What is it?
What is prepper overload? Is being overloaded the same as being overwhelmed? Some would say yes they are. But, the way I see it they are two different things. I've experienced both. Being overwhelmed or overloaded can happen to any of us, for a multitude of reasons. Either can happen within our daily lives and routines. We reach a point that we either feel like we are going to explode, or we want to completely shut down. Thus, proving Newton's Third Law of Motion: for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Is the opposite of this true? For every non-action is there no reaction? Let's find out.
A person can become overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities and tasks that they are faced with. Having too much on our plates, or taking on more than we can handle, results in a person becoming overwhelmed. Add to that an unknown timeline and you've got the possibility of mega stress!
Preppers have the feeling of a BIG responsibility. The need to make sure we and our loved ones are prepared and ready for any type of emergency/disaster is definitely enough to cause someone to feel overwhelmed. What if I don't have enough time to stock up enough food? How do I know if we will be able to stay put in our house or have to leave? How in the world are we going to survive without electricity or water? The questions running in our minds go on and on.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed it may be a good idea to stop, take a breath, and re-evaluate your food stock and essentials. When doing this, even if you've only been prepping for a short time, you will be able to see what all you actually have accomplished. If we focus on the positive, the negative will eventually fade.
Once you have your bearings, you might want to make a short list of the most important items that you are still in need of obtaining. That's what I do (now). I list two or three of the most important items needed for my BOB. I work at obtaining those items, and then once I have them, I make a new list. You can do the same type of thing for your food storage needs. This really can help to lift some of the weight off your shoulders.
We, as humans, can only compute so much information at a time. We are not computers or robots. As we take in information, it begins to accumulate, and build up in our minds. There needs to be a release of some sort, or our brains will begin to shut down on the matter. That is what I consider being overloaded.
How do preppers become overloaded? One way that I have experienced this is when researching. When trying to find all that I think I need to know on the subject of prepping and surviving. Instead of picking just one or two subjects to research and learn all I can about them and put them to practical use in my own life, I was trying to take it all in at once. My brain was becoming overloaded with information. There was no way I would be able to practice and put to use all of the things I was trying to learn.
I had to learn to slow down, and focus on one or two things (at the most) at a time. I mean truly learn them and practice putting those skills/knowledge to use; until I didn't need to reference an article or video to know what I was, or would be, doing if it were to become necessary. Then once you have affected those skills/knowledge, move on to the next. Again, prioritizing the most important/urgent ones and focusing on those first. For example, fire starting. Fire starting is the most basic and most important skill needed to survive. Being able to build a fire and get a flame going requires both knowledge and skill. The more you practice it, the more familiar and easier it is to accomplish. If all you have is knowledge on the subject, you may not be able to actually put that knowledge to use if you haven't practiced it beforehand. At least not as quickly as you might need to. And in dire situations, time can mean a difference in life and death.
I think we are so used to cramming our minds with everything at once that we don't really take the time to put that knowledge to use. What we may not even realize as preppers is that knowledge is good, but it is incomplete. Until we actually practice that knowledge and put it to use; then and only then will it become a skill. Truly learning a skill takes practice and time. It will help to ease the feeling of being overloaded or overwhelmed if you take it one step (skill) at a time.
Newton's Third Law of Motion
Back to Newton's Third Law of Motion: for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we allow ourselves to become so overwhelmed or overloaded that we get to the point that we just shut down, there will be no further action. That reaction would not be a good one. It could be that we stopped prepping and then the time hits when we need to rely on our stocked food or skills. That month or less of food supplies and barely no skills won't do us much good at that point, will it? This would lend to both an equal and opposite reaction. Equal in that we did build up a small supply of foods and maybe learned one skill or two. The opposite reaction (to the bad situation) being that we didn't build up a big enough supply of foods or learn enough skills; and we wouldn't survive very long.
On the other hand, if we worked diligently and built up a food supply that would last at least a year and studied and learned enough knowledge and skills to be able to live off the land? The equal reaction would be that we would have enough food to eat for at least a year and would have the knowledge/skills necessary to live off the land indefinitely. The opposite reaction (to the bad situation) would be that we did have enough food, knowledge, and skills to get us through whatever bad situation we faced (meant to bring us down or destroy us) and we survived.
To sum it up, if you take no action it can still affect things (and people) around you. So, in essence, taking no action is actually an action as it causes a reaction. And sometimes those reactions domino; whether good or bad.
So, instead of allowing yourself to blow up or shut down, learn to prioritize and work on specific tasks until they are accomplished. It's kind of like the Alcoholics Anonymous quote, "one day at a time". Only, one task or skill at a time (or maybe two at a time).
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!