Phase 3: Finding a Rhythm


Milestone 1: Find a Work-Life Balance

Finding balance with work and family looks different for every person and can be a struggle for many — even without the added challenges presented by military life.

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Navigate schedules 

Your schedule, particularly where, when, and how you work or learn, may be more flexible than your service member’s schedule; however, it may also be more independent and complex. Considerations include what type of career you have or what type of training or education you seek, and your current location. The operational tempo of your service member’s role may keep him or her away from home or allow for more family time. Whatever your situation, consistent communication with your partner about work and life schedules and requirements, while managing expectations, is necessary to meet everyone’s needs and to achieve your goals. 

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Navigate remote work needs

Remote work can provide the flexibility and portability you want as a military spouse; however, you may also face some common challenges such as feelings of isolation and disconnection. Overcome these hurdles by connecting with your co-workers and members of your local community and by focusing on your health and well-being. You are not used to putting yourself first, but as the boss and the employee you’ll need to set boundaries that allow you to carry the workload and maintain your mental and physical wellbeing. Don’t underestimate how challenging this can be!

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Real Life Snapshot

Working remotely “can be a little isolating.  I work from home, coming to a new community not knowing anybody and not going into the office and seeing/meeting people (there either), but balancing that against having a paycheck – it’s life changing.”

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Developing professionally

Professional development activities and opportunities are critical for organizations to keep their remote employees engaged. As a remote employee working within an organization or independently, you may find additional value in continuing to develop skills related to being a remote employee. Seek professional development in your discipline and work on cultivating skills that will enhance your impact as a remote employee.

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Seeking time for self-care

Taking time for yourself – doing something you enjoy or that provides relaxation – can help ease some of the stresses of managing military life. Finding and dedicating self-care time is often easier said than done, but it is vital that you fit it into your schedule. So, put self-care on your calendar, and read a book, do some yoga, speak with a counseling professional, try a new recipe, or just soak in the great outdoors – do whatever activity helps you feel your best. 

If you could use a little practice with making time for activities you enjoy, review this checklist. It will help you generate ideas on how to include self-care and create balance in your military life.

Weaving Self-Care into your Military Life

  1. Make a list of three enjoyable activities you would do if you had a day away from all of your other responsibilities. Choose at least one significant (e.g., day trip) activity and at least two activities that take less than 3 hours to complete. If you want to connect with a new networking group or gain more knowledge in a particular area, see if there are any activities with that population or related to that topic.
  2. Use Google, the newspaper, and social media sites to search for local opportunities to complete at least one of those activities locally.
  3. Schedule the activity for a few weeks into the future. Then intentionally weave it into your schedule.
  4. Invite a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to complete the activity with you. 
  5. Go do the activity!
  6. If applicable, identify 1 to 2 ways that the experience helped you with your career or education (e.g.., mentoring, networking, skill development, teamwork, a creativity boost). Share your thoughts with your new network connection.
  7. Repeat as needed!

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Next Phase

Up Next: Phase 4: Permanent Changes of Station