Survival Burnout

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Todays Survival Show, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Todays Survival Show

    Todays Survival Show Survival and Handgun Podcaster

    The other day I was discussing preparedness with a friend of mine who said he's suffering from "survival burnout." I found that what he meant is that he takes on too much, becoming spread too thin. So do you think it's prudent to focus on 4 or 5 things you do well and become proficient at those preparations and leave the rest to your sphere of influence? I used to be a proponent of becoming a jack of all trades but I guess I never thought about the burnout factor. What's the balance point? At what point do you give your preps a break so you don't get burned out? I'm not at the burnout stage because it feels like I'm advancing my life and my family's sustainability so there's a peace of mind that comes with that and keeps me hungry. But have any of you experienced the feeling where you just have to get away from it for awhile?
  2. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    I just don't concentrate on it all the time. Make sure ta enjoy other hobbies an family as well.

    It could become a job if a feller wern't carefull an where be the enjoyment in that? I enjoy preppin, so that's why I don't "work" at it. I do a little each week an blend it in with my other hobbies so I get the best a both worlds.

  3. SaskBound

    SaskBound Well-Known Member

    I've gotten to the point of mental burnout, where I was so wrapped up in doom that I was failing to enjoy the life I had at the time...and it was a good life.

    Thankfully, my husband got my attention on that, and now we make an effort to enjoy what we have (health, family, a nice home, plenty to eat, money for luxuries, occasional vacations), as well as preparing for an uncertain future. We are trying to find ways that advancing our preparedness would also enhance our lifestyle, like moving to an acreage, or getting a wood stove.

    Another thing we've done is acquired a ton of books and/or supplies for things we have not actually found the time to learn yet, but expect we would need to know if the SHTF - like beekeeping, blacksmithing, small engine repair, orchard tree grafting, and so forth. That takes some of the pressure off trying to do/be/learn everything right now, and lets us slow down and enjoy life, as well.

    I really do find travel to be a great reality check. We generally backpack on the cheap, and usually to third-world countries. It is a real education in what you really can do without, and also an eye-opener about how rich we really are (though not by local Canadian standards).

    We try hard to maintain a balance, now, and not get so overwhelmed by 'doom' that we can't enjoy our current quality of life...
  4. BoyScoutSurvivor

    BoyScoutSurvivor Active Member

    Don't spend all your time with survival related subjects. Sometimes one has to turn on the TV and forget about life for thirty minutes and have a good laugh. I am focusing on a few key areas and hoping it will all be ok. You can't be the best at everything.
  5. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    Some folks are just quitters.

    If I know that something pays off, is prudent, and will benefit my family and myself, I do it. One can get burned out with one's employment, but generally that doesn't have the same flexibility. Preparedness can be an activity touching upon such a vast field that there is always something different and interesting that can be done.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  6. SaskDame

    SaskDame Well-Known Member

    What a timely topic. I am encouraged that the activities of preping have people who are not yet rural and not yet finished preping feeling the rythems that accompany self-sufficiency in a temperate zone climate.

    I feel burnt out every year about the time the snow falls, not big time just tired of it all, and then a couple of weeks from now when the Christmas Fruit Cake is curing and we have rested from the hecktic activities of fall in the country, the winter activities become very interesting.

    There is something about the seasonal rythems of preping when living in a rural area. Everyone we know is tired, after harvest and building repairs and preping for the comming winter. When most see winter as a time when self-sufficiency for at least a couple of weeks, without electricity, is a possiblity and most have annualized incomes to at least some degree, burn out is what makes us happy that winter has arrived.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  7. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    burnt out now is better than being starved out in the future. Tell the person to hang in there. I wouldn't want to be holed up with a person for a couple months and have them tell me they have to surrender because they'te burnt out.
  8. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    being well balanced is important. You don't stop being a prepper, you just have to find the time to do something fun. Of course, there can be fun to be found in practical things...a walk in the woods can be scouting the area or looking for wild foods. A fishing trip can stock up the freezer and still be fun. A hobby can be practical, like leather working.
  9. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I have only one thought for your friend ... take a vacation, a real one. Burn-out shows up in many different ways and normally it is from everything (all of life) finally getting to a point where a person just feels drained.

    A week at a hot-springs or a couple weeks in the Bahamas or just having a vacation at home (be a tourist in your own town, stay in a motel to get away from phones) will be good for recharging the batteries.
  10. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    This time of year is natural for "burnout" the propaganda of the world likes to forget that seasons change and life is all about timing, naturally if one pays attention to nature now is a time to wind down, Workaholism is a DIS-EASE and self proclamed workaholics are usually just lazy people showing off how "busy" they are.
  11. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    I take one project at a time. As far as what my beginning preps were I sat back and thought of what I would need to survive an extended event. Having lived before w/out electric or indoor plumbing I had a starting point. First is a place to live. You’re not going to survive long out in the woods, with nothing. Sure some folks could but not the vast majority of us. It could be a house, cave, tent, lean-to… but you need a shelter for protection from the elements as well as security.

    Second is food and water. I have to eat if I am going to survive at all. This goes from having supplies to grow food as well as having enough to sustain me until I can grow a garden. Worst case scenario for me is something happens in the fall and I have to survive until spring crops can be harvested. I guess it should be food then shelter because you would not survive to need a shelter if you have no food or water. But, I already had a home, so.

    Warmth in the winter next. Without food and a place to hold, up being warm wouldn’t mean much. If I have shelter and something to eat I know I could manage with nothing more than a simple fire. Everything else after these is a luxury! Not having electric lights is not the end of the world although for a majority of society you would think it is.

    So I built upon these. Place to live, check. Supplies to ‘fix’ or patch the place up if a tree came through the roof or windows got blown out, check. This can be a simple as a roll of 6 mil plastic, duct tape, some random boards, handsaw nails and a hammer.

    Food. Garden supplies, human powered, check. Seeds, check. Place to grow them, check. Extra canning jars or way to dry them, check. FD and store bought canned goods, check.

    One step at a time, a little at a time. Start with what is important and go from there. Luckily I built up my jack of all trades, master of enough of them to survive, abilities as I worked my way through life. But, there is always room to expand my knowledge base by buying books and reading/practicing. Bottom line, don’t take on so many projects that none ever get completed and you get frustrated. Sure it would be nice to have a blacksmith setup and know how to use it but there are a lot more important things needed first.
  12. nj_m715


    I think about as a way of life not a task. "They" say you can't lose and keep weight off with a diet, it must be a lifestyle change for it to stick. I take it the same way. I learned to make pancakes, bread, cream of wheat etc. from scratch. We don't make everyday, but one or two things week lets us rotate supplies and hone skills. I was a pretty good bow hunter before I hurt my back, but it's still another skill set in my pocket. I buy and drive older cars that I can keep on the road for less than most guys spend in a couple payments. I use waste oil for fuel and heat. I found a recipe to make soap from waste vegetable oil, but I haven't done it yet. I have a couple sources for water etc, etc, etc. Most of what I can do is posted on my blog.

    Anyway, long story made short, just pick away at it. learn one new skill, practice it and start learning the next.
  13. SurviveNthrive

    SurviveNthrive a dude

    There's always something new to learn...

    I spent a small part of the last few days, learning from a man who simply decided to rent some land and start raising pigs and chickens. His motivations were similar to why I'm interested, a bit of being inde, a bit of preps, but most importantly, he wanted to control his food intake by knowing what his meat eats. The most interesting thing I learned, other than the immediate sources for apples, grains and other things like that to feed the pigs, everything he needed to know was in books!
  14. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    Sometimes I just have to take a break from my preps and daily grind. We just take off on a bicycle ride, or hike, or kayaking, or whatever; and not think about it for a while. Then I'm refreshed and ready to think, plan, learn, and do!

    I believe we have to balance prepping with living in the "now", too. Otherwise when we get to the end of our lives, the only memories we'll have are ones of...thinking, planning, learning, prepping, packing things for LTS, etc etc etc.

    Take time to enjoy who and what is around you right now! But then get back to work!

  15. nj_m715


    hiking, kayaking etc are still ways of prepping. You are getting fit while using different forms of travel. you could be facebook farming and wasting time. Like I said, It's a lifestyle. Our pasttimes are different than "normal" people's past time activities. I take my 6 yo geocashing when I'm having a good day, which isn't as often as I'd like it to be. I pick caches that are close to home or close to the road. Around here many are hidden in the parking lot of a store or a twp playground.

    I'm also learning to grow sprouts and a very small garden. Once I have the basics I can move from from 5 gal buckets to an acre of land (if needed).
  16. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    nj, that's an exellent way to get started gardening!

    Growing sprouts is a great way to get fresh greens in the winter, too!
  17. tac803

    tac803 Well-Known Member

    Burnout is a result of stress, which is cumulative. If not resolved, stress can have major psychological as well as physical effects. There is a difference between a preparedness mindset and being stressed over what we have no control over. You can prepare for the worst, but you can't usually prevent it from worrying about what might happen is a waste of your time and energy.

    A preparedness mindset should actually reduce stress, because you may not be able to prevent the problem, but you can effectively change the outcome for you and yours.