Let’s face it — long-distance relationships can be tricky. If you or your spouse spend extended time away from one another due to work, it may be difficult to maintain a loving relationship. In some instances, you may even struggle with depression, along with various challenges associated with managing stress and emotions while your spouse is away.
How Does Depression Affect a Long-Distance Relationship?
Relationships thrive with support and strong communication, but long-distance separation means that support and communication may become intermittent. You may experience more anxiety than usual, and if depression is triggered then everything becomes that much more difficult. To better understand the impact of depression on a long-distance relationship, we can consider an example.
If your spouse is deployed overseas, communicating with him or her may be virtually impossible at times. Yet you love your spouse, and you want to maintain ongoing communication with him or her. You may be coping with the stress of deployment and would like to share your concerns with your spouse, but you also don’t want to add to the stress that they are already under. Not being able to communicate your strong feelings may contribute to triggering depression. In fact, depression has been linked to stress and anxiety — all of which you may experience if you are trying to manage a long-distance relationship.
Meanwhile, depression is a medical illness that impacts the way you feel, act, and behave. It sometimes causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and guilt, as well as fatigue, insomnia, changes in appetite, and loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed. In short, when you do get to speak to your spouse, you may not be completely “there” in the conversation, further straining both of your feelings.
Tips for Managing Stress and Emotions While Your Spouse Is Away for Work
Regardless of whether you are coping with the stress of deployment or dealing with the anxiety of your spouse being away on an overseas business trip, you need to be able to manage your stress and emotions accordingly. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress while your spouse is away for work, such as:
1. Maintain Open Lines of Communication
If you feel upset, irritated, or annoyed about the distance between you and your spouse, discuss your feelings with your spouse. In doing so, you could strengthen your relationship and find new ways to stay connected to one another. You can also share your thoughts and feelings with family members and friends. Or, you can always meet with a mental health counselor to help you cope with your depression, anxiety, and stress while your spouse is away.
2. Use Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing exercises often help people reduce stress. Plus, these exercises are simple to perform and generally don’t take long to deliver their desired results. You can take advantage of yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques to manage stress and emotions while your spouse is away for work, too. Find a relaxation technique that works well for you, and you can use it to manage stress time and time again.
3. Establish Goals
Goal-setting is crucial, particularly if you are focused on managing stress and emotions while your spouse is away for work. With goals in place, you’ll feel a sense of purpose that helps guide you through good times and bad. As you establish goals, start small and work your way toward bigger aspirations. Your goals should be simple, realistic, measurable, and attainable. Also, if you fail to achieve a goal by your deadline, don’t worry. In this scenario, take pride in your performance, learn from your previous work toward your goal, and re-start your journey toward accomplishing your aspiration.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Healthy foods have been shown to help lower stress, and ultimately, may help you avoid depression and anxiety. For example, foods like salmon and sunflower seeds are loaded with omega-3s that improve blood flow in the brain. The end result: maintaining that healthy blood flow to the brain can help you combat depression, anxiety, and stress. Furthermore, foods like fruits, nuts, and high-fiber cereals feature plenty of vitamins and nutrients and can play key roles in a healthy diet.
5. Exercise Regularly
In addition to helping you improve your physical health and appearance, exercise helps release endorphins, i.e. feel-good hormones, in the brain. Endorphins have been shown to help boost mood, and as a result, help you manage depression, anxiety, and stress. You don’t need to engage in rigorous exercise to release endorphins, either. In fact, performing a 30-minute exercise routine three to four days a week can help you stay in shape and improve your mood.
6. Get Sufficient Rest
You may lose sleep due to stress over your spouse being away from home. However, if you prioritize sleep, you could keep your stress levels in check. Creating a safe, comfortable, and distraction-free sleep environment is vital. This sleep environment should help you relax so you can focus on what’s important — getting the sleep you need night after night. You should also try to wake up and go to bed around the same times every day, as a regular sleep regimen can make a world of difference relative to your mood. And if you get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, you could wake up feeling refreshed and ready to make the most of the day, every day.
7. Express Your Gratitude
Research shows practicing gratitude helps foster social support and alleviate depression. There is no shortage of ways you can express your gratitude, too. For instance, writing an email or letter to express your appreciation to your spouse is sure to bring a smile to his or her face. You can also make a weekly list of good things that happen to you or write down any acts of kindness you perform daily.
The depression, anxiety, and stress associated with a long-distance relationship can escalate quickly. If you find you need extra help to manage stress and emotions while your spouse is away for work or is coping with the stress of deployment, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) therapy from Achieve TMS may help.
dTMS therapy is a depression treatment that involves the use of magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in the brain. It has been shown to help depression patients significantly reduce their symptoms — in some cases, patients experience no depression symptoms after dTMS therapy. dTMS therapy is also noninvasive and does not require any medications.
Achieve TMS is available to teach you about all aspects of dTMS therapy. We offer a free consultation to evaluate a patient and his or her depression symptoms and determine if this individual is a good candidate for dTMS therapy. To book a free dTMS therapy consultation with Achieve TMS, please call or text us today at 877-285-0822.