How to Manage Separation

Man holding a baby

How to Manage Separationline

During a separation, it is important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. This is especially important if there are others who are depending on you and looking at you as a role model. Review the tips below for ideas on how to take care of yourself and stay positive.

Stay Healthy

  • Take good care of yourself.
  • Make sure you eat right.
  • Shop and cook for nutrition.
  • Get adequate rest.
  • Make time for physical exercise. Walk daily, join an aerobics class, jog, bowl, etc. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. It’s okay to go to bed early!

Stay Motivated and Active

  • Treat yourself to a special outing, but stay within your budget.
  • Try to set aside time every day to do something you enjoy.
  • Avoid trying to do everything yourself.
  • Set goals.
  • Take up a new hobby, or return to one you gave up for lack of time.
  • Travel! New scenery and a change of pace, even if only a day trip, does wonders for the spirit. Plan on taking a friend. Don’t wait for the phone to ring — take the lead!
  • Always have something to look forward to.
  • Use your brain! Keep learning!

Stay Connected with Others

  • Take advantage of military community support.
  • Contact family, friends, neighbors, and spouses of other deployed service members whenever you need practical or emotional support.
  • Get involved in an activity, a hobby, a project, your church, or volunteer work. Volunteers may receive 50 hours of free childcare per month while doing their volunteer work.
  • Find another military spouse in similar circumstances; time passes much faster with a friend.

Avoid Stress and Manage Your Time

  • Simplify.
  • Avoid power struggles.
  • Provide consistent limitations and feedback to children (and some adults).
  • Be honest.
  • Determine what level of stress is acceptable for you. Some stress is normal and necessary. (It gets you out of bed in the morning.)
  • Do not try to please everyone. Learn to say “no.”
  • Admit when you have made a mistake. It’s easier than covering up or feeling guilty.
  • Treat yourself like you treat your closest friend. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect or to take a break.
  • Anticipate stress, and prepare for it.
  • Stick to your budget.
  • Get up earlier to allow yourself more time before starting the day.
  • Prioritize what is critical; then pace yourself according to your own understanding of the way and the time you function at your best. Be realistic and kind to yourself.
  • If you are under great stress, plan with your limitations in mind. (It will help avoid feelings of guilt, etc.)