PCS season is a blur of paperwork, passports, government travel cards, tears, frustration, excitement, and nerves. By the time you get to your new base, you can be either bright-eyed about the possibilities or exhausted from what it took to get there. Here are five ways to help you settle in after a PCS, in case it feels tiring to grow roots (again) at your new base,
As obvious as this may sound, making friends at a new base takes effort. Rose, a military spouse, posts a friend ad on the spouses’ page to help find people who are like her. She attends any on-base functions that interest her and joins the pages related to her family. There are Facebook groups and friends for everyone, so don’t find it daunting if it takes a minute to find your people. You’ll find them, so keep showing up.
Create a Schedule
The overwhelm of rebuilding a life in a new place can hit once you move into a home. Sit down with your family and discuss what a schedule looks like in your new base. When you lay it out, it can be easier to find a rhythm once you know what is on your family’s plate.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- Who is working where? What are their hours?
- When do the kids have school and activities?
- Where and when is family time, whether it’s a daily dinner or Friday game night?
- What is essential to the schedule?
Build your Home
Your new home on base probably doesn’t feel like it’s yours yet. What do you need to build a sense of home? Maybe it’s making one of your favorite meals, creating a creative nook for the family, or painting a kitchen wall blue, so the house looks like yours. See if any inspiration strikes when you walk around your house, asking, “What would make this home more ours?”
A military spouse named Kelly complained about not having anything to do, and when asked about activities or invited to functions, she turned them all down. You can live the hermit life, but know you’ll also not feel very settled in your new place. You can find local events through your city’s calendar, the base’s magazine, and your USO. Be careful not to over-commit immediately, but sample the offerings across the board. Once you know what you connect with, you can dive in head first.
Set Base Goals
Amber, an Air Force spouse, considers each military base a video game level; there are things to accomplish, people to meet, and lessons to learn. She looks at her life goals, sees how they relate to this location, and then sets base goals. For example, “This base I want to build out my online business, run a 5K, and spend more family time together.” A base goal can be a focus, too, whether health, business, or even permission. Say, if stationed abroad, you decide this base will be about travel, not focusing on work, but exploring different cultures.
There are many ways to settle in after a PCS. Let us know which of these tips you used, and if you have any other ideas, leave a comment on our Facebook page!