In this day and age, we are always looking outward to find someone else’s new idea for what a well-balanced life looks like. Our society is almost obsessed with this idea of finding balance while trying to manage everything in our lives perfectly. There’s a reason there are entire industries now dedicated to well-balanced lives; we’re living at a fast pace and need support. And in military life, we are blessed with so many free resources. I find myself seeking more solace and rest. If you feel like me, I hope you will enjoy a few of these free resources I have discovered that are available to us! Learning to cope with the pressure and stresses of everyday life will give you the space you need to recharge. Let’s dive into some resources available for a well-balanced life.
- Community. If we don’t agree on anything else about the pandemic, I think we can all agree after living through quarantine, we were not meant to live alone. We were made to live within communities. As military spouses, we learn quickly that moving to a new place means starting over. The people you are around and meet in any duty station can make or break your experience there. So, it is important to seek a positive community for yourself. A great way to do that is through community outreach. No matter which post you live on, there are a range of community events happening. Neighbors are always a great starting place for finding new friends too.
- Hobbies. Find an outlet. Giving yourself one thing to really look forward to and seek out can pour so much perspective into your life. Sometimes we forget about pursuing something we love simply because we’re spending our time taking care of everyone else. When we give ourselves outlets, I believe we reap the benefits. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of spouses start their own hobby groups. Dinner parties, knitting circles, book clubs and gardening are a few I have seen at different duty stations. Find something you love and pursue it! Sometimes you find your community by doing this, too!
- Support. We all need it, whether we are public about it or not. And there are so many wonderful support resources on duty stations and online. Military OneSource has a host of online support available. There are free counselors that are available for a range of topics, like new parent support resources, health and wellness coaching, mood trackers and relationship support. All of the free resources that we qualify for are underutilized. I encourage you to do your own research into whatever resources are important to you, and I bet you will be amazed at the number of free resources available.
- Self-Care. Taking care of your mental, emotional and physical needs is the most important part of a well-balanced life. Utilizing resources when you need them can be harder than it sounds, particularly for military spouses who are so used to being independent. But reaching out for support in whatever area you need will make you stronger. Take time to self-evaluate what you need. Along with the emotional and mental support that has already been mentioned, there are also nutritionists available on post to speak to, and there are always group workout sessions at gyms around post. Taking time for yourself can make you a better, stronger person when it comes time to show up for everyone else, so make it a priority to take care of yourself.
In conclusion, we are all pursuing balance in life. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone, but I do hope these resources can aid you in yours. Remember, we’re all in this together and none of us have it all figured out yet. So, find the resources that will help you get where you want to go, and then spread the word!