We are still in a total mess, nothing is in its proper place, there is sawdust coating every surface, even though most surfaces were tarped or covered with plastic, saw dust is insidious, it found its way under or through the coverings. We have to cook and eat our meals outside. But thank God we are able to sleep in the house now that the weather is cooling off. I realized yesterday that even though we are living in a "disaster area", we are on our way up, the bottom has been found and we are making progress... so why do I feel so depressed and exhausted? Adrenaline fatigue...
|Cabinets in this part of the kitchen are taped and ready for sanding. The floor has been replaced, and the stove is in place but won't be hooked up until the kitchen cabinets are done since gas stove and construction don't mix.|
|Everything is covered and inaccessible until we are finished sanding and painting.|
So last night I decided to make a margarita, (made by flashlight in our outdoor kitchen :D ), and began to work on the art for our newly sanded kitchen cabinets. I got lost in the project and worked really late, but I felt like a new person this morning.
What does all this have to do with prepping??? A lot. As Preppers, we spend a large portion of our financial resources, time and effort on making sure we have the essentials, which is appropriate, but it is important to think about our mental health as well. Unfortunately, this area of prepping is seldom considered, or planned for. Whatever scenario you find yourself in, there will come a time when things need to normalize, and "life" to go on. The whole point in surviving is to make it through to a point where LIFE can begin again. But if "the plan" does not consider how to begin to have a life again, and to provide for it, then eventually everyone will burn out.
In all but the most dire of situations, there should be some down time factored in for each person, some time to recharge the mental and physical batteries. What preps have been done for that? Are there any unread books, paper, pens, crayons, paints, non electric wood working tools, or whatever supplies you need to feed the inner child? Have the needs of the adults been considered as well as for the children? And what about those surly teens, who only get more surly when under stress, what preps have been made for them to blow off steam?
You have extra batteries for necessary equipment, but how about for the hand held game devise everyone will be missing? Are there decks of cards and travel size games in your preps, what about a frisbee or a ball? Do you have an artistic person in your group? Have good drawing pencils and notebooks of blank paper, a tin of water paints and some brushes for them. A book worm in your midst? Have some good unread books for them and have them read out loud to provide everyone with some entertainment, A putterer, builder, mechanic? Have non electric tools, wood and other supplies at you long term locale, and a few magazines stowed away for a rainy day or bug out. Crayons and colored pencils, and some children's and adult type coloring books can be a real pick me up for everyone. Yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles can make socks, and other needed apparel, but will also have some de-stressing value. It is very easy to put all these things in on 5 gallon bucket and store it away until needed. These should be updated and rotated as time passes and ages and interests change.
A compact digital camera and extra chips to document the experience for posterity, will prove invaluable. You may not be able to view them immediately, but some day there will probably be access to modern devices again. Do you really want to miss the opportunity to document your life and challenges for the future? What if not everyone makes it through... having a camera and taking photos may give you one last look at a loved on or friend. Morose I know but give it some thought.
A camera is definitely part of my long term storage plan.
Although I have many interests and a lot of them I would need to put into practice in a practical way during SHTF, like non-electric cooking and baking, gardening, sewing, herbal medicine, etc., but I try to keep the supplies in stock and rotated for some of my less practical interests, strictly for escapism/ mental health time. For me, if I have a clean dry surface and some paints, I can escape into a world all my own. And just for fun, here are a few pics of what I did during my margarita/ mental health time.
|Close up of part of the bottom of the same door.|
|Detail of the butterfly on the bottom section of the same door.|
What makes your heart sing and what plans have you made for your mental health time in your prepping? Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me about you de-stressing plans.