Today, It’s all about managing the mental stress of prepping. If you’re relatively new to the world of prepping, you may feel overwhelmed with all the things you can do to be prepared, and all the things you see other preppers doing. Being a productive prepper does require a good work ethic and effort, but it’s not something you need to stress over.
If you’re already starting to feel mentally stressed over getting everything done, you’re in the spot where you need to address how to move forward. Check out these beneficial tips on adequately managing the mental stress of prepping. You’ll learn how to stay productive, get more done, and reduce the stress in your life overall.
Only you know how you feel as each day starts and how well you can deal with what is planned for the day. If you are continually feeling stressed out and unable to accomplish the tasks at hand, possibly it could be more than just the prepping process.
All of us have different stresses to deal with, whether they are finances, our vocation, kids, marriage, health, etc. Consider getting professional help if you feel overwhelmed much of the time. At the end of this post, I’ve addressed some of the symptoms to look for if you think help may be needed.
Bugging In: Raymond Dean White (Yes, it’s our Ray!!)
Managing the Mental Stress of Prepping
1. Get Into a Routine That Works
Don’t feel like you need to spend every waking moment doing something that involves prepping. It shouldn’t be that way. The idea behind prepping is to stay prepared for anything that could potentially happen, but not to stress yourself out daily because of your involvement in the process. Instead, focus on getting into a routine that works best for you.
For example, if you’re planning on canning fruits and vegetables, choose a specific day of the week to do that. You can devote a few hours to canning some of your favorite foods to extend their shelf life.
It’s better to get it done for the week in those few hours on a day when you’re not busy than to do it each day of the week. If you’re constantly doing something prep-related throughout the day and all week long, you’re naturally going to feel stressed because you’re overdoing it.
2. Don’t Overthink Everything
Try not to overthink when it comes to preparedness. Make a list of the things you’d like to do. You might want to get batteries while they’re on sale to have backups for flashlights and other devices. You may wish to collect water and find a good storage spot for it. If you create a to-do list, you can easily keep track of everything you want to get done. You can cross each task off the list once you complete it.
You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you stop overthinking things and start scratching tasks off your to-do list. It can give you the motivation to keep getting things done. Even if you don’t get to it all done in one day, you can look forward to doing more the next day or whenever you have some spare time.
Don’t beat yourself up over anything you can’t get done in a single day. Just try to do something each week that will keep you moving forward, even if it may take you longer than you’d originally hoped.
3. Take It One Step at a Time
Preppers often feel overwhelmed because they’re trying to get a lot of things done at once. It can kill your productivity because you’ll spend more time stressing instead of getting tasks done. Try to take it one step at a time, starting with the most straightforward tasks and then working your way down the list to some of the more challenging tasks.
After you come up with a routine to follow and start working on that to-do list, it becomes a lot easier to take things one at a time instead of trying to complete multiple tasks at once. Remember, your mental health is essential, and prepping should be fun for you. If it’s causing you to feel frustrated, take a break for a day or two and then get back to it.
4. Use Exercise as an Outlet
Try to start exercising more often. You can use it as an outlet to eliminate some of your stress. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health. It’s the perfect way to start the day. If you get up before everyone else in the house, you can go for a jog or do some yoga right in the living room.
No matter which exercises you decide to do, you can expect to feel better when you’re through with your workout.
After exercising and getting a shower, you’re more likely to feel ready for the day and motivated to get things done. It can put you in a positive mood to begin working on prepping tasks that you need to get done but have avoided for the past several weeks.
You don’t need costly equipment or a gym membership to exercise. You can save more of your money, clear your mind, and get fit right at home.
5. Let Loved Ones Offer a Helping Hand
Reduce some of the stress by letting your loved ones offer a helping hand. You’re not the only one who needs to do all the prepping. Ask your partner to get involved in the process. You’ll work better when you have a team of loved ones helping you with some of your prepping tasks, but you’ll also get more done in less time.
If you’d like to accomplish tasks on your to-do list in no time, get your partner and children involved. You will enjoy spending quality time completing prepping activities together, such as canning, gardening, and sewing.
How to Manage the Mental Stress of Prepping
If you make the tasks fun for the little ones, they’ll want to continue helping you. If you have older kids who aren’t necessarily looking forward to prepping activities, you can always count the work together as chores and reward them for their help. It’s your choice to make, but it’s an excellent idea when you want to motivate older children and teens to lend a helping hand.
Managing the mental stress of prepping is important. People will often talk about the importance of prepping and the positive impact on humans and the environment, but they don’t always mention the mental stress it can cause. If you’re feeling worn out and stressed over all the tasks you need to take care of each week, it’s time to take a mental break. Work on getting into a routine, following a to-do list, and enlisting the help of your partner and children with prepping activities.
Some people have also worked to get friends and neighbors involved. Community gardens are becoming very popular and can provide not only for your family, but also for others in need. You may want to start a prepping club or group that gets together from time to time so they can work and learn together. What a great social opportunity, if you do it right.
In case you missed this post, 10 Hygiene and Sanitation Tips for a Disaster
Personal Well Being Symptoms When Dealing With Stress
Some years ago Mark and I took a Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) class along with some neighbors. We had been thinking of taking the class for a long time but found the time requirements a challenge. We finally took the plunge and are glad we did. We felt that we would both be better prepared for emergencies of all kinds if we heard from the “experts” about the different types of emergencies, how to react during an episode, and how to deal with the aftermath.
One of the classes dealt with the psychology of disasters and how the effects of the situation can cause mental trauma to victims, first responders, and volunteers. We learned a lot and feel grateful for this new perspective. They indicated that people react differently to the strain of the situation both in the short term, but also that there can be long term challenges to mind and body.
Next Time vs. Right Now
I realize that many of us determine we should be better prepared for emergencies based on what we’ve seen and heard. Others jump in and try harder to prep based on their own personal experiences and the desire to do better “next time.”
If you’ve had past experience with disaster and the related trauma, you may feel the stress of needing to do things “right now” and are more prone to feel new stresses as the preparation process goes forward, whether it’s to learn first aid and CPR, store food and water, or grow a garden.
I’ve listed below some of the symptoms you may experience when preparing and dealing with stress, particularly if you’ve been through it before. If you are experiencing a high degree of symptoms you should consider checking in with a professional who can certainly provide the necessary next steps for you to improve your mental state. Our hearts go out to you and wish you well in all your endeavors.
Psychological symptoms may include:
Irritability and anger.
Self-blame or the blaming of others.
Isolation and withdrawal.
Fear of recurrence.
Feeling stunned, numb, or overwhelmed.
Sadness, depression, and grief.
Concentration and memory problems.
Relationship conflicts/marital discord.
Physiological symptoms may include:
Loss of appetite.
Headaches or chest pain.
Diarrhea, stomach pain, or nausea.
Increase in alcohol or drug consumption.
The inability to sleep.
Fatigue or low energy.
Do something for yourself to relieve some of the stress, such as exercising for at least 30 minutes each morning. These helpful tips will keep you on track and eliminate a lot of mental stress. I’d like to hear what you do to make the prepping process more enjoyable and less stressful. May God Bless this world, Linda
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