Okay, so, things have collapsed and TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) has arrived. You are still surviving since you have been preparing for this for quite some time. How is your stress level? What about your family, your children, neighbors and friends? Let’s face it, TEOTWAWKI is going to include more stress than most of us have ever faced.
You can only remain on high alert for so long without some major side effects. Have you prepared some ‘comforts’ for you and yours to decrease the affects of stress and increase the ability to relax a little? If you have the basics tucked away, think about items that will bring comfort and distraction from the daily stress of survival. Find some simple things that don’t require electricity or a great deal of energy or work to accomplish, especially if there are children around.
Children will not understand the gravity of the situation if the SHTF (stuff hits the fan). They will still want to laugh and play and have attention from adults. Make sure you provide things that they will enjoy and learn from. Involve them in ‘helping’ you take care of every day tasks that will increase their ability to become more independent sooner rather than later. Even though there are no children here, we have accumulated a few things that would provide comfort and learning if any arrive sometime along the way.
We have also spent time pondering adult comforts. Our Snickers will run out, probably sooner rather than later. Food is always a good comfort, whether you are sick or down or stressed. But in a survival situation, food can’t always be the fall back. It may even be the cause of additional stress if there isn’t enough to go around. All the more reason to stock up way more than you think you might ever use for years and years if you are able.
Books to read; hand work such as quilting, knitting, mending; the materials and tools needed for keeping everything in good working condition; playing cards; marbles; board games; and the list goes on and on. Take time to discuss and contemplate some simple, effective items you can have on hand. It may mean the difference between managing and going off the deep end.
There are many different remedies for stress that are always at hand. Sleep is critical. You can’t be on duty 24/7. Without sleep your mind does strange things. Talking things out with someone that can listen without passing judgement or trying to ‘fix’ the problem may be the answer for some. Sometimes just talking
about things makes them easier to bear. A back rub, holding hands, taking a walk (if it is safe to do so), telling jokes and acting silly.
Some of these seem to be overly simple, but a good hard laugh will do much to reduce the stress of many situations. There will be many people that end up having to do without accustomed medications. That could be a real problem. Many side effects can occur when medications run out, especially if they are taken to help cope with life as it is now.
I’m not exactly sure how, but if this is the case for you or someone you know, try to research these medications. Know their withdrawal times and the symptoms that may result. This knowledge may be absolutely essential to the survival of this person. Unfortunately, suicide or dangerous and erratic behavior is all too common for some when these medications are stopped or changed too quickly.
We all concentrate on food storage, protection and shelter when we think of collapse scenarios, and rightly so. But beyond the basics, there are other things to consider to increase the survivability of a situation. Stress can also be a major killer, so think through ways to deal with and decrease it in your situation. What can you provide that will decrease stress and provide a source of entertainment and relaxation for you and yours? Or what is a healthy distraction from stressful situations?
How you deal with stress either before or after a collapse situation can make or break you. This is something that is difficult to ‘practice’. But it is something we all need to take into account. There are days that we find to be very depressing and somewhat scary as we read the things that are happening and appear to be coming across the horizon toward us at an ever increasing pace. Then there are other days that aren’t as difficult. We try to analyze and take into account what is happening and why we may be having a down day. It is a practice that serves us well and we hope, in some way, helps us prepare for the day that everything changes permanently. And then every day after that.
Instead of reacting to the events of the day, week or month, step back and try to look at what is happening to cause your stress, and see what you can do to not necessarily eliminate or escape it, but live through it and come out stronger on the other side. It may mean all the difference in the world, to you, and to those depending upon you for strength, courage and guidance. We try to remember that God is our Shepherd, and we hope and pray that all can find relaxation and comfort with their Creator. May God and Peace be with you.
Until next time – Fern