Category: Soldier Care Package

Ukraine Through A Soldier’s Eyes

War In Ukraine

As of the writing of this article, the Russian military under orders from Vladimir Putin is continuing its assault on the nation of Ukraine. The news is filled with reports of horrors and of heroism every day. There is a very real fear that if our nation does too much or too little, the situation could spiral out of control and create a devastating war. How did we get here, what do most service members know, and how can you help to support our heroes as we all wait for answers?

A Little Background

There is a lot of complicated history concerning Ukraine and its history with Russia, and it is hard to get into all of it. A full understanding of the dynamic between these two countries would need to include a discussion of a lot of complicated topics. However, the reason the conflict between these two countries is so significant to us is because of our role in NATO. Although Ukraine is not a NATO member, it is bordered by them and does receive regular NATO support. Putin considers NATO to be encroaching on Russian sovereignty, and in many ways, this war is his way of telling NATO to back. If tensions with NATO cannot be cooled, there is a very real possibility that NATO allies led by the US will go to war with Russia.

What Do Our Heroes Know?

Something that is important to keep in mind while all of this is going on is that it’s very likely that any service member you can name knows almost nothing about what the military may be planning to do about Ukraine. Despite the concept many people have of the military being this tightly efficient machine, the truth is that every branch of the military can be a little chaotic. Your hero likely won’t know any earlier than you will if the military is going to deploy to handle the situation.

Taking Care Of Our Heroes

A soldier might not be able to tell you “if” or “when,” but they certainly know “who.” If things continue to escalate, there is a very real possibility that every currently enlisted member of the United States armed forces will be sent into a major war with Russia. That is fairly daunting information to be carrying if you’re a soldier. There’s a decent chance that the hero in your life is more nervous and stressed than they’ve been in years. Now more than ever, our service members need to know that we have their backs. My Hero Crate offers gifts to help the men and women in uniform relax and rejuvenate while they wait for news. These are trying times for service members. Knowing they have support from home makes all the difference.

Returning to Duty

The Holidays Are Over

There are no more gifts left to buy. No more New Year’s Eve parties to plan. No more pretending you know the words to Auld Lang Syne (or pretending that you were aware the song they play on the New year is called Auld Lang Syne). Trees are being taken down. Traveling loved ones are returning home. Life is returning to normal.

 A Soldier’s Normal

Some experiences are universal. That subdued dread about returning to a normal work schedule, for example. But when you’re a service member, that return to work is a whole lot harder than usual. Soldier’s days are usually longer, for example. Morning formation is around 6:30 am and soldiers are expected to be shaved, in uniform, and there at least 15 minutes early. If you’re on time, you’re late.

Hairy Times

Virtually every veteran you know will have a beard, especially if they did not do a full career in the military. After twenty-plus years of daily shaving, soldiers are more likely to stay in the habit. Soldiers who only do one term, however, are less likely to be in that habit. If you joined at 18 years old, you might not even need to shave every day at first. This means that most soldiers will return from leave with a certain amount of scruff. This means the first step for every male soldier returning from leave will almost certainly have to be shaving.

Holiday Food

Be honest: How much weight do you gain over the holidays? Studies show that the assertion that people gain five pounds over the holidays is flat wrong. That’s good. They also show that about 2/3rds of annual weight gain that is not lost occurs over the holidays. That’s bad. Service members don’t have a choice about shedding the holiday pounds. The military comes with strict physical fitness requirements. That means that the first few weeks of physical training (PT) after the holidays is by far the most grueling for a soldier. That is when they absolutely must get back into shape.

That First Morning

Picture this: after two weeks of being allowed to sleep in, and not having to shave unless you wanted to, you have to wake up at 6:00 am. Depending on if you had the time or foresight to shave last night, you may have to wake up earlier to make sure you’re in regulation. You head to your first formation. It’s January, and it’s freezing, but military training and discipline means you have to stand there until your First Sergeant dismisses you to conduct PT. You have to start working out on cold muscles that have been used almost exclusively for eating and drinking all December. Because the military is the way it is, you’ll likely be working out outside, and having to deal with being uncomfortably hot and uncomfortably cold at once. And all of that is just the precursor to returning to your full-time job, where you will consider yourself lucky to be released from duty before 6:00 pm.

Taking Care Of Our Heroes

Probably the worst of all is the homesickness. During the holidays, it’s real easy to feel close to the people at home. After returning, not so much. Right now is the time when our heroes need support from home more than ever. A Men’s R&R Gift Box will help them make the transition and speed up their shaving as they fight to stay in regulation. For women in uniform, the Women’s Relaxation Box will help them combat the dry skin and itchiness that comes with the winter season. Right now, our men and women in the service need our attention more than ever. The transition back to work after the holidays is a rough and lonely time.

Things To Think About When Buying Gifts For A Servicemember

Supporting The Troops This Holiday

It’s crunch time for anyone still buying Christmas gifts. The stores are running their best sales. The television is bombarding you with ads. Your relatives are making panicky phone calls to ask if you have any idea what your spouse wants for Christmas. The anxiety of those phone calls is making you forget everything you know about your spouse. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And if you’re planning a gift for the servicemember in your life, you might want just a little bit of help to know what to send. Here is some wisdom to get you started.

Location, Location, Location

If you want to know what to buy a soldier, the first question to ask is where that soldier is stationed. A soldier who is deployed, or a sailor who is at sea, will likely be desperate for things that remind them of home. Things like their favorite candies, or their favorite soda are sure to be a hit. If they’re stationed in a stateside base, however, they’re likely able to just go buy their own. Likewise, to someone stationed in Alaska, snow supplies would be great. To someone in the Mojave desert, they probably just need a normal coat. Know where you’re sending gifts too.

Expect Delays

Breaking the fourth wall for a minute: I served six years in the military. In that time frame, I received mail at six bases spread across three continents with entirely different postal services and mail delivery processes. And in six years, I didn’t ever send or receive a package that wasn’t delayed, and I never heard of anyone who didn’t have the exact same experience. I don’t know why military delivery is delayed so often. It probably has something to do with security. But I can tell you as a fact that your expectation should be that your care package will get there when it gets there.

Service Members Are Still People

This one is the kind of thing that is something that most people know intellectually but tend to forget about when they’re actually planning a care package for a soldier. Most soldiers are men and women in their early twenties. It’s perfectly fine, useful even, to shop for them as such. For example, buying a 19-year-old boy the hottest video game is likely to be a huge hit. The military demands a different style than the civilian world, but not so terribly different that 19-year-olds aren’t fundamentally children who pay their own taxes.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Snacks

This bit of advice is useful, no matter who you’re shopping for. Everyone loves snacks. Everyone. Sending a servicemember a care package full of their favorite snacks, for example, My Hero Crate’s Military Snack Care Package, are guaranteed to be a hit. When all else fails, go with snacks.

Give Them A Break

If a service member can’t come home for the holidays, it’s almost certainly because they haven’t had time to take a break. So if they don’t have time to take a break, send the break to them. My Hero Crat5e has care packages tailored to both men and women to help them take a little time for themselves. Knowing that the people back home care about their well-being when they can’t make it home will mean the world to them.

 

And from all of us here at My Hero Crate, have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Thanksgiving on Base

The Holidays Are Starting On Base

 

Military Life Between The Holidays

When you’re enlisted, you go where the military sends you. That isn’t even a rule, so much as a fact of life. Sometimes you get lucky, and you wind up getting a duty station relatively close to home, but just as likely you can wind up on the other side of the country, if not the other side of the planet. This can be really exciting sometimes. Being stationed far away from home is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons. You can learn what people are like in other countries. You can try foods and restaurants you had never even considered before. You might even pick up a few words in a foreign language. All of that is fun. And then Thanksgiving starts inching closer.

 

Ain’t No Place Like Home

Even if you do have an opportunity to take leave for Christmas, and you don’t always have that opportunity, you probably won’t have enough leave days or money to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Especially if you’re lower-ranking, it can take just as much time to save leave days as it does to save up vacation money. And without time or money, you’ll be spending Thanksgiving on base. Often the base is hundreds or thousands of miles away from your family. It’s not even possible to drive home for a weekend away. That can be a depressing experience to deal with.

 

Bringing Home To You

However, it’s also a time that really highlights the camaraderie and culture of life on base. All around you, your fellow service members go out of their way to ensure everyone who lives there gets to celebrate the holiday. The cooks put in extra work to make sure every soldier can eat their favorites from home. Decorations are hung all over the dining facility to make it look as festive as possible. All of the base’s administrators work double-time to make sure no service member is forced to miss out on the joy of Thanksgiving.

 

A Day Of Gratitude

Officers don their dress uniforms and serve the soldiers. Good officers show their gratitude regularly, but Thanksgiving is probably the most sincere and human gesture of gratitude higher-ranking service members offer to lower-ranking members all year. They make speeches commemorating the soldiers’ hard work and dedication over the course of the year. 

 

Above & Beyond The Call Of Duty

The service members lucky enough to have their families living on or near the base go even further than that. Many of them invite fellow service members into their homes to join their family’s festivities. These soldiers, uncoerced and without obligation, open up their homes to ensure that none of their brothers and sisters in arms have to go without. Many young soldiers have found themselves embraced whole-heartedly by the families of their squad members. For many service members, Thanksgiving on base can be safer, more comfortable, and less stressful than the Thanksgiving they knew growing up. Everyone is given a seat at the table, both metaphorically and literally. All are welcome. All are loved. All are members of the family.

 

Ringing In The Season 

Being on the base over Thanksgiving is a challenging experience when the base is nowhere near your family. And the beautiful thing about that is that that is when everyone living on base works a little bit harder to make life better for everyone. It’s a phenomenal show of generosity that perfectly heralds in the Christmas season.

 

Thanksgiving Is For Gratitude

Our service members give up so much for us. They make phenomenal sacrifices for their fellow countrymen every day, but especially around the holidays. If you would like to show our men and women in the service how grateful you are for their service this Thanksgiving, My Hero Crate is happy to give a little bit of the holidays back to service members who can’t get home for Thanksgiving. Simply purchase a Thanksgiving Care Package to ensure that a service member can have a little taste of the holiday, no matter where they are in the world.

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work?

Try It Out the Next Time You Receive an Armed Forces Gift Box

Mindfulness is rooted in a Buddhist concept from about 2,600 years ago and has only recently found popularity in today’s psychotherapy world. While very few studies strongly support the benefits of mindfulness, those who practice it say it has helped their tolerance, concentration, mental clarity, and kindness toward oneself.

Proponents of mindfulness say that its related meditation technique can help former military members cope with the emotional and mental health ramifications of enlistment, deployment, and war. It’s easy to practice, with no requirements for equipment. You truly need only your mind.

What is Mindfulness?

The American Psychological Association defines mindfulness as “a psychological state of awareness,” but more specifically, “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.”

In simplest terms, when you practice mindfulness, you simply focus your awareness on what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpreting or judging. During mindfulness, you can practice relaxing breathing techniques or use guided imagery. Researchers believe that mindfulness meditation can help practitioners decrease rumination — dwelling on negative thoughts or ideas — help regulate emotions, and reduce stress. 

How Can I Practice Mindfulness?

Mindfulness practitioners use a variety of methods, the easiest of which you can do during normal daily activities!

Start by simply paying attention. Slow down and notice things with all five of your senses. Focusing on your breathing also can help you process negative thoughts and relax.

Try practicing mindfulness while eating a snack from your military care package from My Hero Crate. Open your favorite treat, and take your first bite. Hold the bite in your mouth and pay attention first to how it tastes. Focus all your attention on it.

Then, start to notice the texture. Move your tongue over it.

Bite into it. How does the crunch or other sensation feel against your teeth? Notice whether the texture changes. Feel the temperature of the food.

Return to focusing on the flavor. Don’t try to identify what the flavor is; simply notice it.

Repeat the process with each bite, for as long as you’d like.

How Often Should I Practice Mindfulness?

You can practice mindfulness any time, anywhere you wish, especially simple types of meditation like mindfully eating.

The more often you practice mindfulness, the more naturally it will come to you. Set aside time every day. It’s a valid form of self care that takes little resources, so it’s a great addition to your mental health care program. 

Try Mindfulness Techniques As You Open Your Monthly Military Gift Box Subscription

Now that you know how to practice mindful eating, you can apply mindfulness techniques to other activities. As you open your monthly military care package subscription, find ways to practice mindfulness with each item.

Over time, you just might notice a change in how you feel — hopefully for the better.

Learn more about our monthly care package subscription, and be sure to thank your loved one who sends you these military gifts!

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. 

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.

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.

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