How to Meal Plan (Free Printable Included!)

Meal planning is a great way to save money and stay accountable with healthy food choices. With the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to swing into the McDonald’s drive-thru if we don’t have a meal plan. However, creating an organized meal plan can be difficult.

 

How to Meal Plan

1. Decide on the Meals You Will Have

The very first step of meal planning is, well… planning your meals! Look through Pinterest or your favorite blog and pick out recipes you will enjoy. You will see many registered dietitians (which I am not) recommend eating foods you actually enjoy. Unseasoned chicken breast with a side of brussels sprouts may sound like a healthy idea, but ask yourself if you will feel satisfied with that meal. If it doesn’t sound delicious and satisfying, leave it out of your plan.

If you have some fitness goals or have been recommended some macros by a doctor or registered dietician, keep those in mind when planning. There are many recipes you can find on Pinterest that suit certain macros goals. For example, you can find many low-calorie pizza crust recipes made of Greek yogurt and flour. Or, you can find high fiber pasta dishes with a lot of greens or beans. Whatever your goal is, find a recipe that sounds delicious and nutritious!

2. Tally How Much You Will Need of Each Ingredient

Once you have picked out some recipes, you should tally up how much you need of each ingredient. I always try to stick to about five main ingredients when meal planning to make my grocery bill less expensive. Typically, you will see me picking up bread, garlic, broccoli, chicken, and tofu. No matter what, you will want to tally up how many of each ingredient you will need. Do you just need one of everything? Or, do you need five chicken breasts, two white onions, and just one bottle of wine?

3. Go Grocery Shopping!

Now that you have completely planned your meals and ingredients, you are ready to go grocery shopping! Hit the store and look for your ingredients. Using your tally chart you made, shop for those ingredients. Try to steer clear of any extras if you are on a tight budget and stick to your list. I always get caught up in the chocolate and potato chip section.

4. Meal Prep if Desired

Many people choose to prepare their meals they planned ahead of time. This helps to save time in the kitchen if you have a busy schedule. For me, knowing I have a healthy and nutritious meal waiting for me keeps me from spending money on fast food.

 

Free Meal Plan Printable!

To make your meal planning easier and more organized, I have designed a printable. It should help you remember your meals and keep track of what ingredients you need from the store. Feel free to download it or use it as inspiration for your own printable!

Meal Plan.jpg

 

Working From Home Must-Haves That You Can Get on Amazon

Working from home can be the biggest blessing, but it can also be a challenge. It’s important to be comfortable and productive in your space so you can be an efficient worker. When I first started working from home, I had a really difficult time staying focused on my tasks. This was because I was in my home, with my comfy bed and sweet dog, and I kept getting distracted. Additionally, I wasn’t comfortable with my workspace. I knew I needed to make some changes. Here are my working from home must-haves that truly helped me be more productive.

Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored by Amazon or any of the sellers of these products. These opinions are my own and I have purchased these items with my own money. Even if I was sponsored (which I wish I was!), I would still be very honest with my recommendation of products.

Working From Home Must-Haves

If you don’t know already, investing in home office supplies is very important. In our culture, we work very hard for most of the day. If we are going to be spending eight to ten hours working, we should invest in our environment. Some websites recommend spending $400 to $3,000 on transforming your home office space… Wow! If you read my blog posts frequently, you will know I am very frugal and am always trying to save money. So, these products I mention in this blog post are very affordable for most budgets.working from home must-haves from Amazon

Comfortable Desk

Your desk is where you will be doing most of your work at home, so it needs to be comfortable. Personally, I prefer to use a standing desk, because of the negative effects of sitting down for long periods of time. Additionally, when I was saving up to purchase my standings desk, I got so antsy when I was sitting all day. My body started to ache and I noticed how I would be hunched over trying to see my laptop better. Ever since I purchase my standing desk, I am able to work for very long periods of time without getting uncomfortable.

The standing desk that I purchased from Amazon is the SDADI Mobile Standing Desk. It is height adjustable and is very easy to put together by yourself. At only $70, I have so incredibly happy with this desk and I even recommended it to my mom. I will definitely be holding onto this desk for when I move to my new house.

Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

Along with your standing desk, you will likely need a Bluetooth keyword and a Bluetooth mouse. For me, both of these are working from home must-haves. Not having to be inches away from my laptop’s screen at all times helped my posture and made me much more comfortable. If you go on Amazon, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of Bluetooth keyboards and mouses. I spent a lot of time researching the different products ad looked at prices and reviews. I decided to go with the Arteck Bluetooth Keyboard and the Tsmine Bluetooth Mouse. Both are rechargeable, which saves me money on batteries and are under $20.

With my standing desk, I have my keyboard and mouse on the bottom shelf, and my laptop on the top, set to be eye-level with me. This helps me to stand up straight without having to bend my neck. Both of these products are incredibly inexpensive, so I highly recommend purchasing them.

Laptop Tray Table

I have a couch in my home office for when I take a break from standing. If you have ever sat on your couch with your laptop in your lap, you know how much you have to bend your neck when looking at the screen. This is why I decided to purchase the GreenForest Portable Laptop Desk. It is height adjustable, so you don’t have to worry if it will work for your couch. I will also use this for when I’m sitting in one of my chairs instead of the couch. This is definitely a working from home must-have because it helps my posture so much.

working from home must-haves for home office

Inspiring Decor

There’s something about a dull and boring environment that makes it so difficult to work. When I started working from home, I made sure I had inspiring decor so keep me motivated and focused. While I either make my decor, or I order it from Etsy and Hobby Lobby, Amazon has some great products. I prefer to fill my space with inspirational Bible verses and other work-related quotes. Here are some that I found that I would definitely purchase:

Again, there are thousands of office decor products on Amazon. These were just a few that caught my eye and seemed to have great reviews. Please remember, I have not purchased those products, so do some additional research before buying them. I will likely purchase them because I love them all! Having inspirational quotes or even things that make you smile when overwhelmed with work is a big must-have for your home office.

Fitness Tracker

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. When we work from home, it is easy to only get 200 to 400 steps in before we buckle down for eight to ten hours. This lack of activity is very unhealthy, as movement is very important for our heart. If I didn’t have a fitness tracker, I know I would only get 2,000 steps a day maximum. Since I have a reminder set on my watch to move each hour, I am able to move much more than I would without it. I also make sure I take my dog for one or two long walks each day so I can meet my 10,000 step goal.

I personally have a Fitbit, because I love how fitness-oriented they are compared to the Apple Watch. Fitbit’s products are also much cheaper, and from what I have heard, last much longer. Amazon and Spotify have actually partnered with Fitbit to bring more “smartwatch” features to their products. Their newest watch, the Versa 2, has Amazon Alexa built into it as well as Spotify music. I still have the old Fitbit Blaze, which is no longer sold (that’s how long it has lastest me!). When I decide to upgrade, I will be purchasing the Versa for sure.

There are also very inexpensive Fitbit bands sold on Amazon that allow you to customize your watch. There are all different styles, colors, materials, and patterns you can get for your Fitbit band on Amazon. If you just type in “Fitbit band” on Amazon, over 8,000 results come up. Crazy!

What are your working from home must-haves?

Those are all of my working from home must-haves! I hope you find these helpful for you and your productivity. Each person will need something completely different depending on the space, budget, and job, so I’m interested in hearing what your must-haves are! Please let me know in the comments below because I am so interested, and I know others will be too!

While you’re here, have you read my blog post, “10 Working From Home Tips to Keep You Productive and Happy“? In that blog post, I go through my entire schedule with you and point out what helps me stay on top of my work. If you liked this blog post, I think you’ll like that one as well.

How to Get Organized at Work TODAY

Have you ever noticed your productivity dwindles when you feel unorganized and uncomfortable in your workspace? I know I have. There is something about having a Pinterest-perfect desk that makes you excited to get your job done. However, it is incredibly difficult to stay organized for many people. Between a busy meeting schedule, too many tasks and not enough time, and many other distractions, being organized at work is close to impossible. This is why I want to share how to get organized at work in a short amount of time.

How to Get Organized at Work

Get Comfortable

Getting organized at work also means getting comfortable. If you are uncomfortable with your chair, desk, or anything else you use at work, you should make an effort to change them. Some companies are willing to improve their employees’ office furniture, so be sure to ask your admin if they can get you more comfortable furniture. If you work from home, be sure to invest in some high-quality and comfortable furniture. Also, look for furniture that has built-in storage to help you get more organized. When you are comfortable in your space, you will be equipped to get organized at work.

how to get organized at work

Get Creative

Go on Pinterest when taking a break from knocking out tasks and find some pins that spark your creativity. These pins could be of organized desks, of cute quotes, or beautiful pictures. You can print these pins out and tape them to your desk. This will help inspire you and give you ideas for how to get organized at work.

Here are some great pins that inspire me to get more organized:

Throw Away or Donate Unnecessary Items

Now to the actual organization tips! We all have papers we haven’t looked at in months and pens that have been dried out but we just haven’t thrown away. Don’t hesitate to throw away or recycle these items, as they are just clutter in your workspace. If you are unsure if you will need a piece of paper in the future, scan it and save it to your computer, or at least take a picture of it. This can help ease some anxiety you have about throwing away work documents.

If you have broken headphones, unused notebooks, random cords, or anything else that is just taking up your space, throw them away or donate them. You can also see if anyone in your office needs the items you would like to get rid of. Most of the time, desk clutter is made up of unused and unnecessary items, so be sure to get rid of them.how to get organized at work

Properly Organize the Items You Do Need

Now that you have gotten rid of the excess work supplies that you do not use, you should only have items that you do need. With these items, do your best to put them with similar items in your draws or other organizers you already own. If you do not have a paper organizer or a drawer in your desk, be sure to purchase one. As mentioned above, most workplaces will provide these for their employees, but you may need to purchase them. Typically, Amazon has the best deals for desk organization pieces.

Dedicate Time to Organize Your Office

It is very important for your productivity to work in a clean and organized environment. For this reason, blocking off 30 minutes in your work calendar to organize your desk is completely appropriate. If anyone questions you, explain to them your unorganized desk was hindering your ability to work. This is understandable and should be respected by your coworkers.

Use this time to organize your papers, electronic chargers, writing utensils, and whatever else you may have on your desk. You can also wipe your desk down to ensure it is a healthy environment for you to work in.

Get Organized at Work!

At the end of the day, being unorganized and having to sift through your belongings every time you need something wastes time. To increase your productivity and improve your workplace environment, get organized as soon as possible. All you need is the time, inspiration, and resources to do so.

Vote With Your Dollar: Why and How

With the current state of fast fashion, unethical practices, and mass production, the idea of voting with your dollar has been reaching popularity. It’s for those of us who want to see a change and cringe at the thought of supporting a company we don’t agree with for various reasons. This blog post is going to discuss what it means to vote with your dollar, why you should, and how to do it.

What Does “Vote With Your Dollar” Mean?

When someone tells you to “vote with your dollar”, they usually mean support businesses you agree with. This could mean you agree with their working conditions, their devotion to sustainability, the organizations they donate to, etc. Just like with normal voting, the way you vote with your dollar will differ from the way other people do. And that’s completely alright, as long as we all can agree to not support companies who run off of child or slave labor and horrible working conditions (sorry, I had to get that out of the way now).

The way I vote with my dollar is going to look completely different than the way you vote with your dollar. This is why I’m not going to openly state what I avoid in brands and specific reasons I avoid them–outside of those who partake in universally unethical practices. At the end of the blog post, I will add some links to websites and articles that will help you make decisions on where you spend.

Why Does it Matter?

When you vote with your dollar, you are telling companies that you disagree with their ethics. You are telling them that you don’t appreciate them donating to an organization with your money. When you stop funding a business, you stop funding behavior that you disagree with. This is why it’s so important to do a quick Google search and see how a company gets its materials and ingredients before shopping. Here are just a few things companies get away with:

Child Labor and Forced Labor

Many large companies have their employees working under harsh or even dangerous conditions in countries like China or India (see below for a link to a list of all countries affected). When you spend money on these businesses, you are directly funding this behavior. This is one of the most common reasons people decide to kick their favorite fashion company or chocolate manufacturer to the curb.

Funding Organizations

Today, many businesses have taken political stances and donate to organizations with your money. To me, this is very important because I don’t want organizations I 100% disagree with to be funded with my money. Businesses aren’t always vocal about where they donate their money to, so you will have to do some searching. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a company who doesn’t donate to the same places as their competition (phone companies or grocery chains).

Working Around Laws to Save Money

It’s obviously illegal to partake in forced labor, slavery, and excessive child labor in the United States and most developed countries. You may be wondering how your favorite running shoe company, chocolate company, and inexpensive fashion company (cough) can get away with profiting off of slavery. When a company decides to not give Americans jobs because they want to keep 90% of the profit for their products, they usually outsource their jobs to countries in Asia or Africa. Most of these countries do not have strict laws against slavery or child labor, thus making it easy for a company to get around laws.

Most companies hide their practices from their consumers because they know they are partaking in horrible practices. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to reprimand a large business for doing shady dealings in other countries. Luckily, the United States Department of Labor has many different articles about what to avoid when voting with your dollar.

Vote With Your Dollar

 

How to Vote With Your Dollar

The short answer to this is: do your research. When I’m shopping, you’ll see me whip out my phone to look up a brand’s sustainability, employee working conditions, and sourcing. Often times, there are alternatives to businesses who aren’t engaging in, quite frankly, crappy practices and dealing. You will have to put in some effort, and maybe even some more money, but it is SO worth it.

Shop Local

You know how your neighbor’s cousin owns a local clothing store that’s downtown? Go and support them! Okay, maybe your neighbor’s cousin doesn’t own their own business, but my point is, support local families instead of huge corporations. When you shop at a local business, you are supporting your local economy and you are supporting a family. Often times, the items you find at local businesses haven’t been produced through slavery. You can look up the brand names of items while you are in the stores if you are not convinced.

Shop on Etsy

Etsy shops are usually family-owned businesses who have high-quality and ethically made products. If you are looking for handmade items like furniture, clothing, and jewelry, Etsy is perfect. The shop owners run off of and rely on good reviews, so they usually produce amazing items. When supporting a large corporation, your one bad review isn’t going to damage their image, so they don’t put much care into their products. The next time you need something, check out Etsy and see if you can find what you’re looking for.

Steer Clear of Fast Fashion

If you have never heard of the term “fast fashion”, it is essentially cheap clothing that you will throw away within a few weeks or months. Are several brands popping into your mind? Not only has clothing waste increased drastically from all of the clothing being produced, but these companies are usually involved with forced labor as well. It is much more sustainable, ethical, and cost-effective to purchase long-lasting clothing items instead of paper-thin shirts that will get ruined in two weeks. Please look at the links below for articles filled with facts about specific companies.

Support Local Farmers

Most large grocery chains donate their profits to organizations that you might not agree with, or get their food from different countries. Depending on your state, there is a good chance you can get your fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market. Just like with shopping local, you are supporting your local economy, and let’s be honest, 99% of farmers are super sweet people.

If you are a meat eater, you should really support your local farmers. We all know that animals are not treated very well by large companies who are just waiting to sell them. I’m sure many people would disagree with me, but local farmers truly care about their animals. They make their income off of their couple of cows and chickens, so they treat them with respect. The farms in my area are off of our highway, so everyone can see what the cows look like, what they are eating, and how they are treated. So, support your local farmers and support animals being treated fairly.

Check Company Policies

Many companies are open about where they donate to and their sustainability. For example, Sprouts donates their food that isn’t up to their selling standards (bruised or misshaped) to local food banks. When I volunteer at my local food bank, the shelves are always filled with Sprouts products. If it is not up to consumable standards, they donate the food to local farmers so they can feed their livestock. How awesome is that!? Always check the policies of businesses in your area before shopping.

Do Your Research

As promised many times above, here is my big section of links. The information listed in these articles could be inaccurate because fortunately, companies are improving their ethics every day.

U.S. Department of Labor:

Articles on Child Labor:

Articles on Forced or Slave Labor:

Fashion Industry and Sweatshops

Donation Tracking

  • 2ndVote: Lists where each company has made donations.

I will be sure to add new links whenever I find articles and websites. Please leave any that I missed in the comments below! I hope I helped you understand what it means to vote with your dollar and stick up for what you believe in.

Best Local Businesses in Frisco, Texas

Frisco, Texas. One of the fastest growing cities in the state of Texas at roughly 2,000 people per month. With all of this growth, many corporate chains are moving in and kicking local, family-owned businesses out. It’s getting difficult for families who have owned their small businesses for multiple generations to keep up. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I think we should help them keep up!

Frisco Businesses to Support Today

Below is a list of amazing businesses that operate out of the Frisco area. They are run by local families and are passionate about their work.

Local Businesses in Frisco TX

The Blushing Bride Boutique

This Frisco bridal boutique is located in the heart of historic downtown Frisco. They opened their doors in 2011 and have seen a lot of future brides in their doors since then. They have almost a dozen bridal designers in their boutique and also offer alterations. If you are engaged and are still needing to pick out your perfect dress, visit their website to make an appointment today!

The Amish Furniture Showcase

Amish furniture stores are known for their amazing quality and handmade furniture pieces. Frisco, Texas is blessed to have the Amish Furniture Showcase on Preston Road. Since 2002, they have been making great furniture that will last a lifetime, which cannot be said about other furniture stores. There are dozens of furniture stores in Frisco, but this local business is definitely one to try out.

Classique Jewelers

We are all aware of the dozens of big chain jewelry stores in Frisco, Texas. Did you know that there is a local “gem” that sells beautiful jewelry? Classique Jewelers has been serving the Frisco area for over 21 years and is family owned and operated. They have every piece of jewelry you could need–engagement rings, wedding bands, bracelets, earrings, watches, and so much more. They have some of the big name designers just like the big corporate chains, but you are supporting a Frisco family when shopping at Classique.

ASP Frisco

ASP stands for America’s Swimming Pool Company, which is a pool maintenance company with many locations. The difference between ASP and other pool service chains is that they are owned by local families. That means ASP Frisco is owned by a local Frisco family and when you hire them to clean your pool, you get to support them. Since they own their business, they are dedicated to providing their neighbors with quality services. They have many before and after pictures on their website and their Facebook and Instagram profiles. Instead of hiring one of the corporate chains, support a local family and have them clean your pool.

Frisco Mercantile

You didn’t think I would write a post about Frisco businesses and not mention the Frisco Mercantile, did you? The Frisco Mercantile opened their doors in 2007 and have been very successful ever since. They are very different than the other businesses mentioned in this blog post because they are a home for different small businesses to sell their products. Many different business owners, who are often Frisco locals, will pay Frisco Mercantile a fee to sell their products. This means you are supporting multiple Frisco families with just one purchase. How amazing!

Adam Aleksander

Adam Aleksander is a high-end men’s clothing store located on The Star Boulevard. They have styling consultants who provide a luxury styling experience. Expect to feel like a king when you walk in their doors as they give each client a custom experience. Their only location is in Frisco, making it convenient for men who need luxury clothing items.

Local Businesses in Frisco TX

Summer Moon Coffee

Who doesn’t love a local coffee shop? It’s a known fact that local coffee shops use higher quality beans than large coffee shop chains *cough cough*. Summer Moon Coffee has beautiful wood-fired coffee in historic downtown Frisco. This is the perfect location for those early mornings trying on wedding dresses at the Blushing Bride Boutique! Summer Moon has a beautiful shop that is very warm and inviting. Don’t miss out!

Local Businesses in Frisco

There are dozens of local businesses in Frisco, I just wanted to highlight some that stood out to me. When looking for high-quality services or items, always shop local. With all of the large corporate businesses in Frisco today, these local businesses rely on quality to keep them open. For more local businesses in Frisco, visit the Frisco Chamber of Commerce website. If I missed a great local business, please leave it in the comments below so others can enjoy it too!

 

*The above opinions are my own. I was not asked to mention any of the businesses above, I decided to on my own. I would never advertise a business if I was not confident in their abilities. Shopping local is very important to me as I love to support my neighbors.

An Honest It Works Cleanse Review

If you clicked on this blog post, chances are you have been contacted by an It Works distributor to try their 48 Hour Cleanse. I know it can be hard to trust someone who is trying to sell you a product. I get it. That’s why I am writing this honest review about my experience doing the cleanse.

Before we get into the review, I also have reviews over the It Works Keto Coffee and the It Works Wraps. You can click those words to be brought to those blog posts. Now, onto my honest It Works Cleanse Review!

The Taste

This is what we’re all wondering, right? To be honest, I really enjoyed the taste of the It Works Cleanse. It’s refreshing and almost bubbly. It’s on the sweeter side and does not taste like vegetables. I’m not sure why It Works distributors use captions like “You just have to chug this product for two days!” That implies that the product that’s bad when in reality, it doesn’t.

It Works Cleanse Review

The Ingredients

There are tons of great ingredients in this cleanse. I counted 36 different fruits and vegetable complied into this little drink. But, there are three different preservatives in this drink. The preservatives are potassium sorbate, sodium hexametaphosphate, and sodium benzoate. Obviously, we shouldn’t be filling our bodies with a large amount of preservatives. However, the number of great ingredients may outweigh the negative of the three preservatives.

What the Cleanse Does

The It Works distributor that contacted you probably used the phrase “Get rid of up to 10 pounds of sludge”. So obviously, this product is meant to remove the yucky leftovers that are not meant to linger around. I’ve had some people ask me, “Does it make you get sick to your stomach?” or more bluntly, “Does it make you have diarrhea?” For me, my answer is no. I experience no tummy gurgles or abnormalities when using the restroom. I pray this doesn’t happen to you if you try the product, but keep in mind that every body reacts to ingredients differently. I just felt “flushed out” and the frequency of restroom usage was increased (if you know what I mean).

I’m not sure of any scientific research that proves this cleanse removes toxicity or “yuckiness” from the body, but with all of those fruits and vegetables, it must do something good. It’s definitely one of those products where it can’t do more harm than good, so if you can afford it, why not try it out.

It Works cleanse Review

The Results

I just looked a lot less bloated from taking this cleanse. It is recommended by It Works to eat the same amount of food, so I did. I usually bloat quite a bit after eating, but I did notice I was much less bloated afterward. Did I lose weight? Probably not. I don’t own a scale, so I can’t tell you for sure.

The results I saw were very similar to the results shown in the picture below. A lot less bloating. You are flushing your system, after all. I think it’s a great product to use if you consumed too much sodium eating hot dogs and nachos at the sports game, or went to a tailgate and ate way too much barbeque food.

Cleanse Photo

I don’t recommend taking this cleanse to lose weight. You will gain it back as the results are not long term. I also do not recommend taking this product to bloat less at a special event. You don’t know how this product will affect your body, and you don’t want to be stuck in the restroom as your best friend’s wedding.

The Price

The retail price for the entire two day cleanse is $60. When you become a Loyal Customer, you get 40% off all of It Works products. That brings the price for the entire cleanse to $36. I have found that most cleanses are expensive, and with the 40%, this cleanse is in the middle range of prices.

That wraps up my It Works Cleanse review! The cleanse works, but don’t expect results to be long term. If you can afford it, and if the three preservatives don’t bother you, then give it a go! If it’s out of your price range, then you can live without it. Consider buying a green smoothie from your local smoothie shop if you want a large serving of vegetables in drink form.

Continue reading An Honest It Works Cleanse Review

Things to Do When Your Military S.O. Is Away

Whether if you’re a girlfriend, fiancee, or wife (or vice versa for males), when your significant other leaves for several weeks or months, it’s hard. Really hard. Especially when talking with them is extremely limited. There are many ways you can make the time go by faster and take your mind off missing them.

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1. Volunteer

There are so many ways you can volunteer in your local community. I personally volunteer at my local church and food bank. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, animal shelter, hospital, youth program, and so much more.

I’m willing to bet there is something you are passionate about, so use that passion and make a difference. Many of these places rely on volunteers to stay open. Make a quick Google search and see how you can help out your community. I feel so humbled when I volunteer, and it’s one thing to look forward to each week.

2. Take Care of Their Things

If you do not live with your significant other, set aside some time each week to clean up their home. Can you imagine being gone for several months and coming back to a house filled with dust and germs? I make sure I clean my boyfriend’s apartment at least every other week so it stays clean for him.

If you do live with them, you can wash their car while they’re gone. Cars can get so dirty when they sit for several months. It’s also good to start vehicles every week or so. Spend some time hand washing your S.O.’s car or truck and make sure it doesn’t need any servicing.

3. Hang Out With Friends

I’m mostly preaching to the introverts out there. It can be easy to sit at home and block out the rest of the world when you’re dealing with something. I know I’ve been there. Ask a friend to coffee or dinner at least once a week. At first you may think, I’m so upset, the last thing I want to do is get ready and see people. The truth is, you feel great afterward. Time flies when you’re having a great conversation with a good friend.

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4. Get Healthy!

The most common excuse for not working out is a lack of time. Now that your S.O. is away and you have time on your hands, make a point to get in shape. Spend at least an hour a day walking, running, or lifting weights. You can also spend time making your own healthy meals at home, instead of spending money on unhealthy fast-food.

If you have read my blog before, you know that I consider mental health as general health. When you have a cold, you go and see the doctor. When you aren’t feeling great mentally, you should also see a professional. If you are having a hard time coping with your S.O. being away, visit a counselor once a week. Take care of yourself!

5. Spend Time in Prayer

You may feel lonely. You may be overwhelmed with worry and sadness. If you are a believer, God promises us that we can turn to Him as a refuge. He promises that He will give us comfort when we turn to Him. Take this hard time and turn it into a way to develop your relationship with God.

6. Vlog

When my boyfriend is gone, I do a weekly vlog for him. We have found that it helps him not feel so out of the loop once he gets back. It also helps me because I feel like I’m talking to him as I’m talking to the camera. At first, you may feel ridiculous filming yourself as you get dinner, but it becomes second nature.

The great thing about vlogging is that you get to keep the memories forever. You can show your kids what life is like when Dad or Mom is gone. You get to document all of the raw emotions you felt when your S.O. was gone.

7. Send Them Mail

If the whole vlog thing doesn’t sound very fun, try doing a daily journal. You can mail them your entries once a week and it will help them stay in the loop. Even when you do the vlog, you should still make a point to send them letters and care packages. They appreciate you thinking of them when they are gone. My boyfriend has said that when he gets mail, it completely boosts his morale and his mood.

Some Encouragement

If you are reading this because your S.O. is gone, I want you to know that I am praying for you. If you would like to request a prayer, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me through email or social media. I am always open to talking with my readers, especially when we have something so big in common.

You can do this. You are doing something that most people couldn’t do. Some people underestimate the strength and courage of a military S.O., but I know it is one of the hardest things. Stay strong and thank you for the sacrifice you have made as a military S.O.

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