Dear fellow military spouse- it’s completely normal to feel lonely and aimless in the first few months of a new duty station. The transition after PCSing is something that can make you feel like your flailing your arms, trying to make sense of everything changing around you. But one way to start feeling like yourself again after so much upheaval is to find something you’re good at, and do it well. Taking on a new hobby or reestablishing yourself with the hobby you had at your last duty station (or maybe the one before that. Or the one before that) can help the transition after PCSing go much more smoothly.
Taking on hobbies not only has a knack for propelling you into purpose but can also cultivate friendships needed to thrive in your new community. A hobby will give you a sense of purpose, intentionality, and will help navigate a new normal. But if you are in the weird space of “I need something to do but I don’t know what” then we have good news: Here are 10 hobbies to help military spouses enjoy transition after PCSing.
10 Hobbies that Can Help Military Spouses Transition after PCSing
Take on the art of the camera and explore beautiful places near your home or capture the everyday moments of your life. Once you feel comfortable enough with it, you can even make money off of this hobby!
Explore the Outdoors
Navy spouse, Robin, prefers a hobby that includes her whole family. She prioritizes going on adventures together, exploring the outdoors, then photographing the memories and creating projects with the photos. If you need an exploring buddy, ask a new friend or neighbor who knows the area well and can recommend a good hike, then ask him/her to join you. Bonus: Your dog will benefit, too.
RELATED: Wondering what there is to do around your new duty station? Check out our Living Like a Local section for all the best things to do around your new home. Don’t see your installation? Send us an email and we will get to it!
Join a Fitness Group
There’s nothing more energy-giving than what endorphins can provide after a good workout. Elevate your physical and emotional health by starting a daily physical regimen. Join a gym, start CrossFit, practice yoga, or work out in the comfort of your own home through a fitness streaming subscription. Whichever way you choose, just get those muscles and endorphins moving!
Channel your Hostess
Being new to town is a wonderful excuse for letting your extrovert flag fly. Use your hosting talents as a built-in hobby, offering your home as a place to gather during the first few months.
“I’ve learned along the way that if you want friends, you have to be a friend first,” said Robin. “Be intentional about inviting people into your life and check in on them.”
Consider spending some of your time by giving it away. As Robin Hood put it, “We can either get stuck feeling sorry for ourselves, or find someone else to bless.”
Pick an organization you’re passionate about and volunteer. Not only will you feel busy and stimulated by a sense of purpose, but you’re almost guaranteed new friendships with fellow volunteers and those you meet along the way.
Bible Studies/Book clubs
There’s no better way to find a community than pouring out thoughts over a shared experience. Find a group to discuss different perspectives about your faith–or if you’re an avid reader, join a club to discuss your favorite novel. Talking about something you care about with others will help you feel right at home in no time.
Put those hands to work at the wheel! Making something with your own two hands can do wonders if you feel a lack of purpose. Pottery can be difficult to master; however, it can be a great filler of time and give you something to focus your energy on. Find a pottery class and before you know it, you’ll be running out of room in your house to display your works of art.
As an easier skill to master, knitting is a great way to get your hands working if you’re feeling a little too idle. You can do it just for you, or you can start a knitting club and use the hobby as a way to gather friends and talk while creating something beautiful and productive.
Making friends via the internet may not always be the most effective mode of building community; however, when you’re just starting out in a new place, any sense of friendship is a godsend. Try blogging as a way to connect with other military spouses who may be struggling, vent your frustrations in an outlet you control, or simply use it as a means to keep family and friends back home up-to-date with what’s happening in your life.
Stir up something sweet for neighbors and use your hobby as a way to make fast friends! This is a sure-fire way to cultivate relationships through shared recipes, start a conversation, and also make your home feel welcoming with the wonderful scent of freshness in the oven. Initiate family bonding by letting your kids or spouse get in on the tasty action.
Whatever activities you may choose, a hobby will stimulate your ability to thrive in any place the military puts you.
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