04/02/2013 09:45 am ET | Updated Jun 02, 2013

Military Spouse? Keep Calm and Carry On

To this day, I still have military spouses coming to see me for the stress of having their loved ones overseas. Even though combat there has been reduced or in some cases ceased, it still remains a dangerous environment and a hotbed of hostility. As a result, spouses who are stateside remain highly anxious and live in fear of losing their loved one.

Here are some tips for minimizing this anxiety and fear:

  • Create a plan with your loved one for communicating on a regular basis and stick with it as best as possible. Consistency in communication will help you maintain sanity and keep anxiety levels at bay. Accept the fact that communication might be difficult at times for your spouse, and it doesn't necessarily mean he or she is in trouble.

  • Send short but frequent letters to them, as they will appreciate getting as much supportive mail as possible. Be creative in how you stay in touch. Sending photos, videos, or a handwritten journal of your day will help them to feel closer to you, while sending clippings from your local newspaper will help them stay connected to their hometown.
  • For your own well-being, limit your exposure to the media; images shown on television can sometimes be disturbing and fuel anxiety and fear. Stick with a trusted media source or information that comes straight from official sources.
  • Join support groups that are available through the military community. Be open in talking with others who are in a similar situation. Your biggest source of comfort will come from friends, family, and other military spouses.
  • Try to be active and use this time for personal growth, learning new skills, making new friends, expanding your interests and hobbies, and anticipating your loved one's safe return.
  • For more by Jonathan Alpert, click here.

    For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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