It is Stress Awareness Day today and we wanted to highlight the ‘relocation stress’ and loneliness that our military families experience and cope with on a regular basis.

Thankfully there is a huge amount of public focus on the national issue of loneliness by charities MIND and Age UK and awareness campaigns #letstalkloneliness and the Jo Cox Foundation

But we would like to discuss the significant issues that our military families face with each accompanied posting. 

Our military families regularly experience 3 of the main triggers of loneliness:
– Relocation
– Changes in friendship circles and friendship breakdowns
– Loss of work and identity

It is not uncommon for a military family to move every 2 years (sometimes more) throughout the career of the serving member and relocation stress is a very real but overlooked and understated issue. Have we become complacent to the issues that our families face?

Should relocation stress be accepted as part and parcel of the life we ‘choose’ to live? We don’t think so!! We can’t remove the stress but we can raise awareness, highlight the impact it has on our mental and physical health, and provide support for our families. 

While the serving member can quickly integrate into the new location with the regular routine of work, what can be done to promote integration for the spouse/partner? 

Fortunately there are great initiatives to help us integrate into our new communities (face to face and virtual)
Community spaces regularly hold groups – see your local HIVE
Military Wives Choirs
Military Coworking Hubs 
Military Mums In Business 
This Mum Runs Military Mums 
The InDependent Spouse
Forces Wives Challenge 

If all areas of our wellbeing are being supported then we are better equipped to cope with the stress of postings and deployment.

Follow up blog: We have a guest blog from Karen Batty, Family Counsellor at New Leaf Counselling and a military wife