The world has never been more unstable, unpredictable or dangerous than it is now. Would you truly be that surprised if an earth-shaking cataclysmic event happened this year? Neither would we. That’s why the very best place to start when new to prepping, is with yourself.
Begin with the one and only thing you can control. No matter what unsavory situation arises, we are always better prepared to handle it when we are in good physical condition, and have a healthy presence of body and mind. Here are ten things you can start doing today to prepare body and mind, that will immediately increase your odds of surviving whatever event may be lurking around the corner.
1. Start Exercising. This doesn’t mean that you need to start training for the American Ninja Warrior Challenge. It simply means get moving again! There may come a time where you are without a car or truck and have to travel considerable distances to find food and water, and then carry that back home.
Start going on walks before or after work. Walk on your lunch break. (I used to do push ups beside my desk on my lunch break). Start slow, and work your way up to running, increasing the intensity and distance a little at a time.
If you already have basic cardio-fitness, and flexibility that’s great- work on improving your strength and try to better yourself a little every day. The day may soon come when you, or others could be relying on your fitness and strength in ways you never had imagined.
2. Kick Your Addictions. I’m not just talking about drinking and smoking, although those are the two most common- I mean any addictions you have, must go. Addictions of any kind put you at a huge disadvantage. You are a slave to them; therefore, you do not truly have the freedom to act and do as you please. The whole point of prepping is to put yourself at an advantage and stack the odds in your favor. Addictions can put you at the mercy of others. An addiction can jeopardize your mission and makes you vulnerable to withdrawal and all its nasty symptoms. Put yourself at a distinct advantage and choose to give yourself the gift of freedom NOW, while you still have control.
3. Control Your Diet. I know it’s easier said than done, but with just a little effort, you can start getting your body back to its top physical condition, which will give you a better chance of surviving whatever hits the fan. When we eat healthily, we fight off diseases easier, heal quicker, and think clearer.
Most of the processed and pre-packaged food offered in the stores are terrible for our bodies so start with the basics: cut out sweets and revert to cooking your meals at home, with good non-GMO/additive ingredients if possible. Shop at the organic sections in the supermarket and stop eating fast food, and drinking sodas (diet and regular), and other unhealthy drinks. Get a good water filtration system, and start drinking lots more purified/filtered water.
4. Eliminate Stress. Stress kills. And everything from heart disease, asthma, to premature death has been linked to stress. There are many different outlets to decrease your stress, be it fitness, creativity, or seeking help from your local counselor, pastor, priest, rabbi or whomever serves your spiritual needs. Just remember when attending healthcare providers (be they mental health or otherwise), all records are liable for subpoena and privacy is never completely guaranteed. Whichever outlet you choose, you will be far better prepared to deal with stress, in a healthy, stress-free environment.
5. Maintain Your Dental Health. We all hate going to the dentist, but the bottom line is that going through the suck is a whole lot worse with a colossal toothache. This is probably one of the most overlooked health considerations when prepping but it is not something you want to be reactive in addressing as by that point, it could be too late (and extremely painful!). So get to the dentist now, before the SHTF.
6. Refill Your Prescriptions. Prepping is planning for potential worst case scenarios. Here’s one: A cataclysmic event rips through the nation. Your assets are frozen and you have no more house and no more car; only what you can carry. On the way to your bug out location you realize that you only have three pills left in your prescription bottle. The pharmacies are closed and you need your medication to survive. What do you do?
Always have at least a three months’ supply of your medicines on hand. If your doctor refuses to do this for you, you should find another doctor so that you can ensure your medicines are fully stocked always.
7. Glasses vs. Contacts. Contacts take a lot of water, and a sterile environment to put them in, remove and maintain them. If you don’t have a pair of actual glasses, make sure you get some. If you find yourself in an environment where there is no clean water, no contact solution, and no contacts arriving at your doorstep anymore, those glasses will mean the difference between you being self-sufficient or totally dependent on others. Do your best to control right now today, whether you will be an asset to others or a draining force. You will be far more valuable as a survivor with glasses, than as a half blind contact wearer who now can’t see squat. If you already do wear glasses, make sure you have at least one back-up pair in your Bug Out Bag.
8. Start Managing Your Sleep. For the same reasons you want to reduce the stress in your life, you also want to start getting a better night’s sleep. Sleep is when our batteries recharge, and our bodies re-set for the next day. Sleep is necessary for survival. Lack of sleep causes a plethora of problems, and greatly diminishes one’s ability to function at their optimum levels.
Keep a flashlight and a candle/lighter next to your bed, in case of an emergency. Anything you may need to feel safe (including a Bug Out Bag) should also be within immediate reach.
There are many natural sleep aids you can try, including teas, scents like lavender and minerals and supplements such as magnesium and calcium that can help one sleep better. The tried and true Melatonin is always a safe bet and not a bad thing to stock up on in your inventory. Avoid sleeping pills if possible, as they have the tendency to knock you out, potentially leaving you at a disadvantage!
9. Situational Awareness
One of the very best life-saving skills I ever learned as a child was that of situational awareness. In the book “The Gift of Fear’ by Gavin de Becker, he discusses the idea of learning to trust one’s own God-given instinct and enhance ones situational awareness by including trusting your gut, and those feelings that alert you to danger. All are essential to surviving any situation that might arise. Today, too many people walk around in a haze of oblivion, head down, cell phone in hand, unaware of their surroundings.
10. Learn Self Defense. No one is asking you to become the next Bruce Lee. But everyone can learn something about how to defend themselves. Without going into weapons, which we will cover in a later post, hand to hand combat skills are something everyone should have at least a basic knowledge of. Krav Maga is one form of self-defense that teaches relatively simple moves, which applied correctly can disable an attacker long enough for the victim to escape and is recommended by the team here at The Survival Domain.
When it comes to offering your children an extra-curricular activity, Martial Arts training, teaches discipline, confidence, strength, flexibility, and effective fighting techniques. These skills are something they might be able to use to survive a life-threatening event. If money is an issue, there are always free instructional YouTube videos on self-defense to help you learn the moves that you think would apply to your size and strength.
There’s only one thing you will always have with you in a survival situation, and that is you. Start becoming the very best person you can be today to help increase your odds of surviving whatever challenges await us in the future.
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