Valentine’s Day. Is there a holiday that military spouses dread more during a deployment? If Valentine’s Day isn’t a third rail for you, that’s awesome! But for many military spouses and significant others dealing with deployment, V-Day feels super personal. It’s a tangible reminder that you just. can’t. get. away. from. that your loved one is nowhere near.
That can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when you’re new to the whole deployment thing. After all, you’re just learning how to cope with all of the military and deployment craziness for the first time. It can be a lot. But you can do it.
It might be tempting to wallow in self-pity during Valentine’s Day… but is that really how you want to spend the day? Of course, I’m not saying that you should ignore how you’re feeling. (I’d never say that!) But I do think that deployment gets a little easier and more manageable when you can focus your energies on positive goals. That might be working towards a degree, a professional accomplishment, a hobby, or something else entirely, like a bucket list!
If you follow Jo, My Gosh! you know that I’m a huge proponent of bucket lists as a way to manage deployment, especially during your first one. There’s something satisfying about ticking off goals–both small and large– and working towards something tangible while your loved one is away.
And you can do that with every holiday, too!
If you need some help getting out of your own head, consider making your own Valentine’s Day bucket list… or adding to your already awesome deployment bucket list!
- Make heart cookies.
- Gift the cookies to someone who needs a little Valentine’s Day pick-me-up.
- Help your kids make their Valentine’s Day card boxes for school.
- Dress in red and pink.
- Whether it was your first dance as a married couple or another song with special meaning, listen to it and remember all of the wonderful things about your spouse.
- Make a Valentine’s Day care package and send it.
- Create a Valentine’s Day playlist and send it to your significant other.
- Send valentines to friends and family.
- Call your best friend.
- Take wine appreciation class.
- Treat yourself to a bubble bath… with candles, a book, music, and your favorite drink.
- Write a love letter and send it to your significant other.
- Have an indoor picnic with your kids.
- Call your mom and/or dad.
- Treat yourself to dinner at a restaurant you love.
- Make (and eat) your own chocolate-dipped strawberries.
- Schedule a massage.
- Schedule a pedicure.
- Take a chocolate-making or cupcake-decorating class.
- Watch a marathon of romantic comedies. (The Valentine’s Day John was deployed, I had a James Franco movie marathon!)
- Watch the sunrise.
- Watch the sunrise.
- Take a friend or your kids on a candy bar tour– check out every sweets shop in your town… and split a delicacy from each one.
- Take a romantic selfie and send it to your significant other. (Think twice before you take a sexy one.)
- Treat your kids to something fun that you normally wouldn’t do.
- Celebrate Galentine’s Day.
- Have a board game night and invite friends.
- Take an exercise class.
- Create or buy romantic coupons and send them to your significant other.
- Choose a nonprofit to donate what you would have normally spent on Valentine’s Day, had your significant other been home.
- Put a Valentine’s wreath on your door.
- Buy yourself flowers.
- Make (and eat) chocolate fondue.
- Make a Valentine’s Day themed scavenger hunt for your kids.
- Volunteer at a nonprofit in your town.
- Watch a foreign-language film (you can always turn on the subtitles).
- Pick your anniversary or your significant other’s birthday and look up what happened on that date throughout history here.
- Share the love with these “Love Bomb” cards.
More Bucket List Help:
- Here’s Why Milspouses Need a Deployment Bucket List
- How to Write a Deployment Bucket List That Doesn’t Suck
- 128 Goals to Put on Your Deployment Bucket List