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Strength in Separation: Managing Life During Deployment

When my now-husband, then-boyfriend, left for a year-long deployment in another country during COVID, it was one of the most challenging periods of my life. Navigating the emotional and logistical hurdles of a long-distance relationship was difficult enough, but doing so during a global pandemic while moving across the country added an entirely new level of complexity. However, this experience taught me invaluable lessons about resilience, independence, and love. Here’s my story and tips for managing life during deployment.

Learn how to manage life during deployment with these tips. Discover how I navigated a cross-country move and stayed connected with my deployed partner during COVID

The Challenge of Deployment

Deployment is never easy, and when you add the stress of a pandemic and a significant move, it can feel overwhelming. When my boyfriend left for his deployment, I knew we would face many obstacles. Communication was sporadic with the 8 hour time difference, and the uncertainty of the world’s situation weighed on us both.

Staying Connected

Regular Communication: We made a pact to communicate as regularly as possible. Despite time zone differences and unpredictable schedules, we found ways to stay connected through video calls, texts, and letters. These moments of connection were lifelines that kept our relationship strong.

Virtual Dates: We got creative with our communication. Virtual movie nights, online games, and even cooking while on a video call helped us feel closer despite the distance.

The Cross-Country Move

During this emotional turmoil, I decided to move us from North Dakota to Colorado to pursue cosmetology school. Moving is always stressful, but doing it alone during a pandemic was rough. I'm grateful to have had the support of my family and friends.

Planning and Organization

Detailed Planning: I started by creating a detailed moving plan. This included researching moving companies, sorting and packing our belongings, and setting a realistic timeline.

Support Network: I leaned heavily on friends and family for support. Their help with packing, moving, and emotional support was invaluable. Don't ever hesitate to ask for help when you need it! It does not make you weak.

Finding Strength in Independence

Moving to a new state and starting school while my boyfriend was deployed forced me to embrace my independence. This period of separation taught me to rely on myself and find strength I didn’t know I had.

Establishing a Routine

Structured Schedule: I created a daily routine to stay focused and productive. Balancing schoolwork, self-care, and maintaining our home helped me stay grounded and organized.

Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care was essential. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and setting aside time for relaxation helped me manage stress and maintain my mental health.

Tips for Managing Life During Deployment

  1. Stay Connected: Regular communication with your deployed partner is crucial. Get creative with virtual dates and consistent check-ins to keep your relationship strong.

  2. Lean on Your Support Network: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Their support can make a huge difference in managing everyday challenges.

  3. Create a Routine: Establishing a structured routine can help you stay focused and productive. Balance work, school, and self-care to maintain your well-being.

  4. Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential. Exercise regularly, eat well, and make time for activities that bring you joy.

  5. Stay Positive: Focus on the positive aspects of your situation. Use this time to grow personally and professionally, and look forward to the reunion with your loved one.

Deployment is a challenging experience, but it can also be a time of personal growth and strength. Through regular communication, a supportive network, and a strong routine, we managed to not only survive but thrive during this time apart.

To anyone facing a similar situation, know that you are stronger than you think. Embrace the challenges, lean on your support system, and take care of yourself. The reunion with your loved one will be all the sweeter knowing you conquered this.

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Paiton – a wife, mother, book lover, and coffee enthusiast based in northern Minnesota. When I'm not managing a busy household, I'm busy exploring new places and sharing our adventures. As a marketing director, I'm passionate about making a positive impact in my community.  It's not just a job for me – it's a passion.

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