Last year I wrote an article about staying happy while your spouse is traveling and, much to my delight, it ended up being pretty popular.  It turns out I’m far from the only wife that finds herself home alone while her husband is off working afar.

My tricks for staying happy have always been lifesavers for me, but the past few months have proven to be extra challenging. My son is getting more active, but the real challenge has just been the winter and limited daylight. Getting outdoors, being active at night, and even just keeping flowers around the house can be EXTRA challenging.

So, I’ve been on a mission to figure out new ways to cheer myself up and keep motivated while my husband is away.  The original list still applies, so be sure to check it out here, but if you’re still finding yourself down and out, hopefully some of these will help. 🙂

10 MORE Tricks to Staying Happy When Your Spouse is Traveling FB

The 90 Second Workout

To be clear, this is not a weight loss plan – 90 seconds is not going to burn up any calories. BUT, it is enough to get your heart rate up and you’d be really surprised by the mini endorphin rush. This is really helpful on the days that are too cold to go out or when it’s 5pm and already dark outside.

Jumping jacks and jumping rope (even without the rope) are tougher than you think, so try them out. 90 seconds of push-ups or crunches can also give your muscles a little burn – even just trying to touch your toes for 90 seconds can be a killer.


No joke, there’s got to be at least 100 reasons why Pinterest is useful and amazing, one of which is that it can cheer you up in a matter of seconds.

The trick is to know the keywords that will trigger a smile in you and to create boards that you can fall back on when you’re down and out.  I have a Dream Board for when I need to feel special (or just need to dream myself through this winter…), a Blogging Board when I need motivation to get work done, and a Fashion Board when I want to feel beautiful (ok, fashion may be pushing it…it’s basically my tribute to cute flats).

Use the search feature!  You will be so shocked by the amazing images you find. Have I made it clear enough how much I hate the winter??  Lately, all I’ve been searching are words like paradise, luxury, yacht, and Greece.  When I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough newborn photography.  Puppy, chocolate, and travel are great too. Think outside the box and dive head first into the Pinterest pool of keywords.

Inspirational Movies

I wrote last time that you need to make sure to avoid sad TV – and you really do need to do that.  BUT – that just isn’t always enough.  So, with the help of my husband, we came up with a great list of inspirational documentaries that we watch when either of us needs a good pick-me-up (you can check it out here). When he’s gone, I watch these over and over and over again.

Inspirational Books

The same can be said for books. I hate, hate, hate the term “self help”, but if you can get past that designation, you might be surprised by some of the uplifting reads out there. I finished one called 10% Happier a few weeks ago and it seriously boosted my spirits (not to mention gave me some things to think about!).  I’m also a big fan on non-fiction books.  If you steer clear of political topics, there are tons of options of inspirational books in the career, business, and travel categories.

Liquid Therapy

Coffee, tea, alcohol. Each is amazing, each deserves their own place in your life.  Don’t overdo any of them (obviously!), but let yourself really enjoy your morning cup of joe, your afternoon tea, and a nice, fun happy hour cocktail.  In moderation, there are numerous benefits to each and being home without your spouse is not the time to be making life difficult. Time to treat yourself!

Inspirational Mugs

Ok, I realize this sounds really dumb. But I’m telling you from my own experience, this works. My family and I took a trip to Hawaii last year and I brought home a cute mug that had a map of all the islands.  I could not believe what it did to my mornings!  Just seeing it brought back all the memories AND motivated me to get stuff done (maybe the thought that I could get back there??). Since then, I’ve sprung on some of the Life is Good mugs and any other ones that I think will bring a smile to my morning. It’s weird, but I HIGHLY recommend it.

Make a To Do List and Read It Regularly

I try to pay attention to the specific things that make me feel bummed out when I’m alone and without a doubt, one of the biggest triggers is when I don’t know what to do with myself.  I know there’s tons to be done, but I have no idea what to do. That instantly makes me feel unproductive, which snowballs into feeling like I’m not contributing, which snowballs into this and that and you know how it goes…SO I now spend every morning (with my coffee and my mug 🙂 ) and I make a list of what I need to do for the day. Yes, I realize this isn’t a novel idea, but it’s hard to actually do each day when you’re only accountable to yourself. So don’t let yourself off the hook!

Take On Projects

Here’s another secret that’s not novel at all, but really critical – keep busy! Honestly, time will fly by if you’re hard at work.  But instead of the usual chores and tasks, decide to complete a project or two that you’ve really wanted to get done for a while. With your spouse gone, the options become endless. 😉

Video Chat

With options like Face Time, Skype, and Google Hangouts, you can talk face-to-face free and easily. This is a bigger deal than you may think when one of you is traveling, so it’s worth working into your schedule.  Texting and phone calls are important to stay up-to-speed, but actually seeing your spouse’s face is entirely different. And it’s free! So no excuses.

The 90 Minute Workout

Sorry, I couldn’t avoid this one!  But at least I put it at the bottom 🙂  There’s no question that working out will improve your mood, so if you can work it into your schedule, you should.  More importantly, if you can schedule in a really, really long workout, you’ll feel that much better. Try running for at least an hour or participate in a strenuous class.  You’ll sleep better, eat less, and will feel like a million bucks when your spouse finally returns.


Good luck with your alone time!  As always, let me know what other tips you have – I need them too 🙂

And be sure to follow me on Pinterest so you don’t miss any new posts! 😉
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10 MORE Tricks to Staying Happy When Your Spouse is Traveling XL

12 comments on “10 MORE Tricks to Staying Happy When Your Spouse is Traveling”

  1. Everything is impressive here, the pictures and the content. I know two women whose husbands travel extensively on business. If they can use these, I’m sure many others can too. Thank you for coming to the Inspire Me Monday Linky party. I’m Janice, one of your hostesses.

  2. These are great tips! I use the 90-second workout a lot. You’re right, it really does help (not like a 90-minute workout, but still). Love that you gave search recommendations for Pinterest too. Thank you so much for linking this up at This Is How We Roll Thursday!

  3. I have totally been there in more ways than one! Not only has my fiancee gone away for a couple of months for work (while I was pregnant : ( ) but we also own a bar which means late nights for him there and me alone at the house after my daughter has gone to sleep… kinda lonely AND BORING! Great tips… I definitely agree with the working out and getting a project!

  4. I took on a job doing some data entry in my “spare” time. It works out well to do it on the nights my husband works late. It makes me feel good to earn some extra money and I have to focus on numbers, so I can’t focus on him being gone.

    • That is AWESOME. What a great idea! I’ve been thinking about doing something like that to help us pay off our mortgage (that’s my new obsession, ha!) and doing it while he’s gone is a great idea. And data entry can really let you just zone out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Thank you so much for this! Now that Mr. Science has a new job, he’ll be gone most of the summer doing field work. I will definitely be referring to this when that time comes!

    One of the things I like to do when he’s away is to carry my computer around the house with me and watch TV shows that he isn’t keen on (hello, Buffy the Vampire Slayer!) while I do a deep-clean of the condo. Productive and indulgent at the same time 😀

    • haha!! LOVE IT! Last year when my husband was gone for a while, I watched every season of Desperate Housewives, lol! He never would have been up for that one, ha. 🙂

  6. When you don’t have a spouse around, being independent is key. I am a single mom and found that I am so much happier when I am not counting on anyone to pick up the slack for me. You really can do it and he happy. Those expectations will kill you though!

  7. My fiance will be away for awhile starting next week so this post came at the perfect time! I will be doing my best to stay busy and although I’ll still be working and finishing my master’s, there will still be downtime when I know I’ll be wishing I was with him instead of stuck here. Thanks for posting these great ideas!

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