Spring is here and that means it’s PCS season, when military families will be moving to a new duty station and starting the next chapter in their lives.
Are you excited about the move or are you feeling the PCS blues?
What can start off as an exciting opportunity and journey can quickly turn into an overwhelming situation causing emotions to swell. That’s when the PCS blues kick in.
Never heard of the PCS blues? Think it’s made up? If you haven’t suffered from the PCS blues, that’s great, but many military spouses do.
The PCS blues are a sense of dread that comes over you as you leave a home, city and family that you’ve become comfortable in and transition to a new environment.
Change is a hard thing and it can wreak havoc on the most seasoned spouse’s emotions.
Depression is real and even if you don’t reach the point of the clinical definition of being depressed, there may be just that lingering feeling of dread or sadness to say goodbye to a life you knew.
That’s the PCS blues.
As a skeptic, you might say military spouses knew what they signed up for when they said “I do.” It wasn’t just the person they were marrying, it was also the military and a life of constant change. We do all know what we’re getting into, that doesn’t mean anyone’s feelings are any less real or unsubstantiated.
Each time the military sends you to a new duty station the routine of settling in begins again. A move can start out fun. It’s a new adventure. You’ll have new opportunities to see things, experience things and discover new things. It comes at a cost though and that’s leaving behind the things you’ve grown to love. Take some time to find closure and say goodbye to those things and then embrace your new life.
This could help ward off the PCS blues.
Follow these 4 tips to keep your emotions in check and make the most out of PCS season.
Say Goodbye to Your Friends
No one likes to say goodbye. It’s hard. It can take a long time to make friends and it’s always sad to leave them as you move on to a new duty station.
Take some time to say goodbye in a meaningful way. Make a coffee date, movie date or play date with your friends.
Create a lasting memory. I started a tradition with good friends at Christmas. Instead of buying commercial gifts we exchange homemade Christmas ornaments. That way, each year we think of each other as we decorate our trees.
You’re bound to have something in common, maybe just an inside joke between friends. Create a way to keep that lasting memory before you say goodbye. Having closure may keep the PCS blues away once you move.
Do What You’ve Been Meaning to Do
Always wanted to try a certain restaurant in the area? Do it.
Been talking about hiking a nature trail in the country? Do it.
There’s no time like last minute to make you finally go for it. You might regret it if you don’t.
Maybe it’s a simple thing like stopping into a local eatery or shop. Maybe you’ve been meaning to taste a regional delicacy but have been too afraid. You might not ever have the chance to do it again.
Then again, moving is constant and you could end up back in that city one day. Why take the chance in missing out though?
Prepare Yourself Mentally for the Move
You do so much prep work when getting ready to move. Organizing the house before the movers come, shutting off and turning on utilities, checking out of school and signing up for new ones can all keep your mind busy. Take a moment to ready yourself for the move as well, not just physically but mentally.
You are moving. This is really happening. Get excited about the move. Don’t just go through the motions.
Kiss the PCS blues goodbye by starting out with a positive attitude.
Yes, it’s sad to leave but there are so many new things heading your way. Look at that as a wonderful opportunity. You will make friends again. You will fall in love with a coffee shop, yoga class or play date in your new town. It is going to be OK.
Get Out of Your House
Once you move into your next home, get out of the house. There are a million boxes to unpack and a long list of things to do, but the PCS blues might set in if you don’t check out every once in a while.
Take a break from it all and and get out of the house, and out of your head. Contact your ombudsman or FRG leader. Look on social media for local meet-up groups. Join a gym and sign up for a class. Go explore your new town. Take a walk in the park and get some fresh air. You need a break and you might just meet someone that will turn into your next best friend.
Moving to a new location can be hard. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll make friends again. You’ll fall in love with the area, and then it will be time to do it all over again.