There’s no way around it – having a husband that travels a lot sucks. Big time. It can be lonely, tiring, and frustrating.
But I’ve quickly realize that I can either fight it or embrace it, and fighting it is often useless.
My husband travels a lot for work – almost every single week. It’s not the ideal scenario for me, but he loves his job and it gives me the opportunity to stay at home with my kids instead of working – so I’m definitely not going to fight it.
That leaves…embracing it.
So here are the tricks I’ve come up with along the way that make the situation happier, easier, and more enjoyable. And for those that are new to having a traveling husband…I promise you, it does get easier (I know you think it won’t!).
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Listen to Happy Music All the Time
When your spouse is traveling and you find yourself alone, you need to listen to happy music all the time. And when I say all the time, I literally mean all the time. And it HAS to be happy. Whatever you do, under no circumstances should you be listening to Sarah McLaughlin or Enya. Music has such a huge effect on our moods that you have to take advantage of it!
Nowadays, it’s so easy to find amazing playlists that will filter the songs for you, so take advantage of that! If you have an Echo (that is what I use), you can literally say to it “Alexa, play happy music” and it will come up with a corresponding playlist! When I hear songs that I really love, I add them to my own music library so that when I’m in the car or out with the stroller, I can keep playing happy tunes.
Treat Yourself to Flowers
This is another one that has been scientifically proven to make you happier. And why not treat yourself?
Pick out something bright and beautiful and put it somewhere that you pass by often.
You also don’t need to break the bank and splurge on dozens of out-of-season roses. Head to your local farmer’s market and buy in-season flowers or even potted flowers that will last way longer.
I got a beautiful pot of flowers last week from the farmer’s market for $3 and as long as I water it, it should last me months.
Keep the House Really, Really Clean
I know this seems counter intuitive. You’re probably thinking that one silver lining of your husband traveling is that you don’t need to keep the house clean. Unfortunately, this factor has just too big of an effect on your mental state. Regardless of what you think or tell yourself, a clean house will make you feel better and a messy house will stress you out.
You can, however, sing to your heart’s delight and wear your Christmas flannels while you’re cleaning.
If you need some additional motivation to get your cleaning juices flowing, check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from your library. You’re house will never be the same again…
Super Clean on Sundays
After many iterations of weekly travel, my husband and I finally discovered that my weeks were significantly easier if I was able to start the week off with a super clean house (I know…duh).
It may seem obvious, but it’s hard to prioritize cleaning when the weekend is your only family time. But it will make a huge difference! For a while, I was spending so much time in the beginning of the week cleaning up after our weekends that I was starting to feel a bit resentful. And that is a recipe for disaster if you’ve got a traveling husband.
If you get it all done Sunday night, you won’t have to stress as much if your time all of a sudden needs to shift to something more urgent. And more importantly, you get to start your week off happy…and nothing’s more important than that!
Only Watch Happy TV
I know this seems obvious, but you’ll be surprised how badly you just want to curl up and turn on a marathon of Law and Order SVU. Normally it may not affect you, but with your partner gone, all of a sudden your thoughts can get the better of you. And it’s bound to be the day that the SVU episode profiles a mother alone in her home who is attacked or her children kidnapped. Just don’t do it.
Instead, find a marathon of Modern Family, Seinfeld, or Friends. I’m a total documentary-addict, so my favorite thing to watch is a good documentary.
These lists may be helpful if you need some inspiration on what to watch:
- Documentaries that Will Inspire You to Change Your Life
- The Best TV Shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime to Watch When You’re Home Alone
- The Ultimate List of Best Documentaries to Watch
Even harder to avoid or filter will be the news. If you’re used to watching the news every morning or night, but be really careful which programs you choose. The local news around these parts is depressing beyond belief.
In the mornings, the Today Show or Good Morning America are much safer. I sometimes even turn to CNBC for stock market talk…they’ll catch you up on the important news highlights anyways.
Only Read Happy Books
The same rule that governs what you watch on TV also applies to what you read. I’m sorry, but this is not the time for a Steven King novel. In fact, it may not even be the time for a cheesy romance.
If possible, try to fuel your love for nonfiction (or create one if you’ve yet to dive into the world of nonfiction!).
There’s an endless list of nonfiction books out there whose sole purpose is to make you happier. I’m not kidding.
Here are some great books to try:
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Little Book of Hygge (in case you’re new to hygge, it’s the Danish concept of happiness…this book is literally about being happy!)
- The Miracle Morning
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Related post: 5 Books that Will Completely Change Your Life
Rediscover Your Pets
Remember Fido? Your furry friend that you used to spend time with before you had kids? Well time to rekindle the relationship.
Again, here is another scientifically proven way to boost your mood and release some endorphins. Petting your dog or cat will not only lower your blood pressure, but it’s a great distraction to get your mind off things.
Go Outside as Much as Possible
Even if you just go for a 10 minute walk, it will make a huge difference. And if you’ve got kids, then it’s a great way to get them to blow off some steam anyways.
My son isn’t always up for really long walks, so I try to take at least 3 short walks a day. Even when I don’t want to, I make myself go out and I’m always amazed by how good it feels. It’s like working out…sometimes the hardest part is just making yourself do it.
Plan EASY (and Healthy) Meals
Again, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re off the hook from your normal routine. But it’s more important than ever to be organized so that life is easier for you.
Planning meals is always a good idea, but it’s especially important to make sure they’re easy. So often, by the time I get a chance to eat dinner I’m exhausted…and so are my kids. Which means I have to prepare, eat, and clean up with one hand…while bouncing…and singing.
Take advantage of leftovers, cereal, frozen meals, and fruit. Remember – if you can’t make it with one hand while bouncing and distracted, it’s too complicated.
Plan at Least 1 Outing a Day
This one is especially hard during the winter months because it can be a hassle to load up my preschooler and baby just to go somewhere and return before the next nap.
But it is so important to get out of your house, encounter other humans (especially the adult kind!), and find some needed distractions. I also found it useful to plan trips that we plan to take together when he isn’t working. It can be a great way to pass the time. Little things like this can really help to occupy your mind.
Take On New Projects
When your husband is traveling, it’s time to focus on you for a bit! So start a new project that you’ve been thinking about for a while. Find some cool crafts, new recipes to try, or a hobby you’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s a great way to not only be distracted, but also feel like the time is special, not just something to tolerate.
Related post: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Money-Making Machine
When my husband is gone, I spend way more time working on my blog than usual. Which, for me, is amazing! It not only feels like personal time, but as it grows and earns money, I feel more like I’m contributing to our finances (and maybe soon he won’t need to travel 😉 ).
Related post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog
Start Saying Daily Affirmations
I am a HUGE fan of daily affirmations and now use them almost everyday. I got turned onto them by reading The Miracle Morning (that was one of the books I suggested – if you haven’t read it yet, you’re totally missing out!) and let me tell you, they are truly life changing.
To make daily affirmations work, you need to come up with affirming statements to say to yourself every morning, noon, and night (or whenever works for you). These statements are things you want to be, feel, and see. They’re thoughts that will start to transform your reality.
Here are some examples of daily affirmations that will be helpful when your husband is traveling:
- My marriage grows stronger each and everyday.
- I am beautiful, I am loved, I am admired.
- I am helping to create my family’s future.
- Something amazing is going to happen to me today.
I know these can seem ridiculous at first, but I can not emphasize enough how powerful they really are. If you want more examples and a more detailed explanation of daily affirmations, check out this post – How to Use Daily Affirmations to Transform Your Life.
Related post: How to Use Daily Affirmations to Transform Your Life
Create a Vision Board
This is yet another brilliant concept taken from The Miracle Morning and it has just as much potential to change your mood as daily affirmations do.
Vision boards have a simple purpose: they help you visualize your dream life.
These can be especially effective when your husband is traveling for three reasons:
- Looking at it is going to make you happy. It’s what they do!
- Visualizing your dream life (husband included, hopefully) will help you feel more like a team. The traveling is something you’re both doing for a greater purpose…achieving your dream!
- If you’re looking for a new project to take on (like we talked about above), this can be it!
There are a lot of details that go into making a great vision board, so I won’t go through them all here. If you’re ready to make one though, head here for more details – How to Create an Effective & Inspiring Vision Board.
Do Stuff at Night
Night, without a doubt, is the worst. For some reason, once that sun starts to set the anxiety and loneliness will start to creep in. The best thing you can do is keep yourself busy so you don’t have time to let your mind wander.
Try to plan something fun. Visit with friends or plan a special activity with your kids. The more tired out you can get them (and yourself), the better!
The hardest nights for me are when I can’t get my kids to sleep, so anything I can do to make that transition easy is worth it.
Getting exercise and staying active is another scientifically-backed method for keeping yourself happy. Not to mention that it’s another great way to focus on yourself for a bit.
If you have young kids like I do, then get used to that stroller! Try and do sit-ups, push-ups, and squats while they’re napping or you’re watching TV.
You will feel happier AND more beautiful!
Leave the Lights On
I know this sounds very environmentally irresponsible but it can make a huge difference, especially if nights become a little creepy (which they do).
Leaving lights on outside the house is a huge safety precaution, so it should give you some peace of mind. Inside the house, I always leave the lights on that lead to the bathroom and one downstairs. It makes the house feel a little warmer and is a big comfort.
Ok, so let’s recap the tricks to staying happy when your husband travels: Music, flowers, pets, and fresh air are a must! Horror flicks and crime dramas are a no. KEEP BUSY. Go easy on yourself and try to have fun! I promise, it gets better. Before long, you may actually find yourself happy that he is traveling!
Oh, and also…chocolate makes you happier and is packed with antioxidants. Science backs this. Just saying!
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