Being a military wife is not for the faint of heart, and your mental health can quickly take the brunt of it, especially during deployments and trainings. What challenges do military spouses face? Just take a moment to read through these statistics that shed some light on military spouse mental health:
- 88% of military spouses are female.
- 54% of military spouses rate their stress levels as “greater than usual.”
- 75% of military spouses have found counseling to be beneficial.
- 27% of military spouses that seek counseling discuss mental health concerns.
- 59% of military spouses report feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge.
- 39% of military spouses report feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
- 74% of military spouses had a child at home during their partner’s most recent deployment.
- 41% of military spouses experienced an increased need for childcare during their partner’s deployment.
Do you relate to one or all of the military spouses in these statistics?
Even though the following is also true…
- 83% of military spouses are satisfied with their marriage
- 70% report a “comfortable” financial situation
- 87% say they have a strong, happy family
…mental health struggles are still prevalent. And understandably so! Having your spouse gone for months, even years at a time is tough. And while having them home is amazing and what we prefer, the dynamic presents its own array of challenges, just like it would for any marriage and family. All this to say: if you’re feeling anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or on edge, you are not alone. But you’re also not out of options and definitely not out of hope. There are real ways you can prioritize your well-being starting today with these six military spouse mental health tips.
6 Military Spouse Mental Health Tips
It’s no secret that being a military spouse can be super rewarding but equally challenging. You may feel like you are constantly moving, never have enough time, or are always worrying about your loved one. It’s no wonder we military wives are at a higher risk for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. But there are things you can do to relieve stress and improve your mental health to help you feel better today!
1. Move Your Body
Get those endorphins flowing through your brain! Movement is so good for your entire body, physically, mentally, and emotionally. A brisk walk, quick yoga session, or 15-minute workout can increase your endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer), improve your mood, and decrease stress right away.
2. Adjust Your Thinking
Your thoughts determine your feelings, not the other way around. If you’re thinking about negative things all day long, it shouldn’t be too surprising that you feel down, depressed, angry, or sad. By adjusting your thinking, you can quite literally change your life. Your brain is so powerful. Once you learn to love it and use it to your advantage, you’ll be unstoppable.
3. Listen to Podcasts
I love listening to podcasts. I find them super entertaining, helpful, and convenient. I can stick my earbuds in and listen while cleaning the house or waiting to pick my kids up from school. I love them so much that I decided to start my own a few years ago! The Simply Resilient Podcast is for military wives who want to thrive during deployments and beyond. I cover topics like how to be resilient, military spouse mental health, tips for prioritizing yourself, and so much more!
Download my Podcast Roadmap that lists the best 12 podcast episodes to listen to first!
4. Schedule Time for Things You Enjoy
Life as a military wife doesn’t have to suck! Even if you’re a busy mom, employee, business owner, or wife, you can still make time for things you enjoy. It requires you to intentionally prioritize yourself and stick to your commitments to yourself. But it’s possible. Your mental health is worth the cost of a babysitter to have a few hours alone if that’s what you need to feel good.
5. Ask for Help and Accept It
Having a support system is essential, and there is no shame in asking for help. Figure out what you need and how to get it. For example, one thing my family did during my husband’s last deployment was hire a live-in nanny. She spent 15 hours a week looking after my kids in exchange for room, board, and transportation. It was a game-changer! You can hear all about that experience on my podcast: Episode 17 – The Nanny Episode.
6. Work with a Military Wife Life Coach
As a Military Wife Life Coach, I work with military spouses who want to know how to stop merely surviving and start thriving in every area of their lives. During one-on-one coaching sessions, we explore…
- Ways to make the most of your time away from your spouse and still feel connected to him.
- Strategies for adjusting your thinking and learning how to work with your brain, not against it.
- Techniques for building resilience to face challenges confidently.
- Ideas for supporting your mental health and learning how to love yourself.
- And so much more.
How Do Military Spouses Cope?
While there are many ways we can cope as military wives, some are definitely more beneficial and constructive than others. I’ve found that the best way to feel better quickly is to think about and do the things that…
- Help you feel like you’re not going through this alone. You’re not alone. If anything, you have me–let’s connect on Instagram, my podcast, or via a free coaching call!
- Help you realize you’re not the only one struggling while thinking everyone else has it all figured out. I’ve been doing the military wife thing for 15 years (and counting), and I still don’t have it all figured out, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Help you see that your life isn’t out of control. It may feel like it at times, sure. But the truth is you are more capable and in control of your life than you realize.
- Help you be nicer to yourself. Kindness to yourself makes a huge difference when it comes to military spouse mental health. In fact, take a moment right now and say three nice things about yourself.
- Help you feel less overwhelmed and more hopeful. Prioritizing yourself and practicing true self-care is essential to decreasing overwhelming and increasing hope!
Listen to my podcast Episode 50 – Thriving During Deployment for more military spouse mental health tips. And download my printable to remind yourself of these things every day!
You Can Feel Better in a Lasting Way
If you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or just not like yourself, remember that you are not alone. You can find resources like coaching, podcasts, and support groups to help you feel better today. I would love to work with you one-on-one or tell you more about my other military spouse mental health resources, like my 12-month video course and weekly podcast. Schedule a free connection call with me, where we can chat about your needs and figure out the best steps for you to feel better in a lasting way!
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