“Military spouses find their strength along the way. Everyone began frightened of distance, deployment, and the unknown.” – The Seasoned Spouse
As I settle into my folding chair, I notice the beautiful hue of pink in the sky as the sun goes down. A cool breeze blows making the hair on my arms stand up. I sigh a breath of relief, I am finally motivated to write my article on motivation. I watch my son out on the baseball field warm-up for his practice and think to myself how did I go from being so excited to write an article on motivation to being so unmotivated?
It was like I had a balloon that for weeks was filling up with thoughts and ideas of what I could discuss in my article to help motivate military spouses, but when it finally came time for me to write, my huge balloon just BURST. I sat down at my computer numerous times, only to have a loss for words. I couldn’t come up with anything that made sense or motivated me to write.
This situation made me think about how military life is a lot like a balloon that fills up with so many great opportunities to travel to new places, meet new people, and experience a life so different than the civilian world around us that our balloon seems to just keep growing. But then that balloon BURSTS under the pressure of the military lifestyle.
We become unmotivated!
Looking back to earlier in the day a phone call had been a welcomed interruption to my lack of motivation. Hearing my mom’s happy voice on the other end, was exactly what I needed.
My mom started brainstorming with me. We shot ideas back and forth with each other and my article seemed to become less overwhelming within minutes. I had all new ideas for the direction I wanted to go with my writing and once again I was motivated.
ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH MOTIVATED PEOPLE
Put yourself in scenarios where you can meet people who motivate you. In the military, we are made to move, leave family and friends behind, and start over somewhere new where we no longer have our support system. We are forced to make new friends over and over again, but this is when it’s important to find like-minded people. People who enjoy your hobbies, have similar beliefs and help you stay motivated through the hard times.
- If yoga is your go-to method for motivation, join a yoga class.
- If you enjoy writing or reading a good book, join a writing club or book club.
- If you love art find a painting night you could attend.
- If you enjoy cooking join a cooking class.
Any hobbies/activities you enjoy doing see how you can bring them into your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.
By associating yourself with motivated people and having others to talk to, you may find that a conversation with someone may be all you need to get motivated. Always remember that just because you move doesn’t mean you lose all your support completely, they are just a phone call away.
That phone conversation with my mom turned out to be all the motivation I needed to fill my balloon back up. I was able to sit at my son’s two-hour baseball practice once again with a balloon full of excitement and ideas to write about.
POSITIVITY CAN CHANGE ANY SITUATION
“The moment you encounter a situation that has the potential to be stressful, two conversations take place inside your head. Your entire world can look very different, depending on which one you choose to attend to. One conversation is rational, calm, and resonated. The other is emotional, impulsive, and hasty.” – Mithu Storoni, MD. PhD
What an interesting concept to think about!
It’s incredible how just a phone call with someone special in my life gave me the motivation I needed to move forward with a task I was very unmotivated to complete. The stress I was encountering turned out to be a situation where I needed to look at things differently.
Often the military lifestyle can leave us feeling…
- burned out
- not in control of our situation or surroundings
- restricted from our freedom to make our own choices
- constant life interruptions
Everything on this list, and so much more, has the potential to leave us feeling unmotivated. The way we view a situation has an impact on how we and our families react and handle it. Finding the positive in the hecticness of life is key to keeping our balloons filled.
Of course, it’s easy to tell someone to always find the silver lining in a situation, but finding it is NOT always as easy. Throughout your military life, you will experience many ups and downs, sometimes making you feel unmotivated.
Don’t let being unmotivated BURST your balloon!
MOTIVATE YOURSELF BY DESTRESSING AND REWARDING YOURSELF
Let’s continue with the idea of our life being a balloon. It becomes essential to keep that balloon inflated by finding ways to combat our lack of motivation. We need to find the de-stressors that help motivate us to fill our balloon back up with feelings of positivity and excitement.
Once again that conversation I had with my mom helped to motivate me because she reminded me of all the de-stressors I have added to my daily/weekly routine that allow me to stay motivated even in the worst of times. Until this conversation, I hadn’t realized how many little things I do throughout the day and week to help myself stay motivated.
Yoga, reading, writing/journaling, walking the dog, soaking my feet, painting my nails, talking on the phone, cooking dinner, listening to a podcast, playing a game with my kids, or reading to them are all things that have become my de-stressors. I find time throughout my day or week to incorporate time for myself, even if it’s just 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s a matter of going into your bedroom, closing the door behind you, and folding the laundry in silence.
“Silence is a source of Great Strength”- Lao Tzu
TAKE SOME TIME TO MAKE A LIST OF TEN THINGS YOU ENJOY DOING AND TURN THEM INTO YOUR DESTRESSORS, YOUR REWARD.
Rewards help anyone become more motivated, but rewards are different for everyone, which is why you need to take the time to think about what you find most rewarding. De-stressors and rewards will often coincide with one another.
Slowly add those things to your daily/weekly routine and notice the positive changes they make in your ability to stay motivated and take on the challenges of being a military spouse.
When you begin to implement these easy yet effective tips into your life you will find the lack of motivation melts away and your balloon remains full of positive thoughts, rewards, and motivation!
“ Never leave pleasure by the wayside or sacrifice it for more important things.”
– Mithu Storoni. MD. Ph.D.
Storoni, Mithu MD, PhD (2017). Stress Proof: The Scientific Solution To Protect Your Brain And Body-And Be More Resilient Every Day. A Tarcher Perigee Book.
Lowe, Tamara (2009). Get Motivated. Doubleday.
Michelle Ann is a proud military spouse to a Navy Diver and homeschool mom to her three energetic boys. She has a Bachelor’s in Language Arts and Psychology along with a Master in Elementary Education. She is a writer and the owner of Embrace Life Writing Agency. She loves to encourage military families by volunteering for the content team of InDependent. Her philosophy over the years has become, “Embrace Life” because you never know what opportunities will come your way!