6 Healthy Ways to Handle Bad News


It’s inevitable that some time in your life, you’re going to receive particularly disappointing news whether it’s a diagnosis, a break-up, lay off, loss of a loved one or something else that takes the wind out of your sails.

Military life comes with its own unique types of bad news to include unexpected deployments or deployment extensions, moving to a duty station you hate, late nights and spoiled vacation plans. These things are bound to happen and are incredibly difficult to deal with. I’ll share with you some healthy ways to help you cope.

Acknowledge your feelings, don’t hide them.

Whether you’re frustrated, disappointed, depressed or downright pissed off, FEEL that emotion. As military spouses, we sometimes feel the need to be strong all the time, but that’s just not realistic or healthy for us or our families. Ignoring our feelings doesn’t make them go away, it only makes us bottle them up and when they come out (because they WILL eventually) they will end up making the problem ten times worse.

Seek out the positives.

I know the last thing I want to do when I’m told bad news is be happy about it, but looking for a silver lining is a huge asset when life throws you a curveball. There’s always a sliver of hope in despair, and being able to find that tiny morsel of hope can really help comfort you when dealing with a terrible situation.

Distract yourself.

It’s much easier said than done but try to involve yourself in an activity you’d normally do without focusing directly on the problem. Staying busy for a while can help to clear your mind and remind you that the world is still spinning and that the problem is not going to stop you from living your life.

Talk it out.

This sounds obvious but that’s because talking is a great outlet. Make sure you share your feelings with someone you trust and who you know will support you. An understanding ear can make all the difference in distressful situations.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

It’s almost second nature to automatically start running through all the worst case scenarios when receiving bad news. Instead, make sure you get ALL the facts before you start making decisions about how to react. Once you fully understand what is happening, you can figure out how to deal with what you’ve been told.

Remember you are not alone!

One of the amazing aspects of military life is that there is an entire community of people who have gone through similar situations. Whatever the bad news, know that there is someone you can reach out to who can support you.

Process your emotions and get a grasp of what is happening so you can move on and deal with the issue head on. Know that life isn’t always easy, but it also isn’t always going to be this hard.

How do you handle bad news? Share your coping techniques below!


  1. Not jumping to conclusions is so important – I usually need a reminder of this haha. But it changes everything when you learn to keep a level mind. Great post!


    • Sorry I’m just now responding to this and thank you. I am guilty of that one as well. Or, I was. I’ve learned I can’t do that anymore or I trigger a panic attack…over nothing most of the time! You live and learn, right? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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