The holidays can be such a hard time for so many people who don’t have loved ones by their side. But we often think of the holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We forget about Valentine’s Day even though it can rank up there as one of the toughest if you have lost a spouse or if they are far from home. Military spouses can have it especially hard on Valentine’s Day, because not only are their spouses away, but they may also be in harm’s way. I’m going to give some tips for coping without your spouse who is away in the military this Valentine’s Day.
Get Out and Spread Some Love
While it’s tempting to crawl under the covers and ignore the whole holiday, that may be hard to do if you have a job. Plus hiding and isolating yourself on Valentine’s Day may just lead to depression. Try to get out and do something good for someone else this Valentine’s Day. Think about that elderly widow across the street who might appreciate some cookies and a visit.
Why not take this day as an opportunity to help out veterans and others who have served just like your spouse? I’m not the spouse of anyone in the service, but I can say what an amazing opportunity it was to take some of my junior high students to hand out homemade Valentine cards to the veterans at our local hospital. They were so appreciative and at times there were even tears. Even though we were doing this for the veterans, I can bet we all got as much out of this as they did. I know I was so thankful to be able to do this. Try to get out and spread some love. Be creative. It may be just a small gesture, but it will do wonders for your spirit.
Get Together With Other Military Spouses
Depending on your personality type, you may want to connect with just one close friend or maybe have several military spouses and their kids over for a little Valentines get together. Serve up something fun and tasty like pizza or nachos. You may be just the blessing they needed by inviting them over. They will understand better than most what you are going through.
The best thing to do when going through a hard time is to keep busy. Go for a walk or bike ride. Tire yourself out in a good way. Not only will some fresh air be good for you, but some moving around will help to make you tired so that you sleep well on Valentine’s Day Night.
Let Family and Friends Help You Out
Accepting help can be hard for some people. But remember that family and friends care about you and won’t want you to be depressed on Valentine’s Day. Think of it as doing something good for them by letting them cook you dinner even if you’d rather not have a fuss made over this day. I’ve had people say to me, “Please, don’t rob me of the blessing by not accepting my help” for single mom issues. When I thought of it that way, I realized my pride was getting in the way of always saying, “Thank you, but we are fine and don’t need help.” Just say yes, and thank you.
Use Facetime To Connect
I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you to try to Facetime or Skype your spouse if possible. However, be careful Take a deep breath, and treat it like any other Facetime or telephone call. By working yourself up for the big Valentine’s Day contact, you may be in for an emotional letdown. Use the time just to enjoy each other’s company. Try not to dwell on the fact that it is Valentine’s Day and you are apart.
There are so many cute Valentine’s Day Free Email Greeting Cards that you can send nowadays. You can not only personalize the cards with your own special note, but you can also pick out different themes like animals, or cards that sing. If you think humor would help you both cope, there are Valentine’s Day Cards for that too. This is a great idea to consider if your spouse can receive emails. If you are up to it, maybe send your spouse a Valentine’s Day care package.
Make New Traditions
If you’ve always gone out to dinner on Valentine’s Day with your spouse before deployment, try to do something different. If you have kids, take them to a painting class, or go bowling. By being in a different type of environment, you won’t have to relive as many memories and be sad about not being able to do the same thing this year. If ice cream helps, it’s a great excuse to indulge a little.
Valentine’s Day can be a tough holiday to get through if your spouse is deployed. I’ve given some tips to try to ease the negative emotional impact that this day brings. By getting out, keeping busy, and trying to spread the love by helping others, you will be able to survive this day. Make sure to let friends and family members smother you with some TLC if they want to. Just be careful that it doesn’t turn into a pity party, or you may feel worse than if they didn’t make a fuss.
If possible, reach out to your spouse via Facetime, a phone call, or email. Try to make new traditions, especially if you have children. Go out to a movie, or run a Valentine 5K. Do whatever it takes not to feel depressed about not being together. I hope that these tips help you get through this Valentine’s Day. The sacrifice that a military spouse makes for our country is often overlooked on days like Valentine’s Day. Know that there are a lot of people who are thankful for the sacrifice that you are also making for our country. Happy Valentine’s Day!