Self-sustainability has become something of a buzzword in recent years, and it remains a crucial factor in every preparedness plan. Relying on your own resources is among the best ways to stay secure when disaster strikes. While preppers often focus on building up a supply of food, water, and medical supplies, it would be a mistake to overlook your personal health, both physical and mental.
Practicing self-care routines, paying particular attention to eye and oral health, can result in healthier outcomes over the long run, even when healthcare services are no longer available. By ensuring that you’re in optimal health, inside and out, you’ll be able to keep a level head through any disaster. Adopting healthy habits, including a daily exercise regimen and other forms of self-care, should be achieved well before a disaster occurs.
Here’s what you need to know about the importance of incorporating self-care into your doomsday prep plan, and how to get it done with time to spare.
The Importance of Self-Care: What’s at Stake
Put simply, self-care involves anything and everything you do to keep yourself physically and mentally fit. In times of stress and prolonged crises, self-care can have a huge, positive impact on your overall wellbeing, reports Military OneSource. The organization further claims that neglecting your health increases your risk of burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress following a disaster.
To achieve the goal of self-sustainability on the healthcare front, start by taking care of yourself during the preparation stage. Even as you stock up on essential supplies, pay close attention to your health and all of its facets, from oral to eye care, mental health care, and beyond. Schedule routine visits and checkups with your healthcare providers and address any issues that could compound into something larger.
No matter the stage you’re at in terms of disaster preparedness, you may not even consider oral health as a matter of particular importance. But a healthy mouth can go a long way if a disaster causes healthcare services to become unavailable. Poor oral health is linked to various conditions, and studies show that taking care of your gums can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain joint health, improve your memory, and even reduce the risk of developing cancer and/or diabetes.
Break Unhealthy Habits and Stock Up on Your Favorites
Taking charge of your oral health also goes hand-in-hand with changing those negative habits that can impact your health over the long term. Try your best to cut out unhealthy habits like smoking and the excessive consumption of caffeine. Take a good look at your dietary habits and make changes where necessary, considering both your nutritional needs and product shelf life.
During a disaster scenario, you want to be on the top of your game, and ready for anything. Incorporating a dietary change throughout the prepping process can keep your body, and vital organs such as your eyes, in top physical shape.
In many cases, you may be able to bridge any dietary gaps or vitamin deficiencies by incorporating certain foods into your diet. To keep your eyes healthy, for example, opt for foods that are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. Preppers can stock up on protein-rich canned tuna, salmon, and nuts to help boost eye health.
But that’s not to say that you can’t indulge in sweets or junk food every once in a while, even as you prioritize self-care. Indeed, sometimes the simple act of eating our favorite snacks can immediately boost our mood while reducing stress levels. Having a few of your favorite treats on hand for when you’re feeling down or anxious can make a big difference on your mental health and happiness.
Prioritizing Personal Health in Any Situation
As we face an uncertain future, more and more people are working towards greater self-reliance, and the process starts with you and your health. By addressing any health concerns and adopting healthier habits while the resources are still available, you’ll be better protected in the event of a disaster. Being proactive with your oral, eye, and cardiovascular health, you may also further benefit on the self-reliance front.
But to achieve the highest level of self-reliance, your doomsday preparation plan should also incorporate mental health and self-care. Along with your favorite foods, what little things make you happy? If you’re a reader, for instance, pack up some books that you enjoy and store them alongside other essentials like filtered water and non-perishable snacks in your bug-out bag. For prepper families, multiplayer activities like puzzles and games can have a similar positive effect, or you can read stories out loud to each other to pass the time.
Having a self-care routine in place has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels while minimizing negative feelings such as frustration, anger, and sadness. While self-care can look very different depending on the individual, it should be a top consideration in your doomsday prep plan.