It’s no secret that deployments are hard.
Fortunately, there are options for what you can do to keep yourself busy while your boyfriend is deployed.
It’s all too easy to let deployment go by and you never leave the house except to check the mail.
Planning your life around waiting for your military boyfriend to call or send letters will disappoint you. Letters get lost, communication towers fail, and time zone differences can make it difficult to connect.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be on the homefront bored out of your mind.
Instead, take the opportunity apart to try new hobbies, meet new friends, and learn more about yourself.
It will help you handle deployment a whole lot better.
By living your own adventures while your loved one is gone, it will build your independence and strengthen your relationship.
At a loss for what to do when your boyfriend deploys? Here’s 15 ideas to try out:
If you can’t seem to shake the deployment blues, try doing good for someone else. When you volunteer, you help your community and your self-esteem. There’s a ton of local organizations that can use volunteers on a daily basis.
Consider volunteering at places like:
- The Humane Society
- Local schools
- Nearby hospitals
- Food bank
Whatever your talents may be in, there’s a chance you can use it to do wonderful volunteer work in the community you live in.
2. Plan a Vacation
Who doesn’t love a good vacation? If it’s been a while since you’ve gone on a nice trip, it’s time to start planning one. You can stay close by for a mini staycation or book a trip across the globe. Whatever you decide, plan well in advance to snag the best travel deals.
3. Have a Spa Day
Take a day to completely unwind and relax. If you love being pampered, consider booking a full day at a local spa. Pick your favorite offerings — from facials to pedicures — to temporarily forget about the fact that your boyfriend is deployed far away. Or, have a spa day right at home. Light some candles, put your favorite face mask on, and take a warm bubble bath. Ahhh.
Getting a good sweat session in every day boosts endorphins and builds confidence. If you’ve never worked out consistently, consider finding a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Already a fan of working out? Switch up your workout to keep your body from plateauing.
A few workout ideas:
- Salsa dancing
- Tai chi
It doesn’t matter whether you sign up for a gym membership or follow a fitness DVD — just get moving daily for the best results!
Get lost in a good book at least once a week. Visit your local library or ask friends for book recommendations if it’s been awhile since you picked up a book. Need to make life improvements? Head for the self-help section. Want to learn to cook? Dive into the food and cookbook section. Reading is a great way to unwind and disconnect from the busy technology world — even if it’s just for a few hours.
6. Write Letters
There’s something cathartic about letter writing to a deployed boyfriend. This can be just as much for you as it is for him. Share details about your day, what you’ve been up to, and the big plans you have for when he gets back. If you have the time, consider writing fellow service members in his unit to boost their spirits, too.
Here’s some letter writing advice:
- Keep your letters light
- Send photos as often as possible
- Don’t send anything inappropriate
- Offer updates on hometown happenings
Whatever you decide to write, do your best to keep it positive and uplifting.
7. Go Back to School
If you’ve always wanted to go back to school, why not just do it? Whether you’re looking to get a certification or a degree, there’s plenty of options. Think about your hobbies, passions, and strengths, and then build your school planning around that. Figure out if you’d prefer a traditional school or the convenience of going back to school online. Then hit apply.
When you have a lot going on in your life, you may not want to share all of the nitty-gritty details with someone else. That’s when journaling can come in handy. Writing your thoughts can bring mental clarity and release tension. Whether you decide to do get super organized with a bullet journal or just a plain notebook, pick the one that best fits your style.
If you’ve never tried meditation, it may seem a little woo-woo. But the beauty of this ancient practice is that you can sculpt it to fit your particular needs. Meditation can be guided (check out the free apps!) or even as simple as taking a quiet walk in nature alone. It’s a great way to gather your thoughts.
Benefits of meditation include:
- Anxiety reduction
- Better sleep
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Stress reduction
Try it for a few days and see how you feel. You might love it and decide to make it a daily practice.
10. Host a Military Girlfriends’ Gathering
If you’re new to the military world, it can be a little intimidating to reach out to other military girlfriends. Don’t be scared! Most of them are just as open to meeting new friends, too.
Gather together for:
- Spa day
- Shopping trip
- Outdoor adventure
Even if you’re a seasoned military girlfriend, it’s nice to have a gathering to invite new and old friends together.
11. Try a New Hobby
If you’ve been eager to try a new hobby that your boyfriend couldn’t get excited about, jump on it now. Use the time that you would’ve otherwise spent with your boyfriend to explore new interests. New hobbies don’t have to be expensive, either, to bring you joy.
Explore a new hobby like:
- Learning a language
- Dance lessons
- Flying lessons
- Rock collecting
There’s so many options for new hobbies you can try. Whether you love the indoors or great outdoors, pick a hobby that gets you excited and motivated. If you don’t love it, you can always find something else that’s more your style. The idea is to try anything new at least once to see if it sticks!
12. Vacation Solo
Want to vacation your way? Go alone. Now is the time to visit the places you’ve always wanted to see. Whether you want to escape on a yoga retreat or just take to the mountains for a few days, there’s safe, fun opportunities for solo travel.
A few solo vacay ideas:
- Beach vacation
- Mountain cabin
- All-inclusive resort
- Attend a retreat (writing, fitness, mindfulness, etc.)
13. Finish __________
With how busy life gets, it’s easy to put aside projects that once brought you joy. Now that your military member is deployed, you likely have some time to dedicate to those long-forgotten projects or passions. Finish the thing. Whatever that may be.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Clean your closet
- Complete that half-finished craft project
- Write your book
- Declutter (everything, everywhere)
- Interior decorating (hello, Pinterest!)
- Your degree, certificate, license, etc.
- Organize and display basic training letters
Whatever little projects you’ve been putting off, now is the time to get them done. Plus, it will give you a fun talking point for your next conversation with your service member.
14. Visit Family
Whether it’s your own blood relatives, or family you’ve created, being around loved ones can boost your mood. Consider visiting an aunt you haven’t seen in awhile, or even your grandmother in the nursing home. It will cheer you up and help you feel even more connected to your family.
15. People Watch
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than just sitting and watching people go about their lives. You can do this with a close friend or just go by yourself to a public place where you can people watch for fun.
Not sure where to go? A few ideas:
- Coffee shops
- Bus stops
- Shopping malls
Obviously, you don’t want to be creepy. But when you feel alone, sometimes going out and just being around others can make you feel less lonely. If you’re feeling super conversational, find a stranger to sit down and chat with for a few minutes or hours.
Want More Military Relationship Advice?
Check out these other quick reads on the Sandboxx blog for some more insight into military relationships.
- 6 Tips for Couples to Survive Basic Training Apart
- Etiquette Rules for Being in a Military Relationship
- 6 Must Know Tips for Your New Military Relationship
As for our deployment relationship advice? Stay busy. You can surely check off all the items on this list before your loved one gets back. Create your own lists, too. These kind of activities will keep your mind busy, and the deployment countdown will be over before you know it!
If you love these type of posts, let us know. Want to learn more about a particular military topic? Tag us on social media and we’ll cover it.