A Day in the Life · Deployment · Military Lifestyle · Self Care

How to be a Mindful MilSO

While busy with life and student teaching, it has been hard to catch a break.  Add on the stress of a deployment, and I was in a rough spot for a few weeks.  However, I found a simple solution right in the progressive classroom that I work at.  Since we are always trying new things with our students, this quarter we have put a lot of attention on being mindful.  Trust me, getting 46 first and second graders to be mindful has proven to be a challenge, but I think you’ll get the hang of it easy-peasy!

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First, I’d like to tell you what I mean by “being mindful”.  To me, mindfulness is simply being present in the current moment.

  • Emotional about things in the past?  Stop, that won’t change the event, but being mindful can help you heal from the pain.
  • Worried about the future? Stop, worrying won’t solve any problems, but practicing mindfulness may put you at ease.
  • By putting your focus and energy on the current moment, instead of living in the past or anticipating the future you will be able to clear your mind, and calm down.

With that said, let’s apply this to military life.

Let’s be real, being a MilSO is hard work.  I’ve spent so much time worrying about care packages arriving on time and intact, staying up too late to get a brief conversation with my Love, not to mention my Love’s safety during two deployments, and all the little things along the way… That’s a lot of added stress that I carry on a day-to-day basis just being in this relationship.  And I know that you’re right there with me!

Here’s how mindfulness can help you: Military life is stressful.  There is a ton of uncertainty regarding all aspects of life when loving someone in this line of work.

So, if you can’t help but worry every single day during deployment… Start practicing mindfulness.

On the other hand, if you are stressed about the growing to-do list to prep for his homecoming… Take a break to be mindful.

I should clarify… I completely understand if you’re worried during a deployment, or stressed (believe me, I’ve been there!).   However, to live in that constant state of worry and stress, isn’t healthy for anyone.  I’m not saying you should ignore your emotions, but taking a break from them to rejuvenate isn’t going to hurt either.   I consider this a way to show myself some love (something MilSOs often forget to do).

Here’s a simple way to be mindful:

Begin by sitting in a comfortable position, and closing your eyes.  Then, try to consciously think about your breathing.  Just take a break from all of your other thoughts, and breathe.   Then, try to think about the current moment.  Every detail to ground yourself in this moment.  For example, what do your pants feel like on your legs? What do you taste? This simple exercise, doesn’t take much and can even be done in less than a minute if you’re always busy.  In fact, I suggest starting out trying just a minute at a time and building your way up to a longer duration.  Afterwards, I always feel calmer, relaxed, and more energized because I was able to calm my mind so that I can focus on this current moment.

I hope this helps you get through the day-to-day of military life and make that deployment go by a little easier.

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