Summer in San Francisco isn’t your stereotypical steamy, sunny California summer. In fact, August here is more accurately called “Fogust.”
Needless to say, my boots get more use than any of my summer sandals and more of my pictures on Instagram than I care to admit have some type of #iliveinacloud hashtag.
As you can imagine, this hasn’t made any of the days speed by. I am ready for the San Francisco summer blues to make way for the sun and “Indian summer” days that come with the NorCal fall!
On Aug. 3, my soldier and I passed the seven-month mark (whoop!) since he left for a yearlong hardship tour in Korea, and let me tell you—it has been quite the ride!
I miss my soldier more and more with each passing foggy day, and while it never gets easier to be an ocean away from him, I think we’re both handling the tour better than either of us expected. People always ask how we do it, how I have any sanity left, etc.
All I can say is that we try to take each day as it comes and do our best to support each other while taking care of ourselves.
It’s funny, because, while I feel like somewhat of an expert in long distance relationships (we’re going on two years of dating long distance), some days I wish I could just hop on a plane to Korea to get a real hug!
That being said, here are six things that have helped me stay away from an impulsive plane ride and to maintain my sanity, health, and happiness these past seven months:
I’ve found that clear communication is the key to a successful long distance relationship. Being comfortable telling my significant other what I needed took some getting used to, but it has helped immensely and has only brought us closer. Whether I need some extra “me time” after a long day of work, am hoping for a weekend Skype date, or need help making a decision, I’ve found that communicating with my soldier is easier and yields more positive results than assuming he can read my mind from an ocean away.
2. Be active.
Fifteen years of competitive swimming has taught me to love morning workouts, bike rides to and from work, good yoga classes, and anything that will really get my endorphins going. There are few better feelings to me than the way I feel after a hard workout, so I make sure that I break a sweat doing something each day.
3. Be spontaneous.
Having my man an ocean away limits spontaneous date nights, home cooked dinners for two, and really any other couple-type things one might normally spoil their significant other with in person. That being said, I think it’s important to remember to treat myself every once in a while.
For me, fresh flowers and a good bottle of wine will often do the trick. I’ve also found that it is equally important to be spontaneous in surprising my soldier. Whether it’s a care package, a random card, or even a birthday cake delivery, surprising him is equally, if not more, fun and rewarding.
4. Surround yourself with good people.
My friends and family are so important to me, and I think it is crucial to surround yourself with kind, positive, and caring people, especially when you’re rocking the distance. I could not be more thankful for the people in my life. Even though they might not always understand military life, my family and friends are so supportive in lending an ear when I need to talk or keeping me busy if I’m having a hard day.
5. Take care of you.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself because my other half is far away, but one thing I’ve learned is that it is most important to take care of me. Feeding my body healthy food (I’m no gourmet chef but enjoy cooking occasionally) and allowing myself time to rest and relax is important to keeping sane. I’ve also found that journaling is an amazing outlet and now look forward to my weekend rituals of taking some time to decompress and write.
6. Give yourself things to look forward to.
Whether I’m counting down the days to a Skype date with my soldier or his mid-tour leave, having something to look forward to and setting mini milestones is really helpful. I have found that breaking down the year into parts makes it seem to go by much more quickly. That being said, I am currently counting down the days until my soldier comes home for his mid-tour leave, where we’ll get to spend a whopping three weeks together!
Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful! In the meantime, I’ll be waiting out Fogust and looking forward to sunny September with my man!
What are your best tips for loving long distance? Share with us in the comments below!