Military life can be a unique and rewarding experience for both service members and their families, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of sacrifices to make and challenges to overcome. Throughout this post, we’ll discuss six tips to help families of military service members get the most out of life.
Build a support network.
Having a strong support network can be the difference between simply coping with the military lifestyle or thriving. Your support network can include family, friends, and professionals to provide emotional support.
The type of support network you will benefit from will depend on your needs. Do you need help with childcare? Financial assistance? Transportation? Emotional Support? When you know what help you need the most, you’ll be in a better position to start building your network.
Make use of available resources.
The military likes to take care of its own, and that philosophy extends to service members’ families. There are so many resources to benefit from, so don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it the most. For example, the MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account) scholarship program provides up to $4K in financial support towards career improvement. However, you will need to attend one of the many MyCAA approved schools.
Be prepared for change.
Military life can be fairly unpredictable, so it’s best to get prepared for unexpected change. For example, you may need to have plans in place in case of deployment, which may include being flexible with living arrangements. To cope with sudden life changes, it’s always best to lean on your support network and try to keep a positive attitude. After all, the change can bring along fantastic experiences and growth opportunities.
While your loved one is deployed, it’s essential to keep connected. Communication is the key to getting through these tough times, so make sure you make contact whenever possible. The best way to keep this up is by setting up a communication plan to dictate how often you’ll talk, how you’ll communicate, and what time zone differences you need to take into account.
Take care of yourself.
Even though you will have a lot on your mind, it’s important to take time out to look after your personal health and well-being, both physically and mentally. You can do this by eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, finding healthy coping mechanisms, and seeking support if need be. Remember, taking care of your own needs is never selfish – it’s the best course of action for you and your spouse.
Learn how to manage finances.
The military lifestyle can be stressful enough, and that’s before you start worrying about finances. Many military families face costs associated with deployments, relocations, and irregular paychecks, so it’s important to learn how to manage money; here are some tips to get you started:
- Create a budget
- Save money
- Pay off all debts
- Use military benefits
Being in a military family can be rewarding but stressful. By following the tips outlined above, your entire family will get through the toughest of times.
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