The Wellness Spotlight Series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook Live series. Below is an excerpt of Samantha’s feature.
Samantha is the executive director of InDependent. She’s a travel schooling mom to three wild boys seeking local adventure surrounding each duty station, and inspiring other military families to explore their lives together. Samantha also is a storyteller, writing for publications like Military Families Magazine, We Are The Mighty, and Legacy Magazine.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE.
I have been an active duty Army spouse for six years living in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, and now Idaho. The infantry’s pace has been quite difficult to be honest, but we have managed to weave in micro vacations as much as possible, helping everyone reconnect and recharge.
My husband is from the Pacific Northwest, a place that I’ve completely fallen in love with. We gift trips over things and know when each other needs to “get lost” to find balance again.
If you are a health or wellness expert, tell us about it and how it has impacted your wellness journey.
I think we are all experts on how to take care of ourselves. Here’s a bit about how I do wellness. Mental Health: I travel, specifically in nature where I can be around water. It’s calming, restorative, and where I feel best. Nutrition: Intuitive eating. I don’t diet, but I do know how food choices will impact how I feel. I want to live a long, strong, and happy life. Physical: Lift heavy and prepare your body for the life you want. For me that means keeping my endurance up.
Have you experienced any extreme highs or lows since becoming a military spouse? How did you overcome it?
Yes! My mental health and family life suffered the most when my husband was a drill sergeant. That was grueling and we had hardly any recovery time between cycles. It was isolating and defeating while we were going through it. There are a lot of times when I have to remind myself that my husband does not choose all of the extra duties. If he is struggling, it’s not him that I’m upset with, it’s the situation. Together as a team we can tackle the issue. I would say I am on my way to finding the right balance between investing in my career, creating a happy home to raise my boys, and supporting my husband in his career.
What is one personal habit that contributes to your success?
Create your own path and use different tools to measure YOUR success. I’ve learned the secret to success is to measure with my own yardstick. Success to me is not monetary or building something big. It is feeling accomplished at work but having enough mental and physical energy and time to have a great time with my family. I am so satisfied with where I am at right now. It’s a dialogue I have to keep having internally to gauge what is working and what is not.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?
Traveling. My favorite thing is sitting by the shore, listening to the waves, watching my boys play in the sand.
IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
InDependent and Military Wild. They balance out all aspects of military life for me.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK AND/OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I love listening to Being Boss podcast. I learn so many practical applications for business (usually while working out).
Samantha Peterson is the executive director of InDependent, a non-profit on a mission to make wellness accessible and create opportunities for all military spouses to thrive through friendship, accountability, and inspiration. She is a storyteller, writing for publications like Military Families Magazine, We Are The Mighty, and Legacy Magazine. She’s a travel schooling mom to three wild boys seeking local adventure surrounding each duty station. Together with her family, they’re inspiring other military families to explore their lives together.