Survival Buzz: Relieve Stress By Taking Time for a Progress Check

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 3, 2019

Whereas I am not generally a doom and gloom person, sometimes I get both stressed and depressed over the state of the world, generally, and my country, specifically.  Furthermore, as much as I do like to stay informed, there are times when what I read is all too much and I just want to go hide under a rock somewhere.  The upcoming election is a good case in point.  Regardless of the outcome, my belief is that uncertain times are not over and further, bad times are right around the corner.

Does this make me angry?  Yes.  But unlike six years ago, I am now well-prepped and know that when it comes to material things, I will weather the storm.

Relieve Stress By Taking Time for a Progress Check | Backdoor Survival

Have you noticed that lately the Survival Buzz has become a discussion centering around the more psychological and mental aspects of prepping?  For me, this discussion and especially what I read in the comments, becomes  a personal catharsis.  I say this because as well-prepped as I am, it is often the mental process of coping that gets to me.  Believe it or not, I sometimes have the same doubts you do.

Will the crisis ever be over?  Will I even be able to get through the day without worrying about the future?  Am I safe?  Are my friends and relatives going to be okay?  And, finally, donning my tin-foil hat, is the government out to get me?

My goal today is to remind you that as angry, upset, disillusioned, and stressed as you may be about the state of the world, you should not become angry with life.  Take some time to relieve stress by taking a progress check.  Review your accomplishments and the steps you have taken to control your life and your destiny though self-reliance, independence, simplicity and a strong dose of frugality.

To get you started, here are some of my own accomplishments.

I now know that the amount of money I have only needs to equal the amount of money I need to do the things I want to do.  I don’t need to work myself to death trying to reach some multi-millionaire goal just for the sake of having the money.  The popular Tim Ferris book, The 4-Hour Work Week, describes this perfectly.

My food storage pantry is full and getting fuller with each passing month.  If needed, I could go two to three years without shopping for food.

I have plenty of water in the event the public water system becomes contaminated or unavailable. I also have multiple methods for both purifying and filtering water so that it becomes drinkable, including pool water and salt water.

My home is no longer cluttered with useless stuff although I do have boxes of old junk stored in the garage.  Those are going to get picked over and recycled or dumped sooner rather than later.  If you have not used something or have forgotten about it, now is the time to get rid of it!  By the way, for tips on letting go of old stuff, check out the classic book, It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh.

My primary form of entertainment is reading, listening to audio books, watching films and TV shows streamed via Hulu, and taking hikes with my dog, Tucker, and husband, Shelly.  I am also not embarrassed to say that I do a good deal of adult coloring.

I rely on essential oils for 90% of my health care concerns.  OTC remedies are a thing of the past as I have learned through trial and error, how to control blood pressure, joint pain, headaches, and other maladies using oils from natures pharmacy.

Although my home is on the small side, it is both economical to live in and easy to maintain.  It provides me with everything I need to do the things I want to do.  That is not saying I do not want a larger home because I do.  But I do not need one.

And perhaps most important, I have made it a mission to continue to take more control of my life each day, each week, each month, and each year.  I do this one step at a time.

That is my list.  Why not take a few moments today and come up with your own list.  I guarantee the process of doing so will be calming, and that the rest of your day may be brighter as a result of this self-assessment.

No one I trust has ever said that prepping is easy 24/7.  Sometimes, a lot of times, it is hard.  Don’t let that stop you.  And don’t let that ruin your day.

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I have written about using essential oils to control psoriasis and have had good luck treating Shelly with the formula described in Treating Psoriasis with Essential Oils.  Along those same lines, Sarah offers the following suggestion:

Been dealing with psoriasis for many, many years since I was a child. I found that like me, others have found better results with natural cures then steroid base.

What really helps me get to ‘break’ into the scales with oils is using a piece of plastic wrap on area after applying oils and lotion. I’d sleep with ace bandages on my knees and elbows to keep the plastic on longer. Until I was uncomfortable and throw them off at night, it would get into the scales and let the oils do the work it should.

Hopes this helps someone.

Loosely related to today’s Buzz, Milo shared this:

My family motivates me. I want to protect them as much as I possibly can so that we can also survive these possible horrible situations.

Although I do enjoy shiny new toys and guns…I do take prepping very seriously…it’s just part of my life and it’s important to stick with it as much as you can because no matter how well you plan and prep you still won’t be 100% ready.

I would add to the thinking outside the box and that’s to “NEVER EVER GIVE UP”….it’s just not an option….there’s too much at stake.

All I can say is “Amen” to that.

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Canning With Confidence – August 9th

Sometimes silly stupid things happen.  A few days ago I sent out an email and one of the links to register for this free online class did not work.  If you are still trying to register, here is a link that does work!  See you Tuesday.

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The site re-vamp is now in the hands of the designer. The final layout has been something I have been working on for a couple of months with the goal of speeding things up for faster load times.

I also have some back end domain changes going on as I switch registrars.  This most likely will be seamless but there may be three of four hours when access to the site it goofy.  In addition, there may be some delays in emails reaching my inbox.  None of this should become a huge disruption but I thought I should mention it none the less.

The Final Word

If you have ever had someone close to you get very sick and possibly die, then you know how precious life can be.  Every day counts.  That is why I so strongly advocate getting outdoors to enjoy the fresh air, finding some glory in a beautiful sunset, and enjoying some quiet time on a leisurely walk.

You fill in the blanks. Life can be so much more beautiful when you take time for personal peace and simplicity.  I, for one, need to do more of that, and, believe it or not, writing helps.

Although you will have to trust me with this, I truly believe you can relieve stress by taking time for a project check. Couple that with knowing that “done” is better than “perfect” and you should be good to go!  And that, for now, is all I am going to say about that.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Have you ever wondered what preps I value the most?  There are way too many to list so those I have listed below are a sampling of items I use all of the time and not simply tucked away for emergencies.

Note:  As I was going around the house looking for things to add to this list, I had to stop.  There are simply too many items so I will reserve the rest for another time.

UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight:  I personally keep flashlights in every single room of my house and you should too. At the time of this writing, these flashlights are $3.20 with free shipping. Or you can purchase 4 for $13.99.   These favorites are super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, they use a single, standard AA sized battery.

mini Cree_0

NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle:  These water bottles have served me well.  I fill them up with water from my Royal Berkey and keep one bedside, one at my desk and another in the bathroom.  Keep in mind that price-wise, some colors will be more expensive so if the color does not matter, go with the cheapest (currently the green version).

First Aid Ammo Kit:  Okay, this is an article and not one single item but I use my first aid kit at least once a week.

Panasonic eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries:  These days, I try to use eneloops as much as possible.  They hold a charge forever – or so it seems – and work well in flashlights and small electronics.   Note:  I also use the Amazon Basics brand and will purchase those if the price is less.  I have done a lot of reading and to the best of my knowledge, they are an eneloop twin, branded by Amazon.

Grabber Outdoors Original Space Brand All Weather Blanket:  I was interested in a re-usable emergency blanket so I purchased one of these based upon the excellent reviews.  This space blanket is definitely “heavy duty” compared to the cheapies (not that they don’t have their place because they do).

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester:  I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester.  Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week.  This newer version is an upgrade from the BAT-200 and well worth the additional dollar in cost.  I  especially like the redesigned side cradle that holds batteries securely in place during testing – no more erratic battery readings from movement off contacts.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: ANOTHER FAVORITE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.  Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too.


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25 Responses to “Survival Buzz: Relieve Stress By Taking Time for a Progress Check”

  1. Sometimes it does become overwhelming! I too fret over the state of the world. Having prepped for many years, I thought I was ready for anything. 3 years of food, water, a thriving garden….if you are prepared, you know areas are covered. Then life throws you a curve ball. I was recently diagnosed with cancer. After my surgery I will need to take hormones for the rest life. There is no substitute in natural medicine. Now my mind reels with new worry on how to obtain these in a future breakdown. The interesting ng lesson here is matter what you think your prepared for, your never prepared for everything!

    • I am sorry to hear about your cancer and hope you are on the mend. I wish I had a magic panacea for hormone replacements from the natural world but with so many quacks out there, I am loath to send out links to what I feel are dubious websites claiming this or claiming that.

      You are so right about those curve balls. Although nothing like your health issue, my own curveball is planning a move and knowing I will have to abandon at least half of my food preps because the cost of moving exceeds the cost of replacement. It is breaking my heart that the local food bank will not take anything past the bogus expiration dates on cans or packages. Furious might be a better word.

      Blessings to you for good health going forward.

    • It is true that after surgery life will not be the same. Have you thought of the many ways to get rid of the cancer without surgery? Much safer and you are left whole. Look up Ty Bolinger on the internet. He has a web site that shows many cures for cancer. He has newsletters he sends out daily on new developments and will help in any way possible to help you before you go under the knife or go into chemo treatments. There are thousands of people that have been helped by following the advice he gets from doctors and naturepaths. People who have survived give details of how to become cancer free. I would always try the natural way first.

    • Thanks. I will look into the information. I have thyroid cancer, possible nasopharnex and lymph involvement. The whole gland would have to come out. A person can’t survive without the gland for which there is no natural substitute. I’ve been vegan for 15 years. Dont drink or smoke,eat organic, exercise. Thought I was leading a life that prevented these types of diseases. Will check it out before I move forward.
      Thanks again.

    • Hi Jo:
      I had my thyroid burned away several years ago by radioactive iodine that the doctors gave me for Graves Disease. I have taken a natural (animal not synthetic) thyroid hormone replacement since then and have done well on it, except that the weight went on and won’t come off. Just a reminder that you are not limited to synthetic replacement pills. There is Armour and Nature-Throid brands that are available from a naturopathic physician. Good Luck!

    • Jo, my daughter is dealing with the same or similar health challenge. Some info we have collected may help, if Gaye would like to link you to my private email. There are definitely foods and herbs which help and some which you may want to avoid. It’s not that there is no hope, it’s only you don’t know what options you have right now. 🙂

    • are you saying that one can use foods and herbs to compensate for having no thyroid gland and therefore no thyroid hormones in one’s body? if so, i’d be interested in checking that out.

    • This is what we’re working on now, while we still have her meds as backup.

    • Dee,
      I have written Gaye privately for this request. I know she gets a lot of mail, so give it a few days. Thanks so very much!

    • I will be responding later in the day after my chores are done. I am happy to put the two of you in touch with eachother.

    • I am happy to see that others have written to help you also. One thing that most people will not mention and have never heard of is geopathic zones. It sounds different but there are these “cancer” zone throughout the earth. They cause sickness. You will find that the more time you spend in these zones, the more likely you are to get sick. Cats love those areas, that is why the Egyptians worshiped cats. You will find that hiving insects will always be in these zones. In the old days when a person wanted to build a new house they would have a herd of sheep graze on the land they were to build on. The house would be built where the sheep laid down to rest because that area was free of geopathy. If you “sleep” ( for sleep does not happen in that zone) you are very likely to get very sick no matter what you eat or how you exercise. BioMed is a company from Germany now out of Canada. They have a lot of info on these zones. I “slept” in one of these zones for 6 years. I thought I was going to die. In fact, I think I would have if I hadn’t taken a class in B.C. about energy medicine. They tested me and found I had geopathy. When I got home I moved my bed to a safe place and now sleep and have over come many illnesses. Geopathic zones can move especially with earthquake movement. So check occasionally to see if the zone has moved to see if the sleeping area is still safe.

    • Thank you (and everyone else) for sharing so much information on natural healing and especially with tips for finding credible websites to explore in our search for natural healing.

      As I mentioned in an earlier comment, without much personal experience with healing oriented websites, I have been hesitant to make many suggestions. You can bet that I am going to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge embedded in our Backdoor Survival family. I am so grateful you are will to share. I learn so very much from you.

    • Dennis, you raised my curiosity. Never heard of geopathy. You ever hear about grounding? It just might be the opposite.

    • Yes, I have heard of grounding but have never looked at it as the opposite of geopathic zones. I think you are on to something! I knew a woman who came down with depression so badly that she just went outside and collapsed face first onto the ground. She laid there like that for a couple of hours. Then she got up and was fine, to me, the ground healed her. We all need to be grounded to be healthy. Very interesting.

  2. A house fire is a possibility that we do not often think about but should. They may occur when you least expect it. No matter how much food and water you might store for hard times; a house fire can wipe you out in a few minutes. Take time to install multiple fire alarms and handy fire extinguishers.
    Know where your main circuit box is located and how to turn off the electricity at the main breakers. Have fire department, police department, etc. phone numbers handy. Put them into your cell phones now when you have time and don’t need them. Also have them posted near your home phones. You prep for other things…. why not a fire?

    • I totally agree. Here is a recent article I wrote: //

    • i have a fire-resistant “safe” or file box that i keep the most important papers in. i’m also working on putting my important documents on a flash drive that i can carry around with me.

  3. Notes on the Mini Cree flashlight.
    After reading your review on these small but mighty flashlights I order two (2) of them to try ourselves. We loved them so much we bought one for each room in our house, every jacket and each of our multiple back packs. We also purchased one for each member of our extended families. After using one of the them on a very regular basis for about six (6) months we found that it heated up to a degree that it was uncomfortable to hold. Another well used Mini Cree began deciding on its own whether it would flash at intervals or provide a steady stream of light. Both flashlights stopped working altogether after less than one (1) year of use. If only one (1) failed I would call it a fluke but since two (2) failed, I am uncertain whether these should be considered for anything but temporary use and not for prepping where they would be depended on for longer term use. On the other hand, they are inexpensive enough to be able to toss as they die and move on to the next. The size is perfect and the light they provide is amazingly strong.
    I hope this information helps individuals make better informed decisions on the Mini Crees.

  4. On a personal and health level I celebrate a lot of little things. Like being able to brush my own teeth again. Being able to stand up in my own kitchen an move from frig to counter. I celebrate it all. On a broader focus I have worked with high school kids from communist and 3rd world countries. I learned more from them than I think they learned from me. My Russian kids used to come into my classroom and conduct their own Bible study in Russian on their lunch hour. They did not ask for permission, they just did it and included the Georgians and Ukrainians who also spoke Russian. I asked them how they could be Christians after close to a 100 years of communism. They gave credit to their Grandmothers. They understood the value of developing an inner life. You can call it religious or spiritual, whatever you want. They understood the value of family and friends. They understood what it meant to be part of a neighborhood. They were not used to their schools spending a lot of money on football, or expensive sports programs. They participated in gymnastics, wrestling. They played cards games and chess. They did a lot of things on their own and not all of it would have been approved by administration. They could operate under the radar and keep personal things personal. None of these students ever had a problem without being helped by the others. Their families supported other immigrant owned businesses.

  5. You wrote: Have you noticed that lately the Survival Buzz has become a discussion centering around the more psychological and mental aspects of prepping?

    The physical aspects of any type of prepping are well known, whether you need to prep for hurricane season or something worse. However, the mental state of PEOPLE can be a great help or a great problem. We should be aware of our own weaknesses and ‘push buttons’, but what about others? Under extreme stress behavior can be unpredictable. All those ‘fight or flight’ hormones raging and all. Spiritual strength is needed. A firm relationship with Creator is the key. We start with ourselves. Our ability to cope will extend to others. Just keep the stability and focus going. You know the drill: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    • A different perspective: People often mistake ‘mental’ state for the emotional state. Not so, there are the physical, emotional, spiritual and rational parts to us. So yes, a relationship with the Creator makes a difference too.
      There is more than FIGHT or FLIGHT too. The third is FREEZE. You see it in Nature and in us when we experience an event for which we have no reference how to behave. Even with Freeze, the proper decision can go many ways, just as fight or flight goes. This is why role playing is so important, not just the mental exercise but the physical part too. Even so, from many interviews with people after events, as much as one can prep for events, so many have told me there isn’t a way to prep our emotions as we do our supplies and physical selves. Gaye, you’re right, learning how to manage stress now is important. I keep a list of ‘to dos’ for those stress times depending on the event. One can become a victim, one just doesn’t have to stay one. Not only can one survive but learn how to thrive. THAT’s what I’m prepping for.

  6. …uncertain times are not over and further, bad times are right around the corner…

    Yes, but think of people who made it through the American Civil War. Starting over from nothing. Irish immigrants running from the Potato famine. Human history is full of such examples. And we are still here!

  7. I completely agree that prepping can be extremely stressful if you let it take over your life to the extent that you become obsessed with it. It is absolutely vital for your health and peace of mind NOT to form a habit of reading every doom and gloom scary article on the Internet written by every wing nut with computer access. Doomsday books really do not help to create a positive outlook, either.(

    If you research past history, it does not take long to realize that previous generations all had serious problems to cope with. The world has never been a peaceful place. There have always been big problems.

    It is imporant to acknowledge that we have serious problems, but not healthy to obsess about those constantly. Prepping makes wonderful sense in terms of being as well prepared and self reliant as possible. Constant what-if worrying will not accomplish anything, except open the door to stress-related health problems.

  8. Jo, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis of cancer, and pray for wisdom, strength, courage, protection, and healing. Gaye has a lot of good followers here. I have been so wrapped up in preps the last few years, I can’t keep up with on line things, although I try. I too have been feeling a gloom in my tummy, and mind. Not sure just how much I’ve collected in preps the last 3 years, guess I need to inventory and find out. This summer I discovered that I’m a slight bit allergic to be stings, while being chased around the driveway by black bees. Took 5 days for the swelling to subside no matter what I did for treatment. I now have 2- eppy pens on hand for extreme measures, and am working on an extensive first aid kit, so if need be, emergency procedures can be performed. We have neighbors who the guy is a well saught-after dentist, his wife is a registered nurse. Nice to have here on an isolated island. I feel is is so true about the “no matter what you do, eat, not smoke, or drink,doesn’t matter” some people just get sick. My mother-in-law battled lung cancer for 3 years before sucooming to it, she never drank or smoked a day in her life. Don’t know the whys or how’s, but sometimes it just happens. The older we get, and the more people, friends we know get sick, ,the more we learn to cherish life, family, and friends. Life is so short. With all the bad things happening around the world, and some starting to happen here, makes me angry that our elected/appointed officials have pretty much sold us all out, all for power and money. In the end, they will get theirs. But in the meantime, we are going to experience things that the current generations have never felt. And only a select few of us will have a fighting chance because we are doing what we are doing. I love, and owe Gaye much, she was the inspiration for my prepping. She has given me much advice along the way. Though half of my family is Mormon, I didn’t have a drive to prep until I got to know Gaye. She is like a beacon in the dark, and a breath of fresh air when it’s needed. Thank You Gaye for all you have done, for all of us.

    • Thank you Eve. That was lovely and well stated. My faith is my compass…. It’s all that matters in the end! Life is short indeed! Live it!! That’s why I choose an avatar that is so joyful!!

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