I am not sure why I have never written an actual article on ways to keep busy during deployment, seeing as I am asked this question over and over again. In fact, I have answered it before in my Dear Military Spouse column.
I guess the truth is, I was too busy keeping busy! Honestly, I have no idea why I never created an actual article with my ideas and tips for keeping busy during a deployment. Heck, I have been a military wife for 17 years now and have been through my fair share of deployments (I think I am up to 7 now).
So without further ado:
10 Ways to Keep Busy During Deployment
Create a fitness goal (even if it isn’t to lose weight). I made a goal to hike 1000 miles last deployment, it actually went national and I had people from all over the US and Soldiers who were deployed join in. All I wanted was something to keep me busy!
Learn a new hobby or get back to a hobby you liked doing. Remember that quilt you started years ago? Or maybe you always wanted to learn to crochet or taking pictures. Now is a great time to learn a new hobby you have been interested in or get back to an old hobby you enjoyed!
Start or finish a college degree or take classes at a local college for something you find interesting. Many local community colleges offer classes aside from degree programs. It’s a great way to learn something new!
Create financial goals and work towards them whether it’s getting a job or additional job or just selling unused items around the house. Financial goals can be paying off a loan, paying off credit cards, saving for a vacation, creating an emergency fund, saving for new furniture. The easiest way to start is to create a budget.
Tackle a home project or upgrade you’ve been putting off. Maybe you want to add a paver walkway or re-tile a backsplash. Or maybe it is something as simple as repainting furniture!
Do 30-Day Challenges. There are way too many here to list, but I have several you can try out (enough for a year’s worth) in this article.
Join a Group. Maybe it’s a church group, mom group, book club, or some other group or meet up with interests you enjoy. This is also a great way to make new friends!
Do all those Pinterest crafts you saved. You know what I am talking about. You have an entire board of crafts on pinterest that you pinned with the intention to do one day! Go ahead give them all a try! If you’re like me, that board probably has enough pins to keep you busy for the next 10 years!
Go through pictures. You know that hard drive full of pictures you have. Yea, you know the one with 50,000 pictures on it (yes for the record, I actually have a hard drive with that many pictures on it). Why not take this time and go through all of them. Delete duplicates and blurry ones. Then organize them into folders. I did this once and it took me 2 months of working on it every day for almost the entire day!
Get a part-time job or volunteer. If you stay at home, look into getting a part-time job that you would enjoy doing or better yet at a place you shop at often (hello employee discount). Or if you would much rather “work” on your own schedule, look into volunteering. Try the VA, local volunteer fire departments (in addition to firefighters, most need admin/office help as well), local school district (such as the PTA), churches, etc…