This is a guest post written by SpouseLink.org editor, Cathleen Karlsson. Be sure to check out her bio at the end of the post!
One thing you can rely on in life is that nothing ever stays the same.
There will always be unanticipated events that shake up your world from time to time. And, being part of a Military Family constantly in transition means that you will always have to be prepared to handle those events especially since they can happen on a moment’s notice. So, how do you prepare yourself for the unknown or something you haven’t yet experienced?
1) Get excited about the change. Think positively and look forward to all of the new experiences you will have and the stories you’ll be able to share with others.
2) Turn obstacles into learning experiences. Will there be a language barrier? Will there be cultural differences? Instead of worrying about it, take the opportunity to learn new things. You may not need to be fluent in the local language and customs to enjoy the view.
3) Do a little research. Use online sources to look up maps of the location you’re headed to and search for various area activities, such as shopping malls, school systems and parks. When you get where you’re going, you’ll already have a good idea of where to go for the things you need.
4) Ask friends and family for advice. Do you know anyone who has gone through what you’re going through or who has lived in or visited the place you’re going? Ask them to tell you what challenges they faced and how they handled it. It will help you organize your own thoughts and put you in a more comfortable zone knowing you’re not alone.
5) Go on a memory-making spree. Before you leave town, take a few photos of your favorite things. When you’re in your new location and feeling blue because your best friend or favorite ice cream shop isn’t right around the corner, you will have a tangible way of remembering them at your fingertips.
6) Plan out your First Week to-do list. Beyond unpacking moving boxes, be sure to include a few fun adventures, such as: taste-test the coffee at a local coffee shop; buy a new plant at the nearest garden center; or get tickets to a matinee at a nearby movie theater.
7) Share your experiences. Whether you want to write out your thoughts or phone a friend, let others in your circle know what you are doing, when, where, and why. They might just bring up good points about the adventure that you haven’t thought of yet.
8) Stock up on things you will miss. Not sure if you can order things online and have them delivered to your new location? Get them now and take them with you. That way, you won’t find yourself thinking, If I only had.
9) Do something good for yourself. Treat yourself to a day of de-stressing. Go for a walk in the morning, have lunch with a friend at Noon, enjoy a massage for the afternoon, order takeout for dinner, relax in the tub at night. Use one day to focus on your health and well-being.
10) Do something good for others. Stepping outside of your own head to do something wonderful for someone else will help you keep your perspective. Are you going to miss someone specific? Spend time with that person. Give them a gift. Or treat them to an activity. Let them know you care before you go. Also try volunteering for an organization you’re interested in. Volunteering is a great way to do something for others.
Those same techniques can help you get into the right frame of mind for any stressful situation you may face, so give them a shot. You’ll be feeling much better about the situation in no time.
AAFMAA is the longest-standing not-for-profit association that empowers current and former military with affordable financial solutions including, life insurance, investment management, and survivor assistance. AAFMAA is also the creator of SpouseLink, a free website for Military Spouses that was created to support, inform and inspire users with a variety of content, anything from pop culture to important Military information.
Cathleen Karlsson is the daughter of a retired Navy Captain. Growing up, she lived with her family in five Midwestern and East Coast states before earning her B.A. in fiction at the University of Pittsburgh. She is an experienced, award-winning marketing writer who has worked in several advertisingÂ and online media roles, including her current role as the SpouseLink.org Editor. In her â€œspare time,â€ Cathleen volunteers with a homeless animal shelter and serves as the vice president of the board for a ballet company. She also enjoys dancing, sewing and crafting, and spending time with her young daughter.