Calm the Storm with Preparedness
The prepper life isn't always easy. While everyone else is living life with reckless abandon, you don't live with that luxury. You are busy trying to remember all the ways to tie a rope, your evacuation plan, or save water in the case that some disaster is bound to happen.
We know preparing for a bad situation can make you more scared of the situation becoming a reality, instead of reassuring you. Luckily, our goal here is to live the Prepper Life without letting fear and anxiety run you.
The prepping life is all about balance. The balance of being prepared and protecting your family, without letting it take hold of your mental health and the way you live your life. Being well prepared should help stave off the anxiety and fear, not increase it. Knowing how to maintain that balance is key.
Fight, Flight, or Freeze
Over the years, the human body has developed a natural response to danger. This is known as the fight, flight or freeze response. Depending on the individual and the situation, their body will choose one of these three responses when faced with a life-threatening situation, such as an aggressive dog, incoming vehicle, or inbound tornado.
These responses are human instinct and are caused by hormonal and physiological effects on the body, thereby allowing you to react to the situation at hand. The fight or flight response is quite understandable in regard to helping you protect yourself against trouble. Meaning your body chooses to either face the trouble head-on or flee from the situation.
Then there is the freeze element. People are often confused about the freeze aspect in the fight, flight, or freeze response.
Freezing on the spot does not sound like a very productive way of defending oneself now does it? Surprisingly enough, it is. The freeze response is considered ‘fight or flight’ on-hold, allowing the affected to work through the scenario, coming up with the best decision to survive the situation. It is like in a chess game where you pause to predict your opponent’s next move, better helping you to make the right decision and get the upper hand.
Safe to say that fight or flight is an active response to danger, while freezing is a more passive response. However, whichever way you look at it, all three of them are the human’s natural way of dealing with an immediate fear evoking situation.
Fighting Fear & Managing the Anxiety
As humans, fear is a natural response. The ability to perceive a dangerous situation and your reaction to it is part of the quirks of being human, even if you are already prepared for dangerous situations as a prepper.
This natural feeling of fear may trigger your anxiety as you worry about all the ways it can go wrong. Nevertheless, being a prepper that is already prepared for various life-threatening situations should further ensure you of all the ways it can go right and curb your fear.
Instead of overly planning or spending precious moments freaking out over a situation because of fear, you should find ways to deal with the fear, that work for you, so you can calmly plan without using fear as a motivator.
Fight the fear using some of these coping mechanisms:
- Breathing Exercises
- Work Out
- Spend Time with the Family
- Take a Break from the Prepper Life
Imagining the worst-case scenario, while seemingly contradictory, can also help you see things from a broader perspective.
- Look at the evidence of how far you have come in prepping and find reassurance there.
- Go back to the basics if you need to; the drills, taking stock of the inventory, etc.
- Talk about it with either your family or other people who are preppers just like you.
Just thinking about all the scenarios that you are preparing for is enough for anyone to begin feeling the weight of anxiety, even if you are fully prepared and have crossed all your T’s. As nerve-wracking as the possibility of a disaster is, preparedness should set you at ease. Knowing if worst comes to worst, you are ready to protect your family from whatever comes your way.
Believe in the Prepper Life
Preparedness is one of the major ways you can put your fear and anxiety at ease. When you know you are fully prepared, there is a good chance that you will be less likely to panic over the situation. While this does not mean you will always be 100% relaxed, there is a certain level of confidence that comes with knowing that you are ready for the bulk of what may come.
When preparing yourself for any disaster proper supplies are the first things you will need to have. Everything from food, bottled water, a utility knife, and ropes are only some of the essentials needed for surviving a disaster scenario.
Lack of supplies is often the biggest cause of concern when disaster strikes. That is why you see the masses emptying your local shops when disaster strikes. Having the proper supplies and avoiding the mad dash, is an easy way to ease the fear and anxiety that builds during a SHTF scenario.
Therefore, it should be both the first and last boxes you tick off on your prepper to-do list. When you have your supplies all ready, you can bug out well before the rush to the road takes place, effectively mitigating 2 of the most stressful situations during a disaster.
Create Detailed Plans
A key factor you should take into consideration when preparing for a disaster is to have a plan. That plan can be an evacuation plan, a safety plan, a meet up plan, or a shelter plan. Having detailed plans for each scenario and knowing you and your family have a solid idea of said plans will allow you to relax.
Lack of planning can cause clashing between the family, especially the kids. This can distract from the precious time it may take to get to safety and add more stress to your already towering plate. Being organized is key to remaining effective and efficient when enacting your disaster plan.
Prepare the Family
Integrating your family into your preparations can help take some of the burden off you. When your spouse and children are well prepared, the fear and anxiety one feels can be lifted. Remember to keep in mind that while they should be prepared and know plans, you do not want to stress or cause un-do anxiety to your family, especially kids.
Admittedly, it may be easier and faster if you do it all by yourself. Why endure the trouble of waking your grumpy teenager to experience an evacuation drill, right? However, if disaster does strike and your family isn’t aware of the plan, secondary disasters can strike like: panic, disorientation, or getting separated. Instead, you will spend precious time calming your family and trying to enact the plan, instead of having the confidence to know your family will be right behind you.
Get your family in on the emergency plans. When involving your children, especially young children, be sure to use age appropriate terms and levels of knowledge. If you have young kids, involving them in fun activities and drills can be a way to keep their attention while also teaching them important tactics and knowledge.
When your family is prepared, you will feel less anxious about their safety because you will know they can handle themselves.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Probably the most important aspect for any prepper is to take your mental health into consideration. When prepping for some of these more tough scenarios, fear and anxiety can take root. If your mental wellness is not up to snuff, these fears and anxieties can become paralyzing.
While prepping is a lifestyle, be sure to not let it consume your entire life. Every day should not be dedicated to worrying or preparing for a disaster or an emergency. Enjoy time with the family, go to a ball game, take a trip to the beach; just be sure to nurse your mental health as you embark on the prepping life.