As a spouse, you experience many changes in the military life: permanent change of station (PCS), deployments, training separations, job changes for your spouse, and job changes and challenges for yourself. It’s normal to feel defeated while caring for your children, supporting your spouse, and also chasing your own American Dream. Social media doesn’t make it any easier, with an added layer of FOMO.

Adulting is hard, y’all. When all the changes and challenges get to be too much to handle, when you’ve received your tenth job rejection in a week, and when your spouse is gone more than he/she is home, the stress can pile up. What should you do when you feel defeated?

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8 Things to Do When You Feel Defeated

1Go for a run

Endorphins that are released in exercise can enhance your sense of well-being. If you can’t escape by yourself, put the baby in a stroller and have the big kids ride their bikes or scooters. A change of scenery will help the whole family. If their mood feels ?*?*?*?*

2Work Out

A short work out is all you need! Watching a distracting video (thank you, YouTube) while also moving your body and getting the endorphins going can break the cycle of negative thoughts. Use the baby, the dog, or that last box of books you haven’t unpacked as additional weight if you want an extra challenge.

3Paint or Draw

What To Do When You Feel Defeated Painting

Studies have shown that coloring can reduce stress, calm anxiety and increase focus. Steal a coloring page from your kids coloring book, print a freebie from Pinterest or grab a blank piece of paper and just start drawing.


Is there a book that makes you feel uplifted? What an awesome way to boost your mood!

5Call a Friend

Reaching out to someone who understands you can help when you feel defeated. Your friend may not be able to “fix” whatever is troubling you, but they can be a trustworthy sounding board. If you can’t call because they are at work or you are holding a sleeping baby, then text or Marco Polo. It’s not as instant, but sometimes just knowing someone is “there” is helpful.


If baking is your jam, then channel your inner Mary Berry, grab a KitchenAid mixer and get going! Maybe there’s Pinterest-worthy recipe you’ve been drooling over. Gather the ingredients and go for it! Focusing on a different task and doing something you truly enjoy is sure to lift your spirits.

7Watch Something Funny

If you don’t have time for a full sitcom, you can still watch a clip of it on YouTube. Even looking up silly videos on your phone while you hide in the pantry eating chocolate will do the trick. (Not that we know from experience…) Laughing is scientifically proven to boost your mood, so try it — you don’t have anything to lose!

8When it’s Time for Help

What To Do When You Feel Defeated

If you can’t shake the down feeling, are crying daily, sleeping much more or less than before, eating too much or not enough, having difficulty concentrating, or have a restless feeling for more than several days over a course of two weeks, call your medical health provider to seek help. There are plenty of organizations that provide social support, as well as medical support. Reach out to a local mental health provider. Military One Source has a team available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Depression and anxiety are illnesses caused by chemical imbalances within the body and are not conditions you can “snap out of”. Contact your medical provider or medical team for tools to improve the imbalance.

Check out this article on Happiness Hacks


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