5 Self Care Tips for Deployment That No One Talks About

One of my favorite things to do when I want to treat myself is to go get a pedicure.  I love having pretty toes and I love when someone else does it.  There’s nothing better than sitting in a massage chair, sipping diet coke, listening to my favorite podcast while someone cleans up my feet, massages me, and paints my nails.  I always get the pretty decorateive flower on my big toes.  I used to think this was the ultimate in self care…now I know better.

Self care can be a buzz word these days, we hear about it a lot. On top of that we’re told that self care is SO important, especially during stressful times like deployments. When the buck stops here when it comes to all of the responsibilities in our lives like it does during deployment, that is a critical time to be taking very good care of yourself.

But we tend to have one of two problems (or both) when it comes to self care during deployment:

problem 1: when we are stressed and overwhelmed (like we tend to be during deployment) the things we typically do for self care tend to drop off our to-do list first.

problem 2: even when we make time for what we believe is self care (i.e. pedicures, yoga, meditation, bubble baths, girls nights out, etc), we feel better for a short amount of time then the stress and the overwhelm come right back.

So what is the solution?  Understanding what true self care is.  The true source of what makes us feel better in a lasting way is when we focus on our relationship with ourselves which consists of the way we think about ourselves, talk to ourselves, and have our back (especially on the days when we are struggling and when we make mistakes).

The good news is when you focus on this version of self care and improve the way you experience it, the way you used to do self care will happen more easily and naturally and you’ll enjoy it more.  All of the self care activities I mentioned before are amazing and you should definitely do them (having a Brave Crate subscription sets you up for success in this area), but they should always be bonus on top of the foundation of self care that you take care of when you strengthen your relationship with yourself.

So here are the 5 self care tips for deployment that no one is talking about:

1. Work to improve the opinion you have of yourself.


What is the opinion you have of yourself?  What is the story you tell yourself or other people about who you are?  We tend to be pretty harsh critics of ourselves.

Think of someone that is really important to you, that you admire, that you think highly of.  When someone asks you about this person think of the way you describe them to other people.  Now even ask yourself what you think about this persons weaknesses or when they make mistakes.  Is this even close to the way you talk about yourself?  Notice how easily you give yourself permission to think highly of others, but how little time you spend thinking of yourself this way.

So how do we work on this? Start by observing yourself and getting awareness of where you currently are.  Then think of they way you think of that friend you admire.  Now you know where you are and where you want to go.  This works like a GPS, now you have the information you need to get there. Give yourself tons of grace and understanding as you slowly and patiently make small adjustments on your journey to thinking more highly of yourself.

2. Listen to yourself, reassure yourself, and answer the questions you ask yourself.

Our mind is offering us thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns all day long.  Without realizing it, we let these thoughts wreak havoc and these quesitons go unanswered in our minds.  This affects the way we think about ourselves and the way we feel about ourselves.

The way we improve in this area is start listenting to ourselves the way we listen to a small child who is complaining or afraid.  We wouldn’t ignore or dismiss the child and we shouldn’t do that to ourselves either, but we also don’t necessarily indulge in doing everything the child wants and our brain needs us to limit it in the same way.

Another thing that really helps is when you notice how often your brain asks questions and they go unanswered.  Unanswered questions leads to our brains spinning and can be exhausting. Start answering the questions your brain asks with what you know to be true.  Again, use the small child analogy and answer the questions you ask yourself as you would reassure a child.

3. Practice treating yourself well even after making a mistake.

While the goal is to do things right and well, we are all human and make mistakes. We have bad days and weaknesses and sometimes our best doesn’t look that great.

Since we are more comfortable with doing things right, we tend to think that it’s bad when we do things wrong.  We also tend to be very hard on ourselves and fight to get back to the part of our lives where we’re doing it all right again.

What if I were to tell you that the way you treat yourself when you mess up is everything when it comes to success in this area of improving your relationship with yourself.

Give yourself tons of space and grace.  Learn to accept your humanness.  Be kind to yourself always, but ESPECIALLY on the days you make mistakes.  One of my favorite thoughts to offer myself in these moments is “Turns out I’m human.”  This really helps me have appropriate expectations for myself.  Amazingly enough, being kind to yourself will get you back on track faster than being hard on yourself.  Try it out, you’ll see…

4. Give the positive and negative equal air time.

You’ve heard the advice “balance in all things.” Well because our brain has a negative bias, if we’re not intentional about it we get out of balance when it comes to the negative and positive things going into our minds.

Since you’re human you’re never going to stop having the urge to be hard on yourself or critical of your self or easily remembering your faults and flaws and weaknesses.  But it can go along way if you just seek to give the good and the bad equal air tim. Do what it takes to acheive that balance again.

Try this:

-say at least as many nice things to yourself as you say critical things

-spend at least as much time thinking about the possibility that you’ll do a good job as you do that you might fail

-spend as much time thanking yourself, noticing yourself, appreciating yourself, loving yourself as you find yourself seeking these things from other people

-when you’re guessing what other people think about you (and it’s always a guess BTW) give equal air time to the possibility that they like you as you do the possibility that they don’t

Remember that what you focus on grows. Our brain has this incredible filter, whatever you ask it to look for it will find and it will filter out/ignore the rest.  If we let our brain run on default, we tend to ask it to look for negative things about ourselves not realizing that we’re in charge of setting what it’s searching for.

Try asking your brain to look for:

-what you do right

-what people like about you

-what your strengths are

Wait until you are enjoying the fruits of this search.  Your brain is an expert evidence finder and once you task it to look for evidence of positive things about you, you’ll never go back.  Enjoy!

5. Pay attention to the words that you are using with yourself.

Your words are important.  The ones you choose to use when you talk to yourself and describe yourself matter.  Your relationship with yourself is made up of what you think about yourself and the way you talk to yourself, and those things are made up of your words.

Start paying better attention to the words you use.  You may not think it’s a big deal to call yourself of something you did stupid, but it is.  Would you tell a small child or your best friend that they are stupid or that the mistake they made was stupid or that their idea was stupid or that the thing they are worried about is stupid?  You wouldn’t.  The child would learn about themselves through the way you speak to them and we do this with ourselves too.

Try switching out these harsher words for more friendly, forgiving words.  Instead of saying “That was stupid.” try saying “That was silly/interesting/weird/unhelpful.” Instead of saying “I look disgusting.” try saying “I’m working on accepting myself for who I am today.”  Instead of saying “I’ll never figure this out.” (avoid superlatives) try saying “I haven’t figured it out YET and that’s ok.”  Instead of saying “It’s ridiculous that I’m worrying about this.” try saying something like “It’s ok that I’m worried about this, but I’m just going to keep going anyway.



The 5 self care tips for deployment that no one is talking about:

1. Work to improve the opinion you have of yourself.

2. Listen to yourself, reassure yourself, and asnwer the questions you ask yourself.

3. Practice treating yourself well even after making a mistake.

4. Give the postive and negative equal air time.

5. Pay attention to the words that you are using with yourself.

If you’re working on your self care during a deployment, the best news of all about these tips is that all of this takes place in your mind.  No babysitter needed (but treat yourself to kid free time on a regular basis).  No setting aside special time to work on this needed (it can be done simultaneously to all of the thigs that you need to be doing).

Now that you understand your brain a little better, you are more aware of what you are thinking of yourself, and you know some specific things you can do to start improving the relationship you have with yourself…now it’s time to go get a pedicure from that head space.  All the while knowing that the pedicure isn’t what makes you feel good about yourself, your thoughts about yourself do.

The self care that lasts!

Wanna add a little JOY to the next month of deployment


Check out this FREE printable deployment countdown chain!

(it’s awesome!!)