Based on the events of the last few months, I’m starting to wonder if I’m mentally tough enough to handle SHTF. Three months of protests, some violence, lots of rumors. Rumors perpetuated by the media, hell, even started by them . . .
I’ve written a lot of articles on stress and its effects, and let me tell you—I’ve lived it, too.
But Robin, someone will say, you don’t live in Ferguson!
Nope, but my son goes to school very, very near those city limits and the whole thing is happening about eight miles from our house. As the crow flies, but who thinks a mob would limit themselves to the highways?
Social media doesn’t help. Back in the old days, we’d watch the evening news and shake our heads, probably getting a little tense, and have some discussion. Maybe burn up the phone lines. Now, with Twitter and Facebook, et al, we hear everyone’s thoughts, opinions, news stories, and flat-out made-up crap. Repeatedly.
It’s enough to drive me to drink. Wait, that’s a good idea. Hang on a sec.
Disclaimer—I’m writing this Saturday evening, not at 6:00 a.m. when you’ll be reading this.
And “the” media, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, etc. I’ve often decried the state of journalism, and this holds true. They simply cannot get their acts together. At all. None of them. And it’s a constant barrage of crap.
Okay, enough ranting. For now.
But seriously, you have to get a grip when SHTF. You can be prepared, yes, that’s good. Great. Wonderful. But you’ve seen that cartoon about the little old lady, right, the one where she tells the officer that she has all these guns in her car and he asks what she’s afraid of? She answers, “Not a damn thing!”
So if you’ve prepped, you’ve got no worries, right? We have food and water; we have weapons; we have a plan to stay and a plan to go. No problem, right?
It’s the waiting, the not knowing, that’ll kill you. Well, maybe not literally, but the mental stress and emotional angst will certainly lower your physical defenses. You might be tempted to sit around, doing nothing, reading the news, wandering from room to room, napping. Drinking. Ahem.
But this is a mistake. You need to eat right, and rest enough, and keep your mind occupied. Sure, keep up on what’s happening, you have to, that’s part of it all. But don’t obsess and take a break now and then.
I have to tell myself to back off, shut it down, and go do something. Preferably something physical to burn off all that extra adrenaline. Because you produce that stuff by the metric ton when you’re stressed and waiting and anticipating, and you need some physical activity to get rid of the excess.
Of course, when you stop to take a breather and check the news again, that’s when something new and worrisome crops up. It’s a vicious cycle.
You have to regain your focus, you have to discipline yourself. Over and over. And then again.