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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prepper Burnout – Identify and Combat It

Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa season is here (thanks to those supporting SHTF Blog by using the Amazon search bar for shopping) and if you’re a SHTF Blog reader not finding joy in the season, it might be a sign you’re on the verge of prepper burnout.
From the Ranger Man Book of Doomsday Definitions:
Prepper Burnout (noun) – the act or process of exhausting mental, physical or emotional energy through intense focus and preparation on/for a collapse in social order, natural disasters, pandemics, economic troubles or other problems that could put an individual’s life or livelihood in danger.
It can happen to the best of us, and anyone following this site from the beginning knows that it happened to me. After updating the site 7 days a week for nearly a year and a half, I found my outlook on the world was changing. I began to see daily life through a TEOTWAWKI lense as I searched for post material and signs The End was upon us. Prepping consumed me and I burned out, sold the site off, took a very long break until I eventually recovered and bought SHTF Blog back, ready to enter the prepper world again in hopes of leading you all toward apocalyptic preparations.
I learned from that experience and now have a healthy balance between preparing for difficult times and enjoying daily life. The two can coexist for the more veteran prepper, but many newcomers are susceptible to prepper burnout. Take Melinda for example, who used to author Prepper’s Home Journal, a blog on prepping. She brought Chad Person’s Underground Bunker to my attention. Want to see her site? It’s gone. The last post I read from her she was asking readers for advice about how to combat prepper burnout. It’s safe to assume the Melinda’s blog treated her the same way SHTF Blog treated me, an intense focus on prepping that corrupts your daily thinking. Melinda was a victim of prepper burnout.
Are YOU on the road to prepper burnout?
You could be on the road to prepper burnout if you:
  1. Only read news articles that cover bad, negative or pessimistic material and you ignore counter arguments that pose a more encouraging outlook.
  2. Don’t see the beauty and pleasure in daily life, because your thinking is focused on The End.
  3. Spend your spare money on securing preparedness goods and spend budget nothing for personal entertainment.
  4. Visiting preparedness websites on a daily basis puts you in a sour mood.
Prepping is important – don’t burnout!
Ways to combat prepper burnout:
  1. Recognize that people have been preparing for the end of time since the beginning of time. While doomsday could strike tomorrow, it’s quite unlikely.
  2. View prepping as a hobby. This has worked well for me since my burnout. Everyone needs a hobby. I could collect stamps, baseball cards, become a television junkie, play video games non-stop OR I could prepare for uncertain times through skills building, gardening, reducing energy needs, etc. Prepping is a practical, worthy hobby. Since seeing prepping as a hobby with real world benefits, I decided to update SHTF Blog 5 times a week, not 7, and I sought the help of Jarhead Survivor so the full weight doesn’t land on my shoulders.
  3. Find a healthy balance. Prepare for social collapse and social order at the same time. It is wise to spend money on food and water storage in case catastrophe strikes and it is also wise to put money aside for retirement in case it does not.
  4. Focus initial gear and food purchases on those that have use now, not just under times of trouble. By this I mean, buy items that have a dual purpose, things that you can use now. Nothing is more disheartening than spending a ton of money on an item that only sits on your SHTF shelf waiting for the day it will be needed. You begin to think, “Why did I do that?” If you can use the item now, you’ll find the purchase worthwhile. The same goes with food. Buy foods you eat daily to start, build a backup supply of those foods. You KNOW you’ll eat them, just rotate stock. Add items like freeze dried foods later.
  5. Take a break. Focus on something else for a while until you have the energy and interest to return.
These are just a few suggestions. Have you suffered prepper burnout and come back again? If so, what worked for you?
- Ranger Man
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