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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Prepper Burnout- 9 Tips for Overcoming the Stress of Prepping

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

What is burnout?

Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. A result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress- Web MD

Typically, when we think about burnout, we think of people being tired in their careers but today, let's talk about prepper burnout.

Prepper burnout is real!

Over the years, I've experienced prepper fatigue many times. Preparedness is a LONG road, and there is so much to learn. In the early years of our preparedness journey, we had so much new prepper energy. We couldn't get enough prepping done, but I felt tired and stressed at times. I felt discouraged and worried we'd never be ready if something happened. I felt discontentment stirring heavily in my heart. Let me tell you right now. You will always feel like there could be something else that you should prep, and you might never feel ready. Please know that this is not a hopeless situation, and there are a lot of potential solutions.

Here are nine tips for battling prepper burnout!

  1. Take a break! Go on the trip, visit friends for the weekend, or take your spouse on a date. It would be best to get your mind off prepping for a while. Your break could take a few days, weeks, or even months. Take time off that you need to refresh your mind. If things get as bad as you thought, you'll have fond memories and be glad you enjoyed life a little. Prepping is never about fear, so rest assured, the world isn't likely going to end tomorrow, and it's okay to have a little leisure time.

  2. Take Inventory! It might boil down to the fact that you have what you need, and you've already reached your goal. How many meals can you make with your current stash? If you need to, what's your rationing plan? Can you make nine months last a whole year by you and your partner cutting out one meal a day? These questions are essential, and you need answers. The answers might surprise you and even put your mind at ease. I recently cleaned my chest freezer for the first time in years. Yes, years. I know that isn't good. But I rediscovered that I had so many things in there. I was missing my ground venison. I thought that we were OUT. What did I find? 17lbs of ground venison! So, I was hoping you could take my word for it when I say that a bit of cleaning and inventory goes a LONG way!

  3. Now let's take a quick turn and talk about financial burnout. Often preppers will get antsy and worried about something that happens in the news or might happen in the future. This anxiety can trigger impulse purchases and ruin your wallet. Don't let this be you. If you need to keep prepping but can't afford it, seek out local buy-nothing groups on Craigslist or other social media platforms. You will find tons of prepper gear, I promise! Check out the examples below.

    • Look for free barrels- buy a $40 rain barrel conversion kit, and you'll have a rain barrel.

    • Jars for canning!

    • Find FREE backpacks for building a bugout bag or a get-home bag for your vehicle.

    • Camping and outdoor gear for cooking and bugging out

    • Shop your home- you might have something already. Yes, cleaning and organizing are prepping.

4. Put your preps to the test! It's time to try a buy nothing month and only shop from your survival pantry. While this exercise might seem counterproductive at first, it's pretty educational. How well did your preps hold up? Did you identify any holes or weak spots you didn't know you had?

5. Practice gratitude! Dial in a more positive attitude by writing down 3-5 things you're thankful for every night before bed. Also, take a moment to reflect on how far you've already come.

6. Practice your faith. We make a point to trust God that he will fill in the gaps that we forgot or were unable to fill ourselves in times of trouble.

7. Cut way back on the news. It can trigger fear and make you believe that the world is ending tomorrow. Feelings of doom and gloom can rise if you're always in the know of what's going on. Customize your news stories by following industries and topics you enjoy, like travel or art. You can hide and turn off specific stories and people. If you need to, do that. It is not wrong to be informed but don't glue yourself to the news if you want to be happy!

8. Slow WAY down! Stop all the big shopping hauls and focus on maintaining what you have. Reducing the intensity will allow you to figure out your next move, but you'll need the time to slow down first. An excellent way to continue and take a break is to add three items every time you go to the grocery store. Squirreling away a few things each week is manageable, even if you're feeling burned out. You know you're still building your survival items while not stressing out.

I have been taking breaks from shopping occasionally by the using the Instacart app and hiring someone to do the shopping for me! Use my code and get $10 now!

Get 10 bucks towards your first order! Shop Instacart

9. Learn some new skills! Prepping is not all about having gear and food. You need to know many things. Learn how to mend a shirt, take a free self-defense class when your community offers one, take an easy hike with a map, learn to read a map better, and check out a book at the library. I think you get the idea.

Remember: Prepping is not a RACE and is never supposed to be stressful. Anxiety and fear trick you into making poor spending choices before you're ready. Remember that it's perfectly okay to take breaks when you need them. When you feel better, could you pick it up and start again? I hope this helps ease your concerns about prepper burnout and encourages you to keep going.

So, tell us! Have you ever experienced prepper burnout? If so, how did you deal with it? Could you share how you overcame burnout in the comments? We could all use a little encouragement from time to time. Thanks for reading!

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