When the topic of prepping is brought up, it’s typically associated with stereotypical concepts like stored food and underground bunkers. And there’s no question that more advanced prepping like this is necessary if you want to be ready for the worst.
If you want to genuinely prep for any world-altering disasters that might come your way, though, there’s one easily-overlooked skill that should never be ignored: adopting healthy habits.
Why Do Healthy Habits Matter for a Prepper?
The idea of maintaining a “healthy habit” is critical to prepping success for a few reasons.
For starters, most prepping is very focused on the physical. It hones your homefront into a bastion of defense, builds your pantry into an apocalyptic Garden of Eden, and ensures that you’ve got enough supplies to get you through even the most unpredictable of events.
But even if you survive the heady early days of the end of the world event (or even a smaller-yet-long-term catastrophe like a hurricane or a pandemic), you’re still going to want to find some kind of quality of life on the other side of the action.
That’s where your personal health and established habits comes into play. These help you address your mental and physical condition on a regular basis.
You may be in good shape when a catastrophe strikes, but over time, your mind, body, and soul can take a beating. If you have healthy habits already in place, they can help you preserve and care for your personal health, especially if things like healthcare and even basic elements like electricity and running water are scarce.
What Are Good “Healthy Habits” for a Prepper?
Having habits in place is essential to long-term survival. The question is, what are the right habits to adopt? We’re obviously not talking about binging Netflix or gorging on fast food here. It’s important to identify healthy habits that can prop you up, not tear you down.
That said, here are a few of the areas that should be focused on when considering prepper-appropriate healthy habits.
Keep Up that Fitness
Physical fitness is a critical aspect of any disaster preparedness plan. Not only do you want to actively work out and keep up on your cardio, you also want to establish exercise routines that can be maintained even in the event of a catastrophe.
If you need to go to the gym to work out, that might not be sustainable in an emergency — just look at the recent shuttering of gyms for months on end during the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, look for activities that you can embrace right in your own backyard. Things like jogging, using a home gym, and even gardening can all help you stay in shape, no matter what happens.
In addition, use your fitness journey to learn more about your physical body. Don’t just consider your muscles and tendons. Study what exercises, diet, and habits can help you keep your organs functioning, your bones healthy, and your mind ticking, even when you don’t have access to a doctor.
According to the CDC, a healthy eating plan should:
- Focus on things like fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat milk products.
- Add in a reasonable amount of nuts, eggs, beans, fish, poultry, and lean meats.
- Reduce bad fats, added sugars, cholesterol, and salt.
- Stay within a reasonable calorie count.
By getting into the habit of keeping up a healthy diet now — especially one that is sustainable from your own homestead — you can ensure that you’re fueling your body correctly in a SHTF scenario.
Address Mental Health
Along with fueling your body and staying fit, it’s also absolutely crucial that you consider your mental health. The stresses and strains of both surviving a disaster and surviving in isolation can have a deteriorating effect on the unprepared mind.
As you prep for the worst, learn to identify and address things like anxiety triggers and cognitive distortions. As you become aware of what sets off unhealthy thoughts in your mind, you can address your concerns through things like deep breathing techniques, prayer and meditation, or a muscle relaxation script.
Routines are essential to establishing your own structure and rhythm, no matter what state the outside world might be in. If everything is going to hell in a handbasket, it’s good to have personal routines to fall back on and steer into.
This can both help you maintain things like physical fitness and healthy eating and can also help to preserve your mental health.
Establishing Survival-Focused Healthy Habits
It’s easy to focus on the physical as you go about your prepping activities. However, you should never forget about the importance of establishing healthy habits as well.
Things like eating well, staying fit, and learning to care for your mental health can all be life-saving activities if things go south. Even the simple act of having a good morning routine can provide a spark of predictability, structure, and momentum that can keep you going as you survive whatever curve balls life decides to throw your way.