Resilience can be learned

I came across the above video today and it got me thinking. This post is going to be a follow-on to my post yesterday. I’ve seen some back and forth criticisms on some YouTube prepper/homesteading channels about fearmongering/doomsday hysteria, which inevitably led to other viewers and YouTubers jumping into the mix – taking sides basically and that doesn’t really lead to anything other than resentment and more divides. I’ve done plenty of criticizing the fearmongering too, but I want to move away from that and focus on, hopefully, some positive suggestions.

Before I started watching YouTube prepping/homesteading channels, I had been interested in and believed in emergency preparedness my entire life. I did a lot of Army family support volunteering and also some volunteering with the American Red Cross. More than emergency preparedness, for decades I’ve believed that most Americans could benefit from basic life preparedness training, because I’ve met so many people who don’t plan or prepare at all – for just about anything.

I became interested in learning more about emergency preparedness in 2020. I’d been “prepping” my entire life, but I didn’t call it “prepping” or consider myself a “prepper.” I decided I wanted to increase the amount of food, water and supplies I had on hand and I wanted to learn more preparedness skills. I’ve also been on the learning to be more self-reliant bandwagon for at least 40 years.

When my husband died last year, I realized that I wasn’t nearly as self-reliant as I thought I was and I realized that there’s something more vital to dealing with emergencies and crises than emergency skill sets and being self-reliant, but I’ve heard hardly anyone talk about it in the prepper community. Yes, those are very important too, but the thing that’s really going to allow you to use those skill sets and self-reliance know-how to advantage is by becoming more resilient.

The hardest thing I’ve ever done was watch my husband die. It’s been a difficult adjustment and today I was thinking about him all day long, because November 1st was our wedding anniversary.

Yes, some people seem to adapt and find ways to thrive, even in extremely challenging times and other people crumble into an emotional train wreck at the first sign of adversity, but everyone can learn better coping skills and ways to become more resilient. We can all fall into doom and gloom thoughts, especially in challenging times, but we can also work to dig ourselves out of that mind-set too. Almost everyone will face situations in their life that will knock them to their knees or where they need help from friends, family or even strangers. We all will make mistakes, fail, handle some situation badly, or wish we could have a do-over. I’ve let fear and anxiety creep into my thoughts many times, that’s why I’m working to limit how much doom and gloom information I pay attention to.

It’s easy to begin personalizing major crises in the news, even when it isn’t really impacting us directly or in any dramatic way. If you live in hurricane country, all these reports of impending economic collapse and other dire events, feel like we’re living perpetually in that “cone of uncertainty,” not sure when or if we’re going to take a direct hit, but knowing we’re in that cone. With my impulse-buying a turkey last year, based on fear, after seeing reports of a turkey shortage, that was a wake-up call to me that I was letting too much doom and gloom information impact me. I’ve been working on stepping back and doing reality checks on the news and information bombarding us constantly, then thinking about whether it’s a big deal in my life right now or not, if I should take any action now, and what I could do if it does actually impact my life directly.

By trying to be more optimistic and looking for positive solutions rather than letting a lot of fear and anxiety take hold, it’s helped me relax more and enjoy each day. Seriously, if you’ve been stocking up your pantry for a while and have lots of meal options at your fingertips, then whether you can find a turkey or not isn’t really a crisis situation. When I thought about my concern about a turkey shortage, considering the other options for meals I already had, I felt embarrassed for being so ridiculous. My husband would have been rolling his eyes at me if he had been here to hear me tell him about my concern about a turkey shortage. He would have said something to the effect, “Well, we’ll just eat something else, duh!” He was definitely way more resilient than I am and he found quick solutions to things I was turning into a bigger deal than they really were. I’m trying to learn to become more adaptable and solution-oriented. And I’m also working on trying to smile more and find things each day to be grateful for.

There are all sorts of resilience training books, training and even information online with approaches to take to learn to be more resilient. With all the other prepper advice, learning more about resilience training, might be something worth considering.

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