December 2, 2016

Beware of Prepper Overload

There are a few stages you may go through when you first start the preparedness journey.

1.  You notice things that never caught your attention before.  You look at your pantry and begin to calculate how many days your food and water will cover.  You notice the grocery shelves get low on Sunday night, and know that there isn’t any stock left in the backroom until the delivery trucks arrive.  You watch the news and wonder how much of it is “happy talk” and question in your head how the statistics came about, when previously you accepted the news as is.

2.   You start looking at international news and other websites and blogs, as you seek information the main stream media does not cover.  Because of the wealth of information you are getting, you become even more worried you don’t have nearly enough supplies.

3.  You read more websites about preparedness, and what the “advanced” people are doing:  buying bug out retreats, learning skills like canning,  then you start to feel insecure about how much you have to do, and overwhelmed about how much there is to be done.  Then you wonder, “When will I ever have the time to learn all that stuff, I got to work 12 hours a day, and I barely have any money left at the end of the month.  I am stuck in the city, I have no funds to buy a bug-out retreat, I will just become a refugee… Everyone else is way ahead of me, why even bother?”

The 3rd stage is the danger zone.  This is where people may lose sight of the goal and become discouraged.  Do not fret, these are all normal thoughts and feelings when a lot of things seem to hit you all at once.  When this happens, take a step back to sort out these thoughts.

  • Do not compare yourself to others, instead, think about how much you’ve done in a week, a month or however long since you started.  If you’ve just picked up a few canned goods and bottled water yesterday, then you are already better off than you were a week ago.
  • Take all the scary predictions and consider where the predictions are coming from.  Some of these “experts” are  trying to sell something, and fear is a good way to motivate people.  Do not give in to the scare tactics.  This happened to me a while back, but that is for another post.  Suffice it to say, a year ago when I first started, there were lots of dire forecasts, and now, a year later, things are still tough but we are still here.
  • Lots of people are ahead of you in preparing, but lots of people are not prepared at all.  It can be intimidating reading articles or listening to podcasts by people that sound like they “have it made” they already have several year’s worth of food, ensconced in their bug out cabin in the woods.  But they had to start somewhere, and once, they were in the same shoes were are in, beginning or intermediate.
  • Keep the discouraging thoughts away but considering what things you do have control over:  use of your own time and resources and totally within your own choice.  If you don’t have the money to take a class to learn a skill, why not learn from someone for free – coworkers who are excited about knitting or quilting would be excited to share knowledge with you, parents or grandparents who may be into breadmaking or canning.
  • Consider why you wanted to be prepared to begin with.  If you want to protect your family, don’t let these discouraging thoughts stop you.  Be grateful for the blessings you do have, and the time that you have today to prepare.

When you do get over the initial overload stage, you get into a more consistent routine, then you will actually start to enjoy newly acquired skills, along with the feeling of security of having a few emergency supplies set aside.

8 Comments on Beware of Prepper Overload

  1. That’s good advise. There is just to much information out there. The more you read the more scared for your family you get. We have taken a regular paper calendar and note one thing per day we try to accomplish. Little things during the week and larger projects on the weekends. Once a month we have a big pow-wow to plan the next month out in advance. This way we do a little each day and steadily accomplish a great deal of prepping.

    My wife is in charge of the food and she has found a great time saver. Go to http://www.shelfreliancesanantonio.com and get a discount account, then use the food storage calculator to estimate what foods you need for your family based on caloric intake, age, etc. Once that’s done and you deleted the stuff you already have the company sends you some of the items on your list each month up to your budgeted amount. They call it “THE Q”, it’s great! All you need is 15 min. to set it up and now our food storage is on auto pilot! Each month we get a delivery right to our home.

  2. I find that I go through all these feelings (panic about not having enough, depression that it will either all be taken from me or uber viligiance at everything I hear and see) in a rollercoaster fashion with some happy “relaxed” prepper time in between. Not sure how healthy that is but glad to see someone else has seen it as well.

  3. Another pointer I’d offer in addition to the great advice AptPrepper gave is: “pat yourself in the back” for every step achieved. Whether it’s a new stash of first aid supplies, an increase in food/water reserves, more ammunition purchased, a gun acquired, a new skill learned, more manuals or resources found/saved/printed, success in saving money through a new budget, etc… look at the positives. Each step in the right direction gets you closer to where you want to arrive.

    Some call a good night of sleep after a day of work, hard and long, as “the sleep of the righteous.” In addition to doing our jobs properly and professionally, we deserve restful sleep after doing what we reasonably can to prep on any given day.

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