Find Your Preferred Strategies to Promote Good Mental Health
Serving in the Armed Forces can be stressful, but it’s a different kind of stress from civilian life. While you’re home from deployment or after your active duty ends, you may have to find new strategies to cope with stress and reduce its effects.
Military spouses and families, too, must work to keep stress at bay.
And while stress is a permanent part of life, how you choose to deal with it can make it much easier to handle. Why not try one of these five strategies?
And if you know someone feeling excessively stressed, offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on – and one of our fantastic stress-reducing military care packages.
Take One Thing at a Time
When you’re planning your own day-to-day activities, such as creating a to-do list or planning a big move or home remodel, don’t overwhelm yourself with tasks.
For example, if you’re planning a move, don’t worry about gathering boxes to pack in until after you have secured your moving van. And don’t fret about cleaning your rental apartment until after the majority of your belongings are packed. And don’t dwell on having to unpack when you’re not even in your new home yet!
Similarly, if you’re doing some light remodeling in your home, take it one step at a time rather than having multiple projects going on at once. Finish painting the walls before you opt to paint kitchen cabinets, or finish upgrading the floor before you think about hanging artwork on the walls.
If you put too much on your plate all at once, it’s hard to get it done. Focusing on one thing at a time can be a big help in keeping mass amounts of stress at bay.
Write It Down, Put It in Your Phone, or Ask Alexa to Remind You
If your ability to remember appointments is catastrophic at best, find a way that works for you to keep a schedule. When you know you are running late or completely forgot about an important event, it adds stress to your life and can encourage negative self-talk, like “I’m always late; I’m such a terrible friend!” or “I can never remember things because I’m such a flake!”
In truth, if you find a way that works for you to remind yourself of what you need to do, you will feel far less stress about planning your day. And not every scheduling tool works for everyone. Get creative with it! We especially love using sticky notes on the bathroom mirror or relying on a virtual assistant like Alexa or Siri to remind us when it’s time to get moving!
Take a Break!
While military members are deployed, you don’t really have the choice to take an unscheduled, unsanctioned break. But when you’re back home, sporting your civvies and running full tilt to get everything done, you can absolutely sit down and rest for a minute or two!
If a certain task is stressing you out, stop and come back to it later. If you’re starting to feel too tired to press on, grab a glass of water and take a breather.
There’s no point in pressing yourself to your limit, especially when it comes to stressful situations. If it’s feasible to take a break, do it, so your mind and body are refreshed and ready to tackle the next problem that comes your way.
Move Your Muscles During a Mindfulness-Intense Workout
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps members are no strangers to exercise. But running and serious tests of physical endurance and strength don’t really promote mindfulness; they promote focus on finishing.
In your free time, invest a few minutes into a stress-reducing exercise like yoga or pilates, which have you pay attention to breathing and the movement of individual muscles in your body. Practicing mindfulness – focusing on your body and the environment in the moment without judgment – can help drop stress levels significantly.
Step Away from the Smartphone
In today’s world, everyone is so connected by electronics and social media that it’s hard to actually get time to yourself. Your smartphone is always buzzing with notifications from an app or a text message.
If you’re already feeling stressed, these notifications can get your heart racing! It may behoove you to turn your phone on silent and leave it in another room so you can focus on whatever you need, whether that’s some R&R and self-care, or a specific task or errand you need to complete.
You Can Help Your Friends by Sending Them Special Military Care Packages!
If your pals always look to you for advice on stress relief, then you might consider sharing your best tips and sending them a special gift to help bestow a sense of peace for them.
My Hero Crate offers a whole host of care packages for enlisted military members that save you the time of scouring your local store, finding suitable packaging, and heading to the post office. Instead, we’ll handle all the details of sending them a thoughtful gift; you tell us what your gift message should say!
Our gift sets for military moms, armed forces coffee lovers, and deployed soldiers who just need snacks that taste like home, ship to anywhere in the world. Talk about less stress for you and your care package recipient!