Coping Strategies

My husband, wonderful man that he is, is heading out on an extended business trip soon. Those of you who know us in real life know that this is common for us, and that we thrive in this environment. We hope this will be the last time for a while, so there’s that!

This week in particular, I’m unpacking my suitcase of coping skills. For anyone going through a difficult part of life, these may be helpful.

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*New routines. The children and I accept that things will indeed be different for us while hubby is away. For us, that means new meal routines, a change in chores, etc. We may do bedtime differently, or mealtimes, or Saturdays. I want to be purposeful about getting enough time with each child individually. That’s always a challenge with larger families, but especially so when Dad is away.

*Favorites. This is not the time to try out a whole new ethnicity of foods, or change everything in the house drastically. I pick out favorite books, music, tea, and comfort food for the first few weeks. It helps, I promise!

* Change a few things. Because bedtime feels especially alone, I’m changing my bedroom around. I’ll change the quilts, add new pillows, and just change the look of my sleeping space. I may rearrange the furniture a little, and I will definitely be deep cleaning. I’ll also be adding some ways to stay toasty warm, since I’ll have to make it through the winter sleeping solo! I may even add some pink into the mix, just to be ultra-girlie! These inexpensive changes will make bedtime much easier.

*Choose projects. I have a specific amount of time to fill, which will cover Christmas and birthdays. During those long winter months, I have plenty of projects planned! In fact, I have more planned projects than I have time. This will, I hope, keep me busy and focus my time until he returns. Most of mine are sewing related, but there are plenty of other things, like my ever growing book list and the desire to completely clean my home from tippy-top to bottom!

*Take over his space. We share an office, which I’ve already mentioned has its ups and downs! I plan on commandeering his side of the office once he leaves, and making my work space much larger. That will help me feel less forlorn when he’s not busy working on his half, and give me a bit more quilting space! =}

*Find funny. I seek out funny shows and videos to help me laugh. There are a couple that I could just plain put on a loop, and I’d continue to find funny! When people ask me what they can do, it’s this. They can tell me a joke!

*Talk often. I don’t have to tell you how much this soothes the ache. With all the amazing technology available, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch. There are even apps that allow you to talk, real time. Amazing stuff! We make use of those to keep us healthy and somewhat happy during these long times apart.

Some of these coping techniques may not be helpful to you as you face something obviously difficult and trying. However, I challenge you to think of things that will help you when you’re feeling down and out. Find a good joke, or a wonderful brand of tea, and add it to your kitbag!!

And if you think of us, please say a short prayer that the time apart goes quickly!

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