No matter how well you prepare for TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), there really isn’t anything that can truly prepare you for the reality of an emergency situation. Sure, you can keep backups of your backups, but when it comes down to it, a true emergency or TEOTWAWKI situation will get under your skin.
A situation like this brings an average stress level up into the red zone, and while this can help give you more focus and purpose, stress can tire you out and cause you to make mistakes. In a real survival situation, you need to avoid stress as much as possible to keep yourself healthy and safe while keeping everyone around you cool and collected as well. All of this is easier said than done, which is why we’ve compiled a few tips to avoid stress in what is possibly the most stressful situations possible.
1. Be Prepared
The best way to avoid stress is to be prepared. Just like the Boy Scouts taught us, being prepared is the single best way to feel safe and secure. Having the major necessities under control helps you focus on larger issues and deal with things that you couldn’t have prepared for without being over-stressed.
From having your bug-out bag ready to knowing where to meet up when there’s a fire, being prepared is critical to keeping your cool. The best way to start is to make a plan now for some of the most common emergencies. As you prep, add to your emergency plan to include new situations. When an emergency strikes, remember the plan and follow it as best you can.
2. Do the Basics
This might sound simple, but eating, drinking and sleeping are amazing ways to avoid stress. When bad things happen it’s all to easy to tell ourselves we’re not hungry, thirsty or tired when the truth of the matter is we’re probably all three.
Allowing yourself time to rest and refuel will keep your body running as well as possible, which will in turn allow you to run at a lower level of stress. Take care of yourself first by taking care of the basics and you’ll be at a lower baseline of stress for when something bad happens.
3. Talk About It
While we may be taught to not talk about our feelings, doing exactly this in a stressful situation can really ease your mind. This isn’t to say you should focus on the reasons you’re stressed, but speaking your feelings out loud has a way of giving them actual weight and substance, which means they can then be tossed aside.
Keeping stress bottled up will only make matters worse and can increase your stress levels, making even simple things seem like too much to handle. Even if you’re on your own, talk things through and you’ll more likely than not come out less stressed on the other side.
4. Keep Busy
The age-old method for people around the world to avoid stress is to stay busy. By keeping yourself busy, you help your stress levels in two ways. First, you give your mind something to focus on other than the reasons to be stressed, and second, you become more prepared, which should alleviate stress even more.
Chopping wood, cataloging supplies, and verifying your bug-out bag are all great ways to busy yourself. Cleaning your gun, sharpening your knife, and mending clothes and bags not only keep you busy, but also help you be even more prepared. Don’t think of this as busywork but necessary work that helps keep you busy. Just don’t use this as a replacement for number three above.
5. Trust Yourself
Finally, one of the best ways to avoid stress is to trust yourself. If you’ve prepped and gotten ready for disasters, trust in the work you’ve done to keep you safe. It’s all too easy to stress about the amount of food, water, and other supplies you have saved up, but if you’ve done the best you can, then there’s no reason to stress.
One of the definitions of the word “stress” is to become tense or anxious; worry. If you trust in the work you’ve done, then there should be no reason to be anxious about that aspect of the situation.
Yes, if the world is ending, there’s no avoiding stress. But by following these five guidelines, you can manage your stress properly and perhaps even direct it in useful ways.