Prepper’s Anxiety: How NOT to Become Paralyzed When You Feel Overwhelmed and Underprepared
Prepper’s Anxiety: How NOT to Become Paralyzed When You Feel Overwhelmed and Underprepared by Fabian Ommar for The Organic Prepper
Eventually, even some of the most prepared preppers will question themselves and their survival skills. Fortunately, if we shift the energy to skill development and self-improvement, those negative feelings will subside.
Whenever I offer guidance to someone new to prepping and survivalism, one issue seems to affect neophytes the most: anxiety. More specifically, prepper’s anxiety. The feelings of urgency, inadequacy, deficiency, insufficiency, and lagging can overwhelm even long-time preppers. This can be even more true during long-term situations like the one we’re all facing now.
Don’t let the anxiety paralyze you and stop you from prepping
Sometimes, anxiety can motivate us to advance our preparations. Questioning ourselves here and there can be positive. Living in a constant state of anxiety is not.
“Is it too late? Am I doing all I can? Are my stockpiles enough, and for how long? What if this or that is missing? Should I learn X or get another Y thingy or that extra backup giZmo? Have I got everything covered? How prepared am I, really?”
I admit to being assaulted by the barrage of questions, despite living in a slow-burning SHTF. Doubt and insecurity have crept in even though I have been prepping and practicing survivalism for some time.
The three sides of prepping and survivalism
As with many things in life, preparation and survivalism have three sides:
- Material (“stuff”: more associated with prepping)
- Psychological (mindset: more connected to survivalism)
- Practical (knowledge/skills, strategies, and fitness: also survival-related)
All three of these sides are interconnected. Each one affects the other. These sides also affect how we feel. For me, personally, there is a spiritual side, but for this article, I will focus on the above mentioned three.
It is essential to objectively look at (and understand) the mechanisms and motivations behind our thoughts, actions, and reactions. This is especially important when it comes to being prepared for disasters.
I always express the importance of focusing on what is under our control, which is ourselves. Self-awareness is crucial. Being conscious and attentive to our minds’ potential can help fight anxiety and other negative feelings that may thwart personal advancements.
Balancing those three sides is paramount to achieving an adequate level of preparation and an optimum survival mindset.
Material (or “stuff”) Anxiety
The material aspect seems to make new preppers quite anxious early on. It is a simple concept, but not easy. This reaction is typical (and expected) because stockpiling is generally the first thing people equate to prepping.
Often, in the early stages of prepping, too much is purchased, or the items are too complex and sometimes useless. Gear, tools, food, and other essential items are easily acquired, contributing to overshooting the mark. Fear-mongering and commercialism are usually the leading cause of the anxiety induced over-purchasing. Lack of financial resources can also contribute to material anxiety.
Many people tend to believe peace of mind can be bought. Indeed, buying things works as a quick fix. It is an easy way to suppress anxiety and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). However, people soon discover the “fix” did not last long, and the anxiety returns. Or worse: it makes us falsely confident and over-reliant on “stuff.” With time we learn what is truly important and what is not.