Sometimes preppers tend to go overboard and only concentrate on one thing; prepping. Especially new preppers. It's actually pretty easy to get caught up in the world of prepping. But, what good are we doing to ourselves if we are concentrating so much on prepping that we aren't living our normal daily lives?
Knowing that we are not the only ones who have ever felt overwhelmed with our prepping is helpful. I just recently experienced this myself. I was so busy with getting this blog site up and running, writing articles for it, and sharing my experiences with my newfound skill of dehydrating food for long term storage with you all that I became overwhelmed. (Whew! That was a long sentence!) It was like I was starting over at prepping again, only at hyper-speed, lol. For the past couple of months I've had so many pots boiling at the same time (metaphorically speaking) that I got to where I just basically shut down and turned all the pots off.
At that point, I had to slow down, take a step back, and re-evaluate my goals and priorities. I had to regroup myself. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we're doing that we tend to forget, or let go of, some of the things that matter the most. Things like taking care of ourselves, and our families. It's like we think we have to get everything done...yesterday; and we can't let anything get in our way of doing it.
By the way, I had started this article a couple of weeks ago and just let it sit by the wayside. Then, I was chatting with a dear friend on Twitter today and we were speaking of being overwhelmed with prepping. She told me that she too had become overwhelmed at one point and had read an article similar to this one that I was contemplating and it helped her a lot. It was then that I decided maybe I could help someone who was experiencing that feeling of being overwhelmed by finishing this article. I want to give a shoutout to @Speed_Loader and thank her for her encouragement!
When we first decide that we want to start prepping we can easily become overwhelmed. We read about others who have stockpiles of food, emergency equipment, and survival tools. And, like everything else in life, we feel the need to have that very same thing...this instant. It's no secret we live in an instantaneous world. We want everything, and we want it now. That's just how it is and what we have become accustomed to. However, in the prepping world the only way that's going to happen is if you happen to be insanely wealthy. It takes time and, yes, it takes money. Those people who have everything they need to survive long term in a world without modern conveniences didn't obtain it overnight. They didn't wake up one day and see that it just magically appeared. It took them years to achieve it. Years of time, money, and perseverance. (That is, unless they were stinking wealthy.)
But, how can we slow down and take our time when time is not something we may have enough of? First of all, none of us knows how much time we have, whether for prepping or actual years on this earth. Worrying about it and running around like chickens with our heads cut off won't help or change anything. We need to stop, take a look around us and see what we can do and where we can go from there.
Just like the old saying, "idle hands are the devil's workshop" (reference Proverbs 16:27, TLB) so is being too busy. Being overly busy and sitting idle are not mentally healthy for anyone, and can reap the same results. That's something I learned many, many years ago when I was raising four children who are only 3-1/2 years apart (I had twins in the middle of the oldest and youngest). My husband and I were very busy with our new ministry and I was totally overwhelmed with the responsibilities of parenting and being a pastor's wife. God showed me that satan uses our busyness to keep us from doing the things that matter most and doing them effectively. Even though I had a job to do within the ministry, I still had a household to take care of. I was also so busy doing the Lord's work that I had put Him on a back burner (ironic, isn't it?). I had to get my priorities straight. I had to slow down and put God, my family, and myself first and foremost. That isn't something that just happens over night. It takes time and perseverance. Principles that can, and should, also be applied to prepping. But, how?
One way to help us gain more time for prepping while still taking care of the needs of ourselves and those dependent upon us is to get our priorities set. Setting our priorities gives us more room (time) to focus. Focusing helps us to put things into perspective. Perspective dissipates the feeling of being overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to lose focus on everything, including our priorities. It's kind of like a viscous circle.
Our first and foremost priority (after God) should be to take care of ourselves. If we don't take care of ourselves we will not have the energy or mental capacity to take care of others to whom we are responsible. If you have to take a break from your prepping for a few days, or a week like I had to, so be it. You will feel much more refreshed and ready to start again after your break. Plus, it will give you time to get your priorities back in order and maybe even set a plan.
Secondly, breath. Take a deep breath, and relax. You can only do what you can do, and nothing more. It doesn't all have to be done today. Realize that if you have started prepping, that is progress. You have more today than you had last year as a result of your efforts. You are moving forward. Decide where you are going to focus your time and energy. Take care of your priorities first and then use the time you have for prepping wisely; not the other way around.
Thirdly, have a plan. You might be a great multi-tasker, but if you don't have a lot of time to devote to prepping, you may need to start with your focus on one thing at a time. A good place to start is food storage. That can be easily done by picking up an extra can or two of veggies or fruit when you're doing your grocery shopping. Then, when that becomes routine, you can work on building your BOB (Bug Out Bag). It can be so much easier if you work prepping into your normal routine instead of jumping right into prepping and work your normal routine around your prepping. I hope that made sense, lol. Once you have your food storage started and it has become routine, and you have your BOB put together, a good next step would be watching videos and learning more about how to actually survive without the modern conveniences we have today. The more you learn, the better prepared you will be. But, be careful at this point that you don't allow yourself to fall back into being overwhelmed again. As you see, you can break it down into steps. Each step will help you to be more and more prepared, and closer to reaching your ultimate goal.
Another huge factor that can play a role in causing us to become overwhelmed is fear. Fear of what may happen and fear that we won't be ready if/when that something happens. We need to try and get our focus off that fear and put our focus onto doing. Know that we are doing all we can do at the time. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself (reference Matthew 6:34). One day at a time. If we realize that having fear isn't going to help us, then maybe we can start moving forward. Sometimes, even though we have fear of something happening we end up doing nothing because that fear has overwhelmed us. Fear is the opposite of faith. Put your faith in God, but also have faith in yourself. We have to have faith that we can do something or it will never get done. Knowing that it's okay to have faith in ourselves can help us move forward.
I hope this has helped you in some way to feel a little less overwhelmed. Know that you are not alone in your efforts. I am here to help, even if you just need someone to talk to. If you have questions about prepping you can ask me. I may not have the answer, but I will try and find one for you. You can always contact me via my About Me page on this website, my Facebook page, Twitter, or by commenting below. I will receive a notification that you contacted me, and I will respond.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)