8 Stress-Busters for Military Families

How to make your family a priority when other responsibilities crowd your days.

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Posted in , Dec 2, 2016

8 ways for military families to fight stress.

Being part of a military family can bring stresses that range beyond what a family might normally face. But whether you’re living on base as the spouse of an active duty service person or married to someone in the reserves, these tips can help keep the challenges you face in perspective:

1)  Don’t neglect family devotion and prayer time.
It’s a proven fact that husbands and wives who pray together have stronger marriages. This truth also applies to families who take regular time for devotions and prayer.

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2)  Take time to attend worship services together.
Again, there are studies to back up the importance of worshipping together. The time spent going to church as a family unit builds a foundation that we can count on when life gets tough.

3)  Set aside family vacation time.
It’s easy to let life interfere with vacation time. Finances can make this goal seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but there are a lot of places that offer military discounts. Spend some time researching your options. You’ll be surprised at what you find. 

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4)  Schedule a regular date night with your spouse.
There’s nothing more important in a marriage or in a family than making time for your spouse. Making the one we’re married to our priority sets a wonderful example for our kids and helps all our other responsibilities fall into place.

5)  Make a family night a regular event.
Even though our boys are grown and gone, they still talk about the fun we had during family game nights. For military families, this time can be even more important.

6)  Share your own fears honestly.
Keeping the lines of communication open will help reduce stress. So often we feel like sharing our fears will increase the stress of others. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those who love us know when we’re struggling, and often their imaginations are much worse than reality. We’re actually doing them a favor by being honest. We’re also making it possible for them to be honest with us.

7)  Don’t hold a grudge.
It happens in every family—feelings get hurt. But holding onto grudges can lead to stress, not reduce it. Make it a policy to ask for forgiveness when you’ve wronged someone and give forgiveness when you’re the injured party.

8)  Remember that we don’t all show love the same way.
It’s important to realize that everyone in the family is different. We all have special ways we show love and specific things that make us feel loved. By taking time to get to know these, we can make sure everyone feels an equal part of the group.

Even with the extra challenges that military families face, we can enjoy life together. Take time to evaluate where you’re struggling and use this list to shore up that part of the family dynamic. Our families are worth it!

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