In many articles, I have stressed the precept “Don’t stop the training!” I still stand by it; however, there are times when as a prepper, a survivalist, a constitutional patriot, or whatever label you wish to apply to yourself…you may feel “burned out,” or lackadaisical. We are having a tremendous amount of people feeling this way since the Presidential elections of 2016. Many are questioning what need is there to prepare for the end of the world or a collapse?
That is an excellent question, yet it is best answered thusly [to paraphrase “Upgrayedd”]: Is the election of President Trump a guarantee that a collapse or a SHTF scenario will no longer happen? The answer is that it is not a guarantee of such. There are plenty of different things happening around the world. North Korea was written off as a threat in the minds of many at the time of the summit meetings, only to be revealing its fangs once again. Russia (every Hollywood film is painting them as the “bogeyman”) is still an issue, as are China and Iran. Ebola is breaking out in the Congo, and the economies of the world are on shaky ground. All the more reason to continue to train and prepare: but how do we deal with burnout?
5 Ways to Deal With Prepper Burn-Out
The answer is simple here and rendered in one word: Balance.
It is not an oversimplification. It is a word that means several different actions in different categories of preparation. Let’s cover a few of them and explore the concept.
- Physical Training: Overtraining here can be (potentially) almost self-explanatory, but it is more involved than it appears on the surface. When you work out a muscle group, there are two types of physical recoveries that are taking place after the workout is done: local and systemic. Local involves the muscles themselves, now in a catabolic state that needs the replenishment of nutrients such as proteins and vitamins, and actual rest from physical activity. Systemic involves the organs, such as the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and so forth. These, too, need recovery from the toxins produced during the course of the workout. They do not experience the same growth as muscle tissue, yet the demands placed upon them are even more to compensate physically for what you’ve “done” to yourself with a workout. Whether you’re a strength-trainer with weights or an endurance-trainer with marathons and long-distance marches, you need to give your body time to replenish and compensate after the exercise.
- Cross-Training: You may have as your forte and profession the skills of a mechanic, and at the end of the day (or society), that is your main skill and interest. To give your mind a rest and also to explore other areas? You may wish to train in other skills. How about acquiring the skills of a welder? You could even pick up some training on heavy equipment or driving certain types of vehicles. These would complement your main profession. Or find something to study that is totally different. You can never learn too much, and every skill you pick up is good for you down the road.
- Supplies: Are there ever really enough? No, there are not. Your budget and time constraints, however, may say otherwise, at least temporarily. Then do something different with the existing supplies to improve them…such as store them in a special order or with a new inventory system. Take factors such as time, temperature, humidity, and dates gathered, and fine-tune your warehouse or disaster larders.
- Family Time: Give your mind a hiatus by having days where you’re not focused on anything but having a good time and enjoying each other’s company, whether out to dinner, or having a dinner/movie night at home, or activities with your church or any organization you may belong to. Having “normal” (a better word is unstressed) family time is just as important as preparing them for the next disaster to come up.
- Activities with Dual Purposes: Make a project that will have more than one use or benefit, with one being a “Happy Hallmark Family” purpose, and the other a backup for a disaster…a “secondary” purpose. An in-ground swimming pool is a great example of this. Think of all that you guys could do with the pool in your backyard…the barbecues, the family gatherings, and such. Think also of the training that you can do: swimming is excellent for physical training. Disaster wise? Think of the in-ground reservoir you’ve built in the event of an emergency. In this case, one stone gets three birds, right?
Underlying to all of this is your mind. You must continually replenish this most valuable (and finite) resource: through proper diet, through exercise, and through meditation. You must also give your mind a hiatus from too much activity. Be aware, but do not be troubled, alarmed, or worried. Handle things in a controlled fashion and work on mental discipline and concentration to be able to take care of things as they arise.
There is a time for all things, and as such, also a time not for all things. Know when to draw the line on excess, and maintain balance in your life. You can do all of this without relenting or letting up on your prepper posture or being able to shift into action at any given time. Be as the lion: strong and prepared, resting on the grass, yet mindful of the cubs…ready to spring to their defense when danger threatens. Your preparations are an investment, and make sure you take some of that larder before you pack it away…and have a nice dinner with a portion of it with your family. Balance in all areas, and readiness when the time comes. Look to the lion, and look out for one another. JJ out!
About the Author
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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