If you have been a prepper for a while, you have probably felt the burnout associated with the daily tasks of preparing your family. Prepping isn’t easy, especially when you are doing it the right way.
Believe me, I have been there and still hit that wall every now and then.
Keeping up with our preps, expiration dates, supply rotation, equipment maintenance and keeping our skills up-to-date is time-consuming.
There are times when I would ask myself:
- Why am I doing this?
- Is it worth it?
- Am I letting this consume me?
- Am I wasting my time?
- Am I wasting my money?
- Will I ever even need any of this?
Then I came to the realization that maybe I am trying too hard and trying to accomplish too much too fast. There comes a point when you must stop and enjoy life.
Burnout (noun): exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration
Experiencing Burnout is Just Life… Right?
Feeling burned out is part of life. We all have things happen in life that throws us off track no matter what we are doing. Burnout happens with anything you do whether it is work, our hobbies or other passions we may have.
Now that we know that burnout and stress are just a part of life, you can count on it happening again and again and all we can do is trudge through it. We may get stressed out because of job issues, home life, family or health issues so it’s in our best interest to find a way to get past it and keep on trucking.
We need a healthy balance between being prepared and living our lives. Of course, burnout is not just related to preppers, it happens to everyone in every facet of life. The reasons are similar, and the remedies are similar.
What Causes Burnout and Stress?
Here are some things that I found had been adding to my daily stress and a general feeling of being overwhelmed:
- Mainstream Media – Reading and watching all the negative news being spewed out of the mainstream media.
- Not Enjoying Life – Concentrating on disasters and other SHTF situations so intensely, that I forgot to enjoy the awesomeness of life.
- Money Issues – Over spending on prepping gear and not on little things that can boost my mood such as entertainment.
- Neglecting Family – Not enjoying family like I should have been. When we are burned out, it affects others, especially our family.
- Health – Not keeping myself in shape, if I am not in shape, an SHTF situation is going to be that much more challenging. Health, by the way, is one of the most important preps you can invest in.
- Prepper Envy – Trying too hard to prepare for everything, or, trying to keep up with preppers you read about online. I would tell myself, I must be as prepared as they are, or I will die!
What Can We Do to Counter Prepper’s Burnout?
A lot of what I have done in the past to overcome burnout is to counter the issues above.
Mainstream Media – Stop consuming news 24 hours a day. I still checked the weather and kept up on the big headlines. But unless it directly affected me, my family or our area of operation, I would not read or view it. We need to know what is going on to a degree, don’t let it be the only form of information you take in.
- Take a walk in the woods, daily.
- Watch a comedy or one of your favorite movies. Try to avoid SHTF fiction, although I know that is hard.
- Have game nights with the family and shut off all electronics.
- Do some prepping in an area you never have done before or learned a new skill that is out of your comfort zone. Fishing, hunting, hiking, and other outdoor activity all add to your prepper skills and they are extremely fun and relaxing.
- Not Enjoying Life – I also learned from writing these blog posts, that I should take some of my own advice. YOU CAN’T PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING. Don’t try to prepare for every SHTF situation, just concentrate on the disasters that are most likely to occur in your area. It will make things much easier and your goals much more obtainable.
- Money Issues – I have learned over the years (after being told repeatedly) always pay yourself first. What do I mean? Put money away for a rainy day first, pay off debt and then buy your prepping supplies. There are not too many things in our lives that will drag us down like debt.
- Neglecting Family – I got so caught up in prepping and prepping things, that I would literally spend every weekend checking supplies, learning new skills, or reading survival books to see if there is anything I was overlooking. All the while, life was going on with the family and I wasn’t involving myself. Make it a point to dedicate time every day for family time. You will thank yourself in the end.
- Health – This is a big one, I would spend more time reading and watching YouTube that I forgot about my health. They when the time came to get out and try out what I have learned, it was that much harder. Eat right and exercise should be a big part of our preps. Get out and walk, enjoy what we have now because there will be plenty of time to be stressed when and if the SHTF.
- Prepper Envy – Trying to keep up with the Joneses is a real thing for me. I was watching so much YouTube with titles such as “tour my prepper gear” or “look at my prepper pantry and arsenal” that I thought I must be that prepped, or I am not prepared for anything. I was wrong. Do what you can with what you got and be patient. It will all come together someday.
If I Am Not Prepping 24/7, I will Never Reach My Goal
This was my attitude as well. I got hooked on Audible and would listen to that until I would get to sleep. I realized I need to take a break from all of this, and ultimately, taking a break was ok.
When you first start prepping it can seem overwhelming. You hit the ground running and don’t stop until you think every possible scenario has been covered. This is exactly why you will burn out if you take this road.
I believe that prepping has no end, to be honest, there is no set it and forget it. It is a living, breathing entity that requires small and consistent steps to fulfill our needs when things go south. But all things in moderation.
Other Reasons for Prepper Burnout
Preparing for Something that Will Never Happen
I can’t say this is a big one for me, but I have heard this said before, I am tired of prepping for something that will never happen. You prep and you prep and the family and friends think you are crazy. There is never a reason for what you are doing. You question yourself and your prepping. Then you stress and burnout. Moderation and consistency are the keys to long term prepping success. Just like anything else, you overdo it and you will get in a funk.
Don’t wish for something as bad as an SHTF situation just to validate your actions.
Health Issues Keep You from Prepping
Now there is a difference between burnout and never getting started. But the constant thought of failure or vulnerability can cause pre-burnout.
For many, health issues are a real concern in an SHTF situation. I have older friends that believe that there is no reason to prep for anything because they will not survive anyway.
I am too sick, I am too old, or I don’t have the energy. There is no doubt that medical conditions can make a survival situation much worse, but it is not impossible. For one, don’t think of it as TEOTWAWKI situation but consider a grid down for a couple days or boil water order from the city. No matter where you are in your health situation, storing simple things to get you through these types of scenarios will make life much more comfortable.
Just remember that it is ok to take a break from prepping. You will be of no use to anyone if you go into a disaster situation already behind the eight-ball.
We have to stop making excuses and just do it, but never forget to enjoy life. We were given the gift of life on this beautiful earth so let’s get out there and make the most of it.
Be patient yet consistent and don’t let the mainstream media, friends or non-preppers bring you down.