similar interests and goals. Befriend your neighbors, parents at your child’s school or military spouses in your unit.
You will need these friendships to get through this deployment.
Be Healthy Together
Once you have established your community start scheduling healthy meals and workout dates. Find buddies who will be motivating and keep you accountable.
When we were stationed in Georgia a neighbor and dear friend used to come get me for daily walks. She didn’t give me the opportunity to say no.
Another dear friend in Tennessee would sign us up for crazy exercise classes.
I love both these women because they kept me motivated and made me accountable. I needed to be strong-armed into exercising. My friends knew this and complied.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the one motivating or the one that needs motivation, the important thing is to find accountability partners who will accomplish deployment goals with you.
Deployments can be lonely and draining especially if you only view it as a time away from your spouse. Don’t dwell on the separation.
Think of deployments as a time to focus on yourself and your goals.
If you change your focus it will change your outlook on the situation. When my husband drops the deployment news I get a bit excited thinking about the things I want to achieve while he is gone.
Whether it is incorporating meatless Mondays or taking a paddleboard yoga class I thoughtfully use this time to do activities which will improve my life, mind and body.
How will you use the next deployment to make healthy lifestyle changes?
Amanda Marksmeier is an Army wife and mother of four. She works as an employment specialist assisting the military community in achieving their career goals. Amanda is also a contributing writer for a quarterly employment journal and has written for several military affiliated blogs.