The past four or five years have been difficult on many fronts. The lousy economy and the wonky weather patterns have put most people on edge. And not just a temporary edge but and edge that seems to get steeper over time with no end in sight.
In this type of environment, it is easy to become stressed, frustrated and immune to taking steps to effect change. Instead, many go about their day, fearful of rocking the boat and too fearful to even think about the consequences of a major crisis or natural disaster. And even though you have stockpiled food and water and have learned survival skills such as fire building, sheltering and emergency medicine, when push comes to shove, there is still an underlying fear that things will be bad – so bad – that we will not make it through.
There is an idiom that is commonly used to describe one’s ability to deal with difficult and stressful situations. It is called “Rolling with the Punches” and it means accepting whatever happens, dealing with it and moving on in a healthy and productive manner. It means having the skills to deal with difficult situations, no matter what.
Learning to roll with the punches is a survival skill that can be honed and polished, ready to serve you when faced with the distress of a tough life situation. Today I would like to share 12 tips for rolling with the punches – 12 tips for learning how to cope and endure when the SHTF and your world falls apart.
1. Be Decisive. Face it; most problems will not disappear by themselves so you might as well take action and get something done to solve the issue at hand. Make decisions and act. You may not always make the very best decision but you will be doing something and it is that something is what really matters.
2. Establish good ties and social connections within your community. Establish close ties with friends and family, stressing quality rather than quantity. Having these relationships you provide you with positive enforcement not only when times are good, but also when times are bad.
3. Have goals. Even in difficult times, goals are important. They don’t have to be big goals and, as a matter of fact, smaller, more manageable goals are far more attainable. Say, for example, you want to begin a preparedness program. Identify small tasks and complete them one by one, month by month, task by task. (See 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.)
4. Turn difficult situations into avenues for personal growth. Learn from each challenge. If you have a problem that seems difficult to solve, let your innate curiosity take over and educate yourself. Become stronger through education, secure in the knowledge that no matter what your age, you are still learning and growing.
5. Trust your instincts and remember you are capable of doing great things. Instincts are developed from a lifetime of experience. It does not matter is you are 20 or if you are 80. You still have life experiences upon which to draw some conclusions and to help you make the right decision. Trust yourself to make the very best decision you can and remember that you have the ability to prevail, no matter what.
6. Maintain your optimism. You can’t change what has happened in the past, so accept the past and begin to look forward to the future. Anticipate what is coming with a sense of challenge even if the only challenge is to get through the day with food in your belly and love in your heart.
7. Understand your strength and weaknesses. Get out a pad of paper and make two columns; one for strengths and the other for weaknesses. You don’t necessarily have to change but from this list you can learn to understand and appreciate those circumstances where you will excel as well as those where you may fall short. Use this knowledge as a tool for building your confidence and your self esteem.
8. Don’t forget that time will heal. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and stressed during a crisis situation. But remember, time really does heal. Take baby steps toward overcoming the bad situation and congratulate yourself each time you meet with even the smallest modicum of success. Remind yourself that a month, a year, a decade from now, things will be different.
9. Appreciate and accept change. It is trite to say that change is good because sometimes it is not. But whether the change is good or not, it is a part of life and is often something that we cannot control. The best way to cope with unwanted change is to accept it and adjust your plans accordingly.
10. Stay fit and healthy. Take care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and get some exercise each and every day. And most important, take some time for yourself so that you can enjoy simple pleasures such as a good book, some delightful music and the company of good friends.
11. Be proactive. Do something meaningful each and every day. By doing something worthwhile each and every day, you will have a sense of purpose. Just remember to make this an individual thing, Meaningful should be defined wholly in your own terms and not those of someone else.
12. Ask your self “what is the worst than can happen?” Dale Carnegie said: “First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.” To this day, that remains sound advise.
The Final Word
Increasing your ability to quickly recover from a crisis or a disaster may mean the difference between getting through life’s challenges with gusto and gumption instead of muddling through the day with fear and distress. Just remember that success can come from the smallest of accomplishments. The baby steps that seem inconsequential while doing them have the ability to add up and become something much greater than the individual components.
I hope that you will take a good look at these twelve tips and practice at least two or three so that you can build up your resilience and ability cope no matter how tough the situation in your life and our world might get. For at the end of the day, it your ability to recover quickly that may hold the key to your long term survival in these uncertain times.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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From the Bargain Bin: Survival is all about learning to fend for yourself. Here are some of the emergency medical supplies suggested by my young EMT friend, George Ure II, when he was interviewed for the article on Strategic Living, Prepping to Save Lives: Thoughts of an EMT.
Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.
Where There Is No Doctor: Hesperian’s classic manual, Where There Is No Doctor, is perhaps the most widely-used health care manual in the world. About $20.
Adventure Medical Kits Pocket Survival Pack or Adventure Medical Kits Outfitter Kit: Adventure Medical Kit products are well priced and with an excellent reputation among outdoor types such as fishermen and hunters. This is a good place to start if you are looking for a kit.
182-Piece First Aid Kit: This 182 piece first aid kit is on sales this month at Emergency Essentials for $16.99. This is a basic starter kit.
The Pill Book (15th Edition): New and Revised: For nine bucks, there is no reason not to have this book in your emergency medical kit.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): For less than $8, this pack of 10 is a great deal. Free shipping too.
Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED): Pricey? Yes. But and AED can save a life. If you or a loved one has a heart problem, this is a must have device especially if you are located far far away from medical help.
Omron Series Blood Pressure Wrist Unit: We personally would not be without one of these units.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.
The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.
But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.
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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (www.urbansurvival.com), and can purchased from Amazon.
Shelf Reliance Virtual Party: Are you a fan of Shelf Reliance and Thrive products? Backdoor Survival hosts a virtual, online Shelf Reliance party with discounted party prices and some special packages not normally found at the Shelf Reliance site.
As a matter of fact, all of the packages you see available at Costco.com are available at my party and at better prices too!