Winter Is Upon Us — Preparedness Burn-Out

One of my favorite podcasters, Jack Spirko over at The Survival Podcast, published a podcast this week that couldn’t have been more timely for me and my family.  It was titled “Avoiding Prepper Burn Out“, and Jack couldn’t have been more spot-on with that show.  His enthusiasm is contagious, and as always, he provides little tidbits that always get me thinking.

Although winter doesn’t officially start for a few days yet, I can’t help but feel those winter “blahs” here in Indiana.  We’ve already had a decent snow, and tonight is projected to be the coldest night yet.  We’re well into “winter mode” with our home, our preps, and to some degree, our outlook.  With Advent well underway and Christmas quickly approaching, there’s a lot to do, but despite all that, I find that it’s easy to get stuck in a winter mindset.  To me, a winter mindset can bring feeling of dread, burn-out, and a complete lack of motivation.  Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight.  Maybe it’s the cold weather.  Whatever the cause, suggestions to get us out of the winter funk couldn’t be more appropriate right now.

Sometimes, we just need a good kick in the backside — a reminder that things are good, that we’ll see spring before we know it, and that what we do matters.  Winter is the perfect time to remind folks about that.  It’s the perfect time to refresh our spirit and take advantage of the slower pace that the season brings to our lives.  Sure, many of us have holiday festivities to handle, but that shouldn’t bring you stress.  It should bring you joy!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m taking a minute to enjoy the scenery, to cherish my family and friends, and to give thanks to God for the many blessings in my life.  Doing that puts everything in perspective.  It helps me avoid burn-out on many levels, and it really helps me deal with everyday issues in a more centered way.  We don’t usually have that time or luxury during the spring, summer, and fall while everything’s so busy, so I choose to refresh myself now when it’s most beneficial to me and those around me.

By looking at things in a different light, I’ve been inspired to see some potential paths in our prepping journey that I’ve never seen before.  For instance, in Jack’s podcast, he talked about taking some of the prepper stress out of the picture by providing some “gruel” for long-term food storage.  By storing things like beans, corn, rice, and wheat — things that store for years — you can spend very little money and have the food needs knocked out (on a very basic level.) Despite the fact that we don’t eat beans, rice, corn, and wheat, we can make it work if we have nothing else on which to rely.  Since most of us eat at least once a day, providing for those needs on a very basic level removes some of the stress.  That’s one item checked off the list; that’s one area that isn’t using limited resources.

I’m also anxious to take this winter season to learn.  Learning is free, and it’s something I enjoy.  We’ve never had a real garden in the ground before, so I have a lot of learning to do about that topic.  We’re planning to start chickens in the spring.  Again, that’s something we’ve never done, so there’s a learning curve there as well.  Then, there are all the little side journeys we find along the way — things that intrigue us as we learn about something that’s completely unrelated.  While some might feel that staying inside during the cold winter is a bad thing, I’ve decided that it removes our excuses that we’d otherwise use during the rest of the year.  “I don’t have time to research that.  I have to mow the yard.” “I can’t look at that now.  I have to get the planting done before it gets dark.”

By learning something new every day, and by remembering that what I do matters, I can avoid burn-out and the winter blahs.  I can come out the other side feeling refreshed and renewed.  After all, isn’t that what spring’s all about?

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