Family separation periods provide for a time of self-growth. Not many spouses have such an opportunity to take a good look at their own lives.
You attitude is the state of mind with which you approach a situation. Your attitude is important because it affects how you look, what you say, and what you do. It affects how you feel, both physically and mentally, and it greatly affects how successful you are in achieving your purpose in life. What could be more important?
Negative attitudes make life difficult for everyone. Positive attitudes help everyone get the most out of life. Though talent is important and knowledge is essential, the most important key to success is your state of mind!
When your spouse goes away, you have to make a choice. You can apply a positive attitude, and make the best of the time you have apart, or you can apply a negative attitude, draw the drapes, withdraw, and complain until he or she comes home. Given the two choices, the first one is healthier and more to your advantage.
Time passes quickly when you are busy. It also makes for better, longer, and more interesting letters to your spouse. Find something you enjoy doing. Something that says YOU! Set goals for tomorrow, next week, and next month.
The completion of a project will give you a sense of satisfaction. Have you thought about the following:
Most people find the dinner hour and Sunday afternoon to be the times when they miss their spouse the most, and everybody has an occasional black Monday.
If your black days are increasing in frequency, pay attention to what is going on around and in you. Are you-
No one takes a giant leap into depression. It is more of a cumulative process. Some use alcohol and drugs as a remedy, but that does not work. Drinking does nothing to answer life's problems. In fact, drinking just helps you temporarily ignore your problems - but the problems are still there.
The cure for depression is the same as the prevention. Take positive action. Behavior is changed by thoughts and feelings. If you can, talk to a friend. If you are alone your problems seem overwhelming, contact a Mental Health professional. They can help.
When your spouse is away, you need to feel that you are moving up and forward.
This material is adapted from the "Predeployment Guide: A Tool for Coping" on the Air Force Crossroads Web site.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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