Regardless of whether you are prepping for TEOTAWKI or a flat tire, the “aware” prepper should be looking for ways to counter act unanticipated high stress events (no matter how big or small) to condition themselves for later high stress situations. Our bodies respond to stress in an emotional and physically manner. Whether you are packing up to get out of dodge, or if you get in a car accident on your way to pick the kids up from school, in both cases, there would be elements of frustration, confusion, anger, helplessness, nervousness and even physical responses such as shaking, heart palpitations and headaches.
When an emergency arises and no plan is in place, things get tricky pretty fast. Stress or anxiety, especially after an unexpected event, leads to a short term imbalance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, and inevitably leads to the above listed symptoms of physical and emotional reactions to stress. Knowing how to curb these natural reactions can reduce the emotional and physical elements. Using these daily stress bursts in a constructive manner rather than viewing them as a nuisance, can help propel a prepper to the next level of preparedness.
Some helpful tips for when we experience the daily bursts of stress are to:
- Control breathing when in a stressful situation. Keeping your breath as steady as possible will keep you focused and alert.
- If you find yourself losing control, STOP! Give yourself a few seconds and visualize an immediate plan of action.
- Have your preferred or enjoyable music nearby.
- Sip on some herbal tea such as chamomile, valerian root, or kava kava.
- Try herbal therapy such as Clarocet, which combines natural herbs for stress and anxiety.
- Make sure you are getting your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients
- Make sure you get enough sleep at night.
Trying to pre-plan small scale emergencies can assist in decreasing stress.
- Have a plan. Have emergency plans and protocols set up where children or teens can see them. Additionally, have important contact phone numbers next to the plan.
- Practice. Test out the emergency plans with test drills.
- Get some back up. Have an emergency phone list in the home, in the car and programmed in cell phones in cases where you may may be late.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Have a small amount of money hidden in the car in case you run out gas, have good vehicle safety with a well prepared emergency kit for each vehicle, have some survival gear on you at all time.
- Prepare for the expected. If children are acting up in the car, have some sticker books, activity books or reading books available for them.
Preppers have prepared for long and short term emergencies where there is a high stress event involved. As much as we pride ourselves on preparedness, there are those unexpected bursts of stress that occur in our daily lives that can create unwanted stress and frustration. By using these stress bursts as a way to further mentally prepare yourself for unforeseen events, you can increase your tolerance for stress and frustration.