service member makes heart with fingers while facetiming

Guest Blog: Staying Healthy When Your Spouse Is Deployed


As I write this, there is the chatter of my son and his friends playing a board game just 50 feet away, while my daughter and her friend record a mock news report on the computer. I pause and think of the words health and wellness and how important they are to me in my life right now.

We are at the beginning of a six-month deployment; my husband is away in Afghanistan. Health and wellness are not only a personal priority, but are necessary to get me going in the morning and a gentle reminder of how to successfully balance the upcoming months. Like many military families, this is a common story line, so I do not make my life out to be epic or unique, but rather to embrace this life and give a virtual hug to those balancing a similar situation. I do not have any magic tricks either (although I’d love to learn one for doing the laundry), but I feel comfortable in sharing what works in our life.

First, stay active. Moving somehow, someway, everyday… even if it’s dancing while vacuuming or throwing the football around outside with friends. For me, running is my therapy. I run by myself and with a group of friends, and even on the harshest days, I know I will feel better afterward, so I get dressed in my gear and head out the door. Being active also means making good choices about what you put into your body. It takes a little more effort to actively choose the healthier foods, but it is so worth it in the end.

Second, get involved. Getting involved in your community can be such a rewarding feeling. This is not something I have been very good about, but I am now looking for opportunities that will allow my children to feel a connection to people outside their usual interactions. We recently participated in Fanquest- a program that cheers on Special Olympics athletes. We did not know any of the players, and yet my kids cheered like it was the Super Bowl. The wonderful feelings from that night lingered for days.

Third, find something good in your day. When you mull on the things that went wrong in the day, you will easily feel overwhelmed, and that mental frustration can affect your physical well-being. Instead of asking my kids, “How was school?” I ask “Tell me three good things that happened at school today.” The answers are more active and mindful, usually generating more conversation.

Regardless of where you may currently stand in your own health and wellness, you have the opportunity to make better and more mindful choices for you and your family. Be glad in the life you live and rejoice and appreciate the fact that you have the capability to be active in your health and wellness.

Blogger Biography: Rochel is an active, creative recent college graduate and mom to two wonderful kids. She stays active running (literally) around her wonderful neighborhood and in local races with her friends, the Half-Momathoners (just for fun). She allows the creative juices to flow baking with her kids, being crafty and doing photography. The accomplishment of graduating college was a dream come true and she looks forward to a career in health and wellness. She has been a military wife for 17 years to an amazing husband. He is currently serving in Afghanistan.

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