How many times have you heard, “the key to deployment is staying busy?” I say, the key to surviving deployment is finding adventure! Some days are easy as pie, and other days seem to drag on and on. Especially, when the biggest adventure you had that day was counting how many diapers you changed. When you have really small children, the days are exhausting enough tending to their every need. School age children come with their own set of exhausting schedules with projects, sports and everything in between. If you’re working, your days can be jam packed with activity, but also with having to deal with customers, obstacles, and angry bosses. However, no matter how busy we are, we will undoubtedly have those lull moments, whether they come when the kids are finally in bed for the night, or as soon as they get on the school bus in the morning. Weekends were often the loneliest for me, as the rest of the world was spending time with their families. Those down times that we may have normally spent hanging out with our spouses, now need to be filled with our own activities. Here’s a list of ideas to help you stay busy during deployment:
1) Read-Make a goal to read one book a month.
2) Make an online scrapbook of the last year, your first year at your new duty station, babies first year, or your child’s last birthday party.
3) Send a care package to your spouse
4) Pick up a new sport. Learn how to play tennis or golf.
5) Get crafty! Hit up Pinterest for some new project ideas or take a spin around Hobby Lobby. Make a list of all the projects you want to complete during deployment.
6) Learn how to knit. You can do it as a hobby or start making items for friends and families as gifts.
7) Train for a 5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Fun Run, Color Run or Mud Run
8) Get a mani/pedi or book an entire spa day for yourself.
9) Invite a friend over for dinner. Is there someone new at the command? Invite them over for dinner, as I’m sure they could use a new friend too.
10) Have a themed night potluck and ask each of your guests to bring a dish to go with the theme. Mexican Night or Italian Night is always fun and easy.
11) Be a tourist in your own town.
12) Make a meal for a new mom.
14) Visit a coffee shop and have a latte.
15) Go see a movie by yourself! Don’t be scared. I’ve done it at a lot! The great thing about going to a movie by yourself is that no one actually knows you’re by yourself.
16) Send a care package to another military spouse whose husband is also deployed. Think of a few of their favorite things and send it to them. I received one from a friend over this last deployment that even included Organic Dog treats for our pup. It was so thoughtful and made my day.
17) Spend a day building a house with Habitat for Humanity.
18) Create a blog.
19) Learn how to coupon. Here’s a few ideas to get you started from my pal Frugal Fitz.
20) Open a shop on Etsy.
21) Start a DIY project in your house.
22) Paint your bedroom a different color.
23) Go for a walk daily.
24) Try out new workouts in town. Most workouts have a ‘free first class.” Try out a new place each week! Yoga, dance, Pilates, try them all!
25) Make a canvas painting at one of those wine and painting places.
26) Makeover a room in your house.
27) Try your hand at pottery.
28) Go to a concert.
29) Plan a trip to see family, an old friend, or a place you’ve never been.
30) Develop a deployment savings plan.
31) Watch a new series on television.
32) Get a Netflix Account.
33) Learn to sew.
34) Go kayaking.
35) Take a bike tour of your town.
36) Discover a new neighborhood in your town. Bring your book, ipad, phone or kindle, have a coffee, and enjoy.
37) Find a bike and go beach cruising
38) Take up photography.
40) Plan a trip to see your husband at a port visit!
41) Plan your child’s birthday party.
43) Host a jewelry, kitchen or cooking party for a friend.
44) Watch another mom’s children for a few hours. Perhaps she will return the favor one day.
45) Sell stuff online. Ebay, Craigslist, local listings. Nothing to sell, go to Goodwill and Salvation Army find some cool stuff and resell it online.
46) Do online surveys and get paid for them. i.e. Opinion Outpost, Survey Savvy, Zoom Pannel, Survey Spot, or Toluna. I’ve read where people make extra cash every week from filling out surveys in their spare time.
47) Try Meal Planning for your family. Figure out what you’re going to eat for the next two weeks and save money at the grocery store!
48) Research next potential PCS cities.
49) Make a wreath for your front door.
50) Call an old friend.
51) ORGANIZE your pantry, closet, office, or toy room.
52) Make a bucket list of things you want to do at your current duty station. Here’s one for Jacksonville, Fl.
53) Build a Hurricane kit (Here’s one from FEMA)
54) Write your husband a letter.
55) Go to a sporting event
56) Join a Moms Group
57) Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
58) See what all the hype is about at CrossFit or some other boot camp workout.
59) Visit a museum
60) Research places to utilize your military discount in town. Explore a new place and save money at the same time!
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