Military life presents a number of challenges. One of the most difficult parts of military life is frequent relocations due to a Permanent Change of Station. PCSing is a mental, emotional, physical, and often career adjustment for the service member and their family. Children changing schools, spouses looking for new jobs, and service members adjusting to new work surroundings is stressful. While military families become well-versed in ways to adapt to new environments, building a support network around you and your family at your new Duty Station during COVID-19 presents additional challenges due to social distancing practices and current guidelines for interacting with others. With limited ability to interact with others and form new relationships at a new Duty Station, military families will likely experience more difficulty adjusting to their new environment. Issues that you and your family may have already been dealing with will be intensified by relocating. If you are preparing to PCS or have recently PCSed to the Savannah area, Water’s Edge Counseling wants to support you and your family. Here are some tips for protecting you and your family’s mental and emotional health during a PCS.
- Express your feelings about PCSing. Be honest with your family and friends about your personal feelings towards transitioning to a new Duty Station, whether they are positive or negative. Vocalize your concerns with trusted people in your life and ask for help in addressing your concerns.
- Check-in with each other. Ask your family (spouse, children) how they are feeling about relocating. Allow them to express concerns, fears, excitement, sadness, anxiousness, etc. and validate those feelings by listening and acknowledging what they are feeling.
- Utilize Facetime and other forms of virtual communication. Maintaining relationships with the family and friends you are leaving behind is important. Be intentional about this by scheduling a regular day and time check-in with those people.
- Connect with a family support organization at your new Duty Station. Organizations such as the Family Readiness Group or the Key Spouse Program are helpful resources for information about your new Duty Station as well as opportunities for social engagement with other families. The names for these groups vary depending on which branch of the military you serve in.
- Get involved in a local place of worship. This will give you an opportunity to connect you with like minded people, whether in-person or virtually. Getting involved will also help you build friendships and support in your life.
- Seek out professional help from a local therapist. If you or any of your family members need additional support while you adjust to your new Duty Station, reach out to a local counselor or counseling practice.
Reaching out for mental and emotional support during or after PCSing is a great way to strengthen you and your family’s resilience. At Water’s Edge Counseling, we proudly serve military clients by addressing issues including, but not limited to, trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression, marital issues, and therapy services for children and teens. If you have children or teens that are struggling with the transition or with pre-existing issues, we have therapists on staff that can help your child to identify and express their emotions and process their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.
If you are a military spouse struggling to adapt to a new Duty Station or preparing for your service member to deploy, our staff can provide you with emotional support while also addressing any ongoing concerns that may have been present in your life prior to PCSing. If you are a military service member that is experiencing personal issues, issues within your relationships, difficulty adjusting to a new work environment, or dealing with past trauma, our therapists can help you navigate these issues and concerns. By prioritizing the mental and emotional health of yourself and your family, you will feel more equipped to deal with all the adjustments and changes that come with PCSing. Give us a call today.