Five Ways to Cope With PCS Envy


Five Ways to Cope With PCS EnvyMoving is hard. But sometimes, it’s even harder not to.

That’s how it feels to me anyway. I have zest for the part of military life that many other spouses dread beyond all other – the move. I blame this irrational need to constantly have my life in boxes on having grown up in an Army family that moved constantly. I didn’t stay anywhere longer than two years until I was in high school. And, I loved it.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are definitely parts of moving that are not fun. Saying goodbye to wonderful friends tops the unpleasant list, followed by not knowing how to get back to your house from the grocery store at your new location, having to live out of a suitcase for seemingly months on end, and the dreaded task of finding a place to live knowing little about the area, just to name a few. But now I find myself itching to pack up my house, my life, and my dog every time the weather starts to warm up – especially if we are stationed at a location that doesn’t come close to topping my list of favorite duty stations.

Luckily over the years I have found a few things that help me kick the urge to move until it really is time to go.

  1. Rearrange furniture.  Don’t be afraid to play with your feng shui and drag your couch to the other side of the living room. It may not be a move out of your house but it’s moving something and that can help take the edge off.
  2. Explore a nearby place you just haven’t made it to yet. We all have those little day trips that we want to do – a trip to that winery in the cute little town that’s only a half hour away or antique shopping on the other side of the city. Get out and do it! Reacquainting yourself with a part of the area that you don’t know well can help you feel like it’s all new and exciting again. Besides, if you don’t take that trip now it will be time to leave before you know it and you’ll never make it there!
  3. Housewarming gifts for new neighbors. Now this is something that has really fallen out of style over the years but I am still a huge advocate for it. Welcoming new neighbors with a little something can help take your mind off of the fact that you aren’t the new neighbor. And, seeing the mild panic in their eyes as they helplessly ask about their new location will remind you that there are some benefits to not moving.
  4. Take a vacation. Many of our spouses get some sort of leave time in the summer months. Use it! Getting away from your current duty station can help clear your mind and appreciate coming home.
  5. Help a friend move. Just because you’re not moving doesn’t mean that you don’t know someone who is. Ask to help them pack and plan for their impending PCS. The reminder of how much the logistics of moving can wear you down will make you grateful you’re staying put.

And just remember, this is the military. It won’t be long until that moving truck is pulling up in front of your house, ready to precariously pack your household goods and sweep you off to your next duty station.

When do you start getting the itch to move?