Author: Jenifer Calandra

Put Your Best Foot Forward with These Foot Care Tips

Our Military Care Packages Help Your Loved One Keep Going

At My Hero Crate, we’re big believers in efforts that promote overall health and wellness. And because our feet are the foundation of our bodies — quite literally — we think it’s important to help your loved ones in the military take care of theirs.

Make sure they have the tools to take care of their feet by sending them one of our care packages with foot care necessities inside and encourage them to seek help with foot care while they’re deployed, on base, and away from home.

Here’s our not-so-comprehensive but important, basic advice on taking care of your feet. It’s easy, and doesn’t really require any special tools.

Basic Foot Care

For general foot care, follow these tips to help prevent injury, infection, pain, or skin issues. Of course, ask your doctor about your feet if you need medical advice.

-Rucks and other physical activity can leave your feet with cuts, sores, swelling, or even infected toenails. Check your feet every day for signs of injury or infection, especially after performing activities that stress them.

-Clean and moisturize your feet. You don’t need to soak your feet or apply moisturizer between your toes, however, which will dry them out or cause an infection, respectively. Lotion, cream, or even petroleum jelly are all acceptable moisturizers for your feet.

-Keep your toenails trimmed. As your toenails grow, your shoes can apply pressure on them, which makes your feet sore. Trim your nails straight across using a nail clipper. Then, file the corners to prevent ingrowns or pressure on your skin.

-Make sure your boots fit properly. Tight-fitting or even too-loose boots can cause problems, like blisters or chafing.

-Avoid wearing unsupportive shoes, like flip-flops, during your down time. They don’t provide the arch support or stability, and you could risk a strain or other injury. 

Dealing with Corns or Calluses

Corns and calluses are common problems, but they can make walking, marching, and running painful. These hard, thick patches of skin can be caused by your shoes rubbing, pressure from ill-fitting shoes, or from being on your feet for a long period of time. Military members, of course, are prone to these thanks to the nature of their work.

Corns usually form on the top of the foot or on a toe, while calluses are usually on the bottom of your foot. Mild ones don’t require treatment and may heal on their own, especially if you file them gently with a pumice stone while you bathe, apply salicylic acid or corn pads to help dissolve them, and wear thick socks to protect your feet.

If corns or calluses become painful and affect your gait and performance, you should see a physician for treatment. 

Preventing Athlete’s Foot

This condition’s name is a bit of a misnomer, because you don't have to be an athlete to develop it. Athlete’s foot is actually a fungus that loves warm, dark, humid environments, like shared locker room areas. Your feet come in contact with the fungus, and it causes dry skin, itching and burning, inflammation, cracking, scaling, and even blisters. It’s easily spread, and can move to other areas of your body after you scratch your feet, or even via your bedding.

To treat athlete’s foot, you can soak your feet in Epsom salts, or use an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream or powder. Your physician can even prescribe antifungal pills to nip a more stubborn case in the bud.

Because athlete’s foot is so easily spread, you should do your due diligence to prevent yourself from getting it in the first place. Not only should you be washing your feet with soap and water every day, but you should also be certain the areas between your toes are dry before you put on socks and shoes. Never walk barefoot in public places, and choose socks that wick moisture away from the skin. 

Send Your Hero a Pre-Made Military Care Package to Help Them Take Care of Themselves

When your loved one enlisted in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or National Guard, you probably thought about the types of mail and gifts you would send to them while they were away from home after boot camp. 

Most families soon realize that putting together a really high-quality care package for military members can be tiring, as you tend to have to go from store-to-store to find the items they request or would like. 

My Hero Crate makes it easy with our military-approved care packages that you can order straight from us, with free shipping to your loved one anywhere in the world, including overseas at FPO, DPO, and APO addresses. And you won’t want to miss our monthly care package subscription service, which sends your military hero an all-new care package every month. 

Your gifts help them prioritize self care and remind them of all the people who love them back home. Learn more about our care package subscription service for the military, and place your order today. 

Handling Military-Related Homesickness

Send an Armed Forces Care Package to Help Cure Your Hero

Military members, their spouses, and their children all end up dealing with feelings of homesickness at some point. Moving from duty station to duty station, traveling for deployment, or simply being assigned to a base far from home or loved ones sparks this sense of loss and distance.

After you’ve been tied to the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps after a while, you learn how to keep homesickness and its related emotions at bay, until they go away. How you cope with homesickness is dependent upon who you are and your situation — and everyone is different. The feeling is totally normal, and your strategy for dealing with it should be creative and a perfect fit for you. Here are a few methods you can use to help quell the homesick blues.

Meet New People Near You

Building friendships and a support system — even a small one — where you live can help you feel less homesick. This includes if you’re a military spouse, in basic training, or are a deployed military member. Bonding with your unit or other military spouses means you will eventually have plenty of activities to take your mind off the distance between you and where you’re from.

You can meet new friends by attending social events for military members and their families, for starters. Base facilities like the gym can also be a great place to meet people. If you have children and you take them to play on the playground, you may even find like-minded parents looking for friends, too. 

Just remember: you aren’t the only one far from home. Others will be looking to make friends with you, so half the work is already done for you! 

Take Leave If You Can

Enlisted military personnel can take leave, if permissible, to visit family members and enjoy a break from work. You can take a short vacation with your family, or spend time at home doing absolutely nothing.

If you take leave to see your family back home, be sure to let everyone know when you’re coming, so you can plan your visits accordingly. You don’t want to use up your leave time only to find out that beloved family members were out of town when you came to see them.

Call, Write, and Send Military Care Packages

While meeting new people can distract you from your feelings of homesickness, it’s OK to think about who’s back home waiting for you. That’s why it’s important to stay connected with those folks who are far away.

Writing letters and making phone calls when possible are two easy ways you can stay in touch with friends and family members you left in your hometown, or back in the States while you’re deployed. You don’t have to have anything specific to talk about; just have a conversation and enjoy hearing each other’s voices.

Writing letters also gives you and your loved ones something to hold onto to get through bouts of homesickness. You can always reread letters when you’re missing your spouse, children, parents, or friends. It’s much harder to replay a phone call.

If your enlisted loved one is sent far from home, sending a care package is a wonderful way not only to show that you care, but also to make sure your hero has everything they need or want. Simple care packages full of snacks or a monthly military subscription box can mean the difference between having a crummy day and having the best day while enlisted so far. My Hero Crate makes it easy to send armed forces care packages; shipping is always free to DPO, FPO, and APO mailing addresses, too. 

Find a New Hobby

Filling your time with something that interests you is a prime way to deal with homesickness. If you’re having fun doing a new activity, you won’t be distracted by how homesick you feel. Eventually, that gnawing feeling will ease up or go away.

If you aren’t sure what hobbies interest you, do a quick internet search for ideas, or talk to people you know about what they like to do in their spare time. Painting, knitting, running, woodworking, or board games all help you pass the time and keep you feeling happy.

We’re More than Military Care Package Experts

At My Hero Crate, we know a thing or two about curating, assembling, and shipping really awesome care packages that you can send to your loved ones. But we also think we give really great advice! For more ideas for issues you face while living on base, while your loved one is deployed, and more, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

And when you need to send the perfect gift for someone in the military, we’ve got your back!  Browse our full selection of Marine Corps, Army, Navy, or Air Force care packages on our website.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices at My Hero Crate

Plus, Learn How Your Hero Can Reuse Our Military Care Package Boxes!

Although it isn’t a federal holiday and it doesn’t get much special recognition, one of our favorite days to celebrate is Earth Day. We love it so much, we’ve ensured we’re celebrating it every day at My Hero Crate, while we carefully design, assemble, and send care packages for service members all over the world.

Within the last year, we’ve made important business decisions to ensure our daily operations align with our belief in the importance of protecting our planet and adopting sustainable practices. Your military hero can, too, by recycling their olive-drab care package box and its tissue paper, or by repurposing them for something awesome.

Armed Forces Care Packages Are Kind to the Planet

In early 2020, we transitioned to sustainable packaging for all our care package packing materials, including stickers, which are printed with soy-based ink, and tissue paper.

We source these materials from a company called no.issue, who produces fully-recyclable packaging certified by the Eco-Alliance and plants trees each time customers place an order for their packaging. Our boxes also are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes sustainability and restorative practices for forests everywhere. 

Care Package Recipients Can Help Us

When you send a military care package to your loved one in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard, or Coast Guard, remind them to recycle the box and tissue paper when they’re done enjoying the contents of their gift.

Or, you can give them ideas for how they might repurpose our sturdy care package boxes in their living quarters on or off base. For example, they might use them to:

-Store a first aid kit in their linen closet. Your hero is likely to need bandages for blisters from going on lengthy rucks in their boots. Having a convenient place to keep the necessities makes it easier to start the healing process. Our sturdy camo boxes are perfect for that.

-Keep letters and photographs from home all in one place, inside their footlocker or other dedicated personal storage space.

-Organize their underwear or sock drawer in their bedroom, by using the box to create a divided area for these small clothing items, like Marie Kondo told you to.

-Sort important paperwork, if they have a desk job. Perhaps they’re working on a special project, and they don’t want documents to get lost or end up with a coffee mug ring on them. Our boxes can get the job done.

-Stow away small personal effects so they don’t get lost, like pencils, envelopes, spare eating utensils from MREs, and other mementos.

With a few buddies and some downtime, devise a new game and use the cardboard from the box to create the game board.

Sustainability Efforts at My Hero Crate

Since the birth of our company, our leaders have worked diligently to ensure that all areas of the business adopt sustainable practices to protect the environment, starting with our ordering system, and moving all the way to our behind-the-scenes team members. We’re fully paperless, which means we don’t use tree-based products in our daily office work.

Every time you send a care package to your military member at home or overseas, you’re supporting our efforts to create a healthier Earth. Thank you for doing your part.

Learn More

For more information on green ideas and our Eco-Alliance packaging, visit www.noissue.co, or contact our customer service team if you have any questions. 

Introducing Think Jerky, Our New Brand Partner

Find Their Products in an Upcoming Military Care Package

We love the idea of incorporating healthier, high-protein snacks in our armed forces care packages because they’ll help nourish hungry heroes as they work hard on base or during deployment. So you can imagine how excited and proud we are to be partnering with American company Think Jerky!

Why Think Jerky is Special

Did you know that most jerky products you find at your local store are high in sugars? That’s what sets Think Jerky apart; it’s both healthy and delicious, and doesn’t include the “bad” parts of other store-bought jerkies.

Think Jerky uses only restaurant-quality, sustainable, 100% grass-fed beef or free-range turkey in their jerky, and never adds any hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified ingredients. Every turkey or beef jerky product, including the jerky sticks, is gluten free, too, making them a wonderful option for military members sticking to a special diet, like paleo.

One of our favorite parts of Think Jerky products is that we can read and understand every ingredient on the ingredient list. In fact, the Classic Beef Jerky has just eight ingredients, all of which you could find in your own kitchen! Your hero will know exactly what they’re putting into their body, and you can take pride in knowing that you’re sending the very best military care package from My Hero Crate for your loved one in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, or Coast Guard.

Our Army Care Packages Include Think Jerky (And They’re For Every Other Military Branch, Too)

Would your beloved service member want to try a Think Jerky product in their next military care package from you? Order them our Sweet & Salty Care Package, which will include Think Jerky beef jerky effective immediately! We think your hero will love the tasty steak flavor with chef-curated spices in flavors like Classic, Sesame Teriyaki, and Sweet Chipotle.

We’ll also be including them periodically in our military care package subscription service, so if you’re sending your hero a monthly service member care package, then they’ll get Think Jerky products to try (and love), too!

Send your hero a care package with Think Jerky today.

Self Care Ideas for Military Spouses

Reduce Stress and Refresh Your Mind, Body, and Spirit with These Ideas

It can be hard to focus on yourself when your life gets crazy. Perhaps your spouse is deployed, and you’re shouldering the responsibility of working, taking care of the home, raising children, and dealing with all the household issues as they arise.

But even though you’re busy, it’s important that you stop and take some time to practice self care. It will help keep your spirits up, keep you feeling positive, and give you a burst of energy you definitely need as you face down the next big thing you have to handle. 

Try these ideas for self care, and take time out for yourself.

-“Borrow” your child’s coloring books and color a few pages. You’d be surprised how relaxing it is!

-Choose healthier snack options, and encourage your family to make better food choices, too. You can help your service member make good snack choices by sending our April self-care themed subscription box from My Hero Crate.

-Take an extra-long shower and use your favorite and best soaps and scrubs. You deserve it.

-If the weather is nice, take a walk. Bring along a friend or your kids to burn off a little extra energy.

-Visit a state park and go hiking.

-Have a dance party in your living room. Pick out only your favorite songs and get moving.

-Take a yoga class or meditation class on base, or watch an instructional video on YouTube to learn how.

-Go to bed early or on time every night. You’ll be surprised at how much more well-rested you’ll feel.

-Watch your favorite movie or TV show, alone, with no interruptions.

-Utilize on-base hourly child care and spend an afternoon of “you time” doing whatever you want.

-Read a book for fun.

-Get a salon haircut and blow dry.

-Go shopping and pick out something for yourself.

-Volunteer for a cause you support.

-Drink water throughout the day instead of tea or soda. Invest in a nice water bottle that you can carry around with you.

-Try aromatherapy, using your favorite lotions scented with essential oils, like the one in our April military subscription box.

-Pay yourself a compliment every time you have a negative thought about yourself.

-Hug a stuffed animal.

-Take your lunch break outside.

-Clean your bedroom.

-Ban smartphones for an afternoon. Put yours in a drawer and ignore it!

-Spend quality time with your pet.

-Watch a favorite cartoon from your childhood. You can probably find some episodes for free on your favorite streaming service!

-Write your military hero a letter and drop it in the mail.

-Take time off from cooking and order a pizza for dinner one night this week.

-Refresh a room in your home with small upgrades, like a new bath mat in the bathroom, a new set of curtains in the bedroom, and a scented candle for the living room.

-Do some arts and crafts! Try your hand at junk journaling, scrapbooking, painting, knitting, embroidery, and more.

Spread Self Care to Your Loved on in the Armed Forces

Just as self care is important to you, while you’re at home, it’s also important for your military member, wherever they are in the world.

That’s why My Hero Crate is pleased to announce that our April military gift box is full of items that make self care accessible and easy. Your hero will feel their stress melt away, even for a moment, as they enjoy the gift you sent them! And shipping is always free to APO, DPO, and FPO addresses.

Send a monthly care package to your military hero.

The Human Connection: How an Army Vet Provides Support to Today’s Service Members (and How You Can, Too)

Start with an Military Care Package from My Hero Crate

Ellyse Corbeil is an expert at helping people.

During her seven-year stint in the Navy, during which she was deployed three times on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and at Guantanamo Bay, she served as a religious program specialist. She was tasked with helping Navy sailors and officers navigate through big emotions and obstacles related to life — work-related or not.

“I helped people on a human level,” Ellyse explained. “If you were struggling with your career, we could coach you or help you find a better fit.”

She also recalled a time she and her team helped a very young sailor find connections – his peers where he was stationed, dealing with the same things —  to help him feel better and see he wasn’t alone.

“We didn’t always want to give a solution,” she said. “We wanted them to figure it out, with our nudging and guidance.”

Advice for Everyone Enduring Military Life

The most important piece of advice for anyone traversing difficulties while deployed, changing duty stations, or dealing with any other issue, Ellyse said, is to find healthy connections.

These connections include family and friends back home who you should re-establish regular contact with and new people around you, who you share things in common with. 

Healthy connections help you see how others have dealt with similar issues, give you a sounding board for advice, and relieve the pangs of homesickness or loneliness. 

How to Help Your Hero Away from Home

You don’t have to be a skilled counselor or mental health expert to make your military hero feel better about being away from home or missing their family.

“Do the best of your ability to provide support,” Ellyse advises. “And do what you can to not stress out service members while they’re deployed.”

Her top recommendation for spreading good cheer to deployed service members? Sending care packages and mail.

“They make people happy,” she said. “When they receive their packages, they share their treats. A care package is never wasted.”

Ellyse recalls the happiness that comes from receiving an armed forces care package in the mail, which is why she still sends them regularly —  and lots of them —  to her friends who are still enlisted.

“I love the My Hero Crate concept, because it makes sending a care package so easy,” she said. “Especially if you aren’t sure what your loved one wants, or if they aren’t the kind of person to openly ask for items.”

Send a monthly military care package to your service member through the subscription program from My Hero Crate, so your loved one feels connected to home.

Using Military Resources

The Navy isn’t the only branch of the military with a religious program specialist. In fact, the same role exists in the Marine Corps, and in the Air Force and Army, it’s called chaplain assistant, although Ellyse acknowledges being religious had nothing at all to do with her role.

If your service member needs to talk to someone, Ellyse said it was easy to reach out. They could call, email, or show up in the office at any time.

Fleet and Family Support Programs are another option for service members and their immediate family members living on base. Counseling and helping with family issues is their specialty, along with helping people transition to their new duty station and to life in the Navy in general.

Feel At Home in Your Rental with These Decorating Tips

Make Your Current Duty Station Home Feel Cozy!

Moving from duty station to duty station gets old quickly, and settling into another temporary home is no longer novel or interesting. And it’s hard to make something feel like home when you don’t have much control over the finishes inside your new home. Such is the nature of renting or living in base housing.

Thankfully, there are creative ways you can make your new living space feel more like home, and you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do it!

Your favorite service member care package experts have a few tips for customizing your rental home. Check them out – and show us if you brought one to life in your space, by tagging us on social media @myherocrate. 

Apply Removable Wallpaper

It’s possible your landlord or military housing restrictions won’t let you paint the walls of your home. It’s really unfortunate, because sometimes a pop of color on a wall can be the difference between a cold, uninviting space to one that feels like you belong.

Instead of paint, consider applying removable wallpaper to an accent wall in your bedroom or living room. Unlike years past, there are so many awesome and beautiful designs to choose from! Removable wallpaper is usually a simple peel-and-stick product that doesn’t require any additional adhesive. 

The Low-Down on Washi Tape

Washi tape is a removable paper tape that comes on small rolls. It’s usually brightly colored or patterned, and it comes in just as many options – if not more – as that removable wallpaper we talked about earlier.

You can use strips of washi tape to create patterns on your walls, or to add stripes to plain, builder-grade kitchen cabinets. And because washi tape peels right off, there isn’t an issue with your customization!

Get Stainless Steel Appliances

No, you don’t have to purchase thousands of dollars in kitchen appliances for a rental home! But you can purchase an inexpensive roll of stainless steel contact paper and apply it to your dishwasher and other appliances to transform your kitchen.

Contact paper is designed to be durable, and it’s easily cleaned. You’ll be shocked at how big of a change you can get in your most-used room of your house with just a $5 product.

Go Green

Live plants add warmth and coziness to a room, and they can be an inexpensive way to decorate your apartment or house without doing any alterations at all.

Visit the local plant nursery and talk to an expert about the kinds of plants that might thrive in your living space. Then, purchase a few decorative pots to plant your new greenery in, and distribute them around your home.

If you have to move and can’t take them with you, give them to a friend living near the duty station, so they can enjoy some living decor, too.

Shower Head Swap

If you hate your rental home’s bathroom, you might be able to change how you feel about it simply by swapping out the shower head! This easy fix can cost as little as $12 and will make your showers feel more luxurious. Just be sure to swap back to the original one before you move out.

Use Room Dividers to Your Advantage

You obviously can’t build a floor-to-ceiling temporary wall in a rental home, so what do you do if you need to carve out a bit of space for a specific purpose? A room divider holds your answer.

Divide a bedroom in two to give privacy to siblings sharing a bedroom, or separate a section of the living room to create a small home office. Not enough closet space? Use a divider to conceal a rolling clothes rack or other unattractive clothing storage solution in a corner of the bedroom.

Fill Your Pantry

Keep your pantry stocked with snack favorites that make your new place feel more like home. It’s easy when you order a military care package from My Hero Crate.

When your beloved service member returns home from work for the day, they can settle in with a quick snack before dinner, and when your kids want an after-school treat, you’ll have one on hand without having to look for everyone’s favorites at your new grocery store. Order your military care package

On Your Team: How an Army Spouse Helps People Improve their Wellbeing

Celebrate Accomplishments with a Military Care Package from My Hero Crate

Louise Valentine has been bucking tradition for years. Before completing her undergraduate degree, she started her own business — the first one. She never stops learning, as evidenced by the alphabet soup behind her name — five major credentials she’s earned over the years to stay at the top of her field. And she’s mastered the art of living without separating work and play.

Oh, she’s also an Army wife, currently stationed in Maryland with her husband and two children, after moving nine times in 11 years, enjoying a full-time career and side gig dedicated to helping people live healthful lives, physically and mentally. The latest way she’s done that is by writing and self-publishing a book on a wildly abbreviated timeline.

You might find yourself feeling exhausted thinking about accomplishing all of that in a single lifetime. But Louise isn’t. She focuses on the driving force behind everything she does, and sticks with it.

My purpose is to help others find realistic ways to live a vibrant, healthy life,” she explained.

Building a Foundation

Louise, a military wifeConsidered a wellness expert, Louise started her career as a sports and medical massage therapist for the NFL when she lived in Ohio. However, after marrying her combat aviator active duty husband, she moved to New York state to join him at his duty station.

After years of re-engineering her career at each new duty station, Louise was awarded a research fellowship with the Army, where she could utilize her health expertise. During her two-hour daily commute, she planned Team Valentine Project, an online comprehensive health resource, at www.TeamValentineProject.com.

As she drove, she’d dictate notes into her phone and transfer the information to a later blog post. The platform shares tips, tricks, and tools for leading a healthful life, with Louise’s experience as a military spouse sprinkled throughout.

Unbeknownst to Louise, the health tool she created in her spare time would go on to help her land a leadership role at a healthcare technology company, Vheda Health, where she works as the Director of Client Services. It’s a position that allows her to help Medicaid, Medicare, and employer group high-risk populations find ways to navigate chronic disease and improve their overall wellness.

And that’s a task that Louise is no stranger to, herself.

Overcoming Obstacles

In a short span of time, Louise received major medical diagnoses that would change how she approached her work: osteoporosis, and a pre-cancer diagnosis mid-pandemic last summer. And then her dad received his own cancer diagnosis.

Louise had already been writing about how to break down challenges and researching how to do it. But her dad’s health was the motivation she needed to turn her thoughts into a concise book that she wanted published as soon as possible, that her dad could hold in his hands, and see that he had been a success at instilling his values in her.

She also saw an opportunity to help people suffering during the global COVID-19 pandemic. So, she got to work in June. She was finished by October, just as her dad completed his month-long ICU stay because of coronavirus.

“When we’re motivated to help others and see the impact we have on them, it’s powerful and energizes you,” she said.

Her book, now available on Amazon, is called The Art of Breaking Through: Five Simple Steps to Take on Any Challenge & Tackle Self-Doubt. While writing, she channeled how she navigated out of her own dark moments in life to overcome obstacles and come out on the other side better than ever.

“We are all perfectly capable of overcoming obstacles,” Louise said. “The more we recognize that, the more we can do and take on.”

Although the final version of her book is quite short, Louise explained that it was intentional, so that her readers could quickly begin to take charge of their wellbeing rather than devoting too much time to grappling with overly-complicated concepts. Her goal was to empower others to change their lives, and she is confident her short book accomplishes that within its 68 pages.

Tips You Can Follow, Starting Today

Making small changes with great intentions can help you navigate out of a difficult place. Louise says these starting points can help you change the things in your life that aren’t working for you.

-Take a stress inventory. Think about the responsibilities you’re juggling and what you actually need to accomplish in the moment to begin feeling better. Choose what really matters, and start there.

-Recognize that you may need to re-engineer your goals. What you might’ve been able to accomplish under other circumstances could be different because of your current situation.

-Find what works for you by looking to those who are successful as your inspiration. Use their techniques to optimize your time and energy, but don’t restrict yourself to assuming their way is the only way to do things. Ask for help when you need it; find a support system.

-Honor the struggle. Anticipate that obstacles and challenges will appear. When you acknowledge that, you’re less stressed when they arise.

Know that changes take time and won’t happen instantaneously.

“It’s taken me years to get to this place, and it’s a good place to be. That [good place] looks different for everyone,” Louise shared. “Find what works for you, and fill your bucket.”

A Care Package from Home Can Help Motivate Your Hero

military subscription boxSometimes motivation comes from things you’d least expect.

You would expect your military hero to find motivation from their work, their squadron, and their leadership. But sometimes it’s the smaller things — the things that don’t necessarily affect careers — that are the biggest factors in getting through the day and getting things done. One of those things just might be a deployment care package.

A gift of sweet and savory treats and games or activities to pass the time helps your hero’s mind stay sharp and focused when it’s time to work, because the fun and relaxation our military care packages provide reminds them of everyone who loves them back home.

Send a monthly military care package to your hero today.

A Military Spouse’s Guide for Getting Through a Deployment

Stay Strong and Stay Connected with Our Military Care Package Subscription Box

It seems like time slows down during deployments, when you’re responsible for “holding down the fort” at home. Maybe you have children and pets. Maybe you’re working full time or juggling multiple part-time jobs to keep things running. We get it: you’re busy, emotional, and tired. There’s nothing quite like being a military spouse, and getting advice from other people without that experience feels useless.

Instead, take a cue from someone who’s been there with My Hero Crate’s tips from other military spouses about how to get through deployment with your sanity.

Use On-Base Benefits

Especially if you live on-base, you’ll find that these close-to-home resources are invaluable. Do all your shopping on base when you can and take advantage of on-base babysitting at the Child Development Center when you work and when you need a break.

Most base CDCs have an hourly child care option, so you can schedule a couple days per month to enjoy time to yourself to decompress, destress, or problem-solve without children interrupting your train of thought.

And if you’re already living on base or at least near to base, you won’t need to travel very far to drop off and pick up your kids, making it the most convenient option available to you without relying on family members or friends.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Getting a good night’s sleep is key to feeling your best and being healthy. Being well rested is the foundation for good days. When you’re tired, your body handles stress and emotions differently. Just like when your kids get fussy, you know it’s time for a nap, do the same for yourself. Hit the hay at a reasonable hour and wake up every day at roughly the same time.

Try not to watch TV in bed, or leave lights on all night. Cozy up in your dark bedroom and focus on resting and falling asleep.

Healthy sleep habits help you keep your energy up throughout the day and prevent that run-down feeling.

Exercise at Home or at the Gym

Exercise releases endorphins that can help improve your mood and increase your energy. Take advantage of free gym access or fitness classes on base when you can, or look up at-home workout videos online and work up a sweat in your living room.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week, spread out over all seven days. You don’t have to exercise because you’re trying to lose weight; it’s just good for your body, physically and mentally. And even if you don’t care about all that – it will at least help you pass the time and perhaps meet new friends who are dealing with deployment, too.

Talk

Your military spouse friends know what you’re going through, so if you’re having a tough time during deployment, make a few phone calls and plan a get-together to help take your mind off of your emotions or process them.

As a military spouse, you also have access to free non-medical counseling sessions through Military One Source. Attending counseling sessions does not mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re strong enough to acknowledge that you need help managing stress and life while your spouse is away.

Participate in Activities

Whether you frequent on-base activities for spouses dealing with deployment or you make your own, keeping busy with something fun is ideal! 

You can plan a day trip with your friends or children, take up a new hobby, learn new skills via online courses, or anything else you can think of. Not only will these help you pass the time, but you might gain valuable knowledge you can apply in your career or use to start a small side business to help you bring in some extra money each month.

Stay Connected by Sending Military Care Packages During Deployment

Your hero may be deployed, but that doesn’t mean they don’t realize how hard you have it at home. They hope that you’re doing well, thinking of them, and feeling happiness at every opportunity.

Remind them of your love by sending our monthly subscription box for deployed military members in the Air Force, Navy, Army, or Marine Corps. For just $39.99 a month, for as many months as you’d like, we’ll send your hero a military-approved care package full of sweet and salty snacks, quick meals, personal care items, and premium gifts like sunglasses, headphones, and activity kits. And shipping is always free to any APO, FPO, or DPO addresses.

Each time they receive one of our military care packages in our signature olive-drab box, they’ll be thankful for everything you do while they’re away – while you’re thankful for everything they do, too.

Subscribe to our military care package service today.

How to Talk to Your Child About Deployment

Celebrate Your Hero Together by Sending a Military Care Package

It’s hard to be a military parent, but deployment makes it even harder, not just to raise your children, but dealing with the emotions that come with being deployed. There are a few things you can do to help prepare your children for an upcoming deployment, and it’s best to start the conversation early.

Preparing for Deployment: It’s All About Talking

We know that you’re busy making deployment plans, arranging childcare, examining finances, and more. Add getting your child ready for a period of absence to the list of your responsibilities.

-Reach out to your military parent support groups. It’s likely a parent has been deployed before; they can give you an idea of what to expect.

-Talk to your children’s teachers and other important adults in their lives to alert them about the upcoming deployment.

-Start talking about deployment in front of your children, using terms they’ll understand. Explain what deployment is and why it happens.

-Answer any questions your children pose to you about deployment, making sure you stay positive in your words and actions.

-The deploying parent should plan one-on-one activities with the children during the weeks leading up to deployment.

-Make a plan on how you’ll stay in touch while you’re deployed. The parent staying home with the children can talk about mailing deployment care packages full of treats and snacks.

-Prepare your children for changes in household routines by talking about new routines in advance.

-Keep your goodbyes brief, but meaningful.

During Deployment: It’s All About Keeping in Touch

Being separated from a parent during deployment can be hard on children. Keeping in touch and being positive can make the time pass more quickly.

-Write letters, make phone calls if possible, and send an armed forces care package to your loved one in the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Navy, or National Guard. 

-The parent at home should maintain a schedule and routine as much as possible while following household rules just as before. Don’t change bedtimes, don’t tolerate behaviors you wouldn’t have tolerated before, and continue asking children to help with some household chores.

-Turn to your community resources, child psychologists, and school counselors if your children are struggling. Don’t wait for a big meltdown to take action.

Stay Connected Even at a Distance with Military Care Packages from My Hero Crate

Ease the emotions that come with deployment by sending a special care package to your deployed hero. My Hero Crate takes care of all the details for you because we assemble military-approved treats and other items to bring cheer to your hero, no matter where in the world they’re stationed. And shipping is always free to any APO, DPO, or FPO address.

Shop for care packages, and send one to your hero now.

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