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How to Stay Sane When You’re All Alone in a Survival Situation July 21, 2017

When most people imagine various survival scenarios that they could find themselves in, many of those scenarios include isolation. That’s not surprising, considering that many of the survival stories we hear about in the media, involve people who escaped the hazards of the wilderness all by themselves. Those stories are often the most harrowing and interesting.

But when people consider prepping for those scenarios, they usually don’t think about some of the difficulties that come with surviving by yourself. I’m not talking about the difficulties that are associated with pulling off challenging tasks without the help of a friend. I’m talking about the crushing mental anguish that is inevitable when you haven’t seen another person for days or weeks.

The average person probably doesn’t appreciate just how important social interaction is for their well-being. They know it’s important to some degree, but they don’t realize that it’s vital. It’s just as important for your health as food, water, and shelter. Maybe you don’t believe me. You think that you’re an introverted loner who doesn’t need people. Or maybe when you think about an apocalyptic scenario, you have romantic notions of being some lone wolf badass who can take care of himself (it’s almost always a “he” who thinks that).

But consider this. In prison, how do guards punish unruly prisoners when all other forms of discipline have failed? They throw them in solitary confinement for days, weeks, and sometimes even years, where their only contact with other people is through letters (if they’re lucky). In a place that is brimming with murderers, liars, thieves, gangs, drug pushers, and rapists, the absolute worst punishment you can inflict on a prisoner, is to separate them from those dangerous criminals.

Let that sink in.

Social isolation can be crippling. It can cause depression and anxiety, and can deplete your self-worth. When it’s coupled with a lack of stimuli, (like say, from hunkering down in a shelter for days or weeks) it can cause insomnia, paranoia, poor impulse control, aggression, hallucinations, and memory loss. In other words, it causes you to behave in ways that are not conducive to survival.

So if you’re going to prep for any survival situation, you have to prep for the possibility that you’ll be on your own for a long period of time. You have to figure out how you’ll stay sane when you’re your own company. And how do you do that? Take it from prisoners who have actually been locked up in solitary confinement for long periods of time.

Wrongly convicted inmate Shujaa Graham found solace in routine while he was in solitary. Graham, who’s now 62, spent three years in solitary on death row after he was framed for murdering a prison guard.

“I kept myself occupied,” he said. “I programmed myself.” He woke up at 5 a.m. every day and did exercises like jumping jacks and push-ups. Then he’d sponge himself off in his sink. Later in the day Graham went into a deep meditative state, pretending to visit his mom and other family members.

Vietnam prisoner of war Tom Moe didn’t see, hear, or talk to another American for months during his captivity, according his account in Notre Dame Magazine.

During his time as a POW, he made sure his mind was always occupied. He designed and built 10 houses in his mind, he wrote. And he constantly made lists — ticking off candy bars, countries, and the capitals of those countries.

And in most accounts of people who have survived solitary confinement, you’ll find similar themes. They use their imaginations to challenge themselves, they meditate, they find some way to express themselves through writing or drawing, and they exercise.

They maintain a strict routine, which is very important since isolation makes you feel like you’ve lost control of your life. A routine establishes that feeling again. And perhaps more importantly, a lot of prisoners plan for the future. Not only would that make good use of your time in a survival situation, but again, it helps you feel like you have control again.

Make no mistake, social isolation is no joke. It can utterly destroy the mind. If you don’t take any measures to exercise your mind and body in a survival situation that leaves you all alone, then nothing else will keep you alive.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 21st, 2017
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Trumpocalypse? Suddenly Liberals Are The Ones Stockpiling Food, Guns And Emergency Supplies December 22, 2016

prepper-photo-by-nomadic-lass-on-flickrNow that the shoe is on the other foot, many liberals all over America have suddenly become extremely interested in prepping.  Fearing that a Trump presidency could rapidly evolve into a “Trumpocalypse”, a significant number of leftists are now stockpiling food, guns and emergency supplies.  In fact, even though many had expected a sharp drop in gun sales following Trump’s victory, what actually happened is that fear of what is coming under Trump pushed background checks for gun sales to an all-time record high on Black Friday.  The election of Donald Trump has awakened the left to a degree that we haven’t seen in decades, and some on the left are embracing hardcore survivalism without any apologies.

What is ironic about all of this is that on the other end of the political spectrum interest in prepping is probably the lowest that it has ever been in the history of the modern prepper movement.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about how it was like “a nuclear bomb went off in the prepping community“, and nothing has changed since that time.

In fact, since I originally wrote that article we have gotten some hard numbers that show how dramatically optimism about the future has surged among those on the right.

Just before the election, CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey found that only 15 percent of all Republicans believed that the economy would improve over the next year, but after the election that number skyrocketed all the way up to 74 percent.

But among Democrats it is a different story altogether.  That same CNBC survey found that optimism about the economy on the left fell by more than half after the election.  At this point, it is sitting at just 16 percent.

It would be hard to overstate how negatively many on the left feel about Trump.  We have seen many of them take to the streets to angrily protest his election, and according to the BBC others have decided to stockpile food and guns “in preparation for social and economic collapse”…

In America, stockpiling weapons and food, in preparation for social and economic collapse, has tended to be the preserve of right-wing libertarians and foes of “big government”. But the Liberal Prepper Facebook group – up to now a small band – reports a big increase in enquiries.

“A lot of people are worried that not only will [a Trump presidency] fail but that it will fail spectacularly to the point that we are going to end up on in one or more critical situations that we are just not prepared for,” says Jeff, 36, one of the group’s members.

So could we see “social and economic collapse” under Trump?

Despite the wild optimism that we are seeing on the right at the moment, without a doubt this is a possibility.

It is funny how a single election can change our perspective on things so dramatically.  During the Obama years, it seemed like the left was constantly talking about disarming everyone, but now Trump has sparked a renewed interest in gun ownership among many liberals.  Prominent progressive author Ana Marie Cox is just one example

Witness Ana Marie Cox, a popular progressive writer with gigs at MTV and the New York Times. “So who else has been researching basic disaster prep stuff?” she polled her Twitter audience on Wednesday. “Bc—congrats, right wingers—I do not trust the government to help anymore!” Her next tweet extended the holiday merriment to our nation’s Second Amendment enthusiasts: “Getting my rifle out of storage this week.”

And did you know that leftists even have their own gun organization?

It is known as “the Liberal Gun Club”, and since Trump’s victory it has experienced a huge surge in membership

Lara Smith, national spokesperson for the Liberal Gun Club, says her organization has seen a “huge” rise in enquiries since November’s election and a 10% increase in paid members.

US gun sales hit record levels in October amid fears a Hillary Clinton election victory would lead to draconian gun control measures.

The election of Donald Trump, who was backed by the National Rifle Association early on, was thought to bring an end to panic buying. Shares in gun manufacturers even dropped by as much as 18% following his victory.

Instead, FBI background checks for gun transactions soared to a new record for a single day – 185,713 – during the Black Friday sales on 25 Novemberaccording to gun control news site The Trace.

Many on the right have responded to Donald Trump’s election victory by deciding that the battle is over and that it is time to go to sleep.  But many on the left have been suddenly awakened and are now preparing for extremely challenging times ahead.

I hate to say this, but in this case those on the left that are busily preparing are showing much more wisdom than many on the right that have chosen to abandon prepping altogether at this point.

Of course most of those on the left don’t really understand the storm that is approaching.  All they know is that Trump is “really bad” and therefore they need to try to get through the next four years the best that they can.  Here is more from the BBC

“We are not looking for end of the world Mad Max-type scenarios, we are not looking at a zombie apocalypse,” says the author of a left wing survivalist blog, who also reports a surge in interest since Trump’s victory.

He says it is “fairly easy to predict” an economic collapse under Trump but adds: “No matter what, the country is still going to be here in four years, there’s going to be another election.”

I would have to agree that a major economic downturn is quite likely in the very near future.  We have been on the greatest debt binge in history during the Obama years, and it is inevitable that this bubble will burst.

Donald Trump basically has two choices.  He could try to prolong this debt bubble for as long as possible, but that would make the ultimate outcome even worse.  Or he could try to deal with the crisis right away, but that would mean an extraordinary amount of pain for all of us.

No matter who won the election, we were going to have to deal with the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions sooner or later.

Let us certainly hope for the best, but without a doubt those that are preparing for challenging times ahead are showing incredible wisdom, and this includes both liberals and conservatives.

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