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Prepping for Psychological Resilience: Managing Trauma on Your Own Terms

When disaster preppers think about resilience, the focus often falls squarely on physical necessities—food, water, shelter, and self-defense. However, one crucial element often gets neglected: psychological resilience. In the face of a catastrophic event or personal trauma, mental fortitude becomes just as essential as a well-stocked pantry. While professional help remains the standard for dealing with trauma, knowing how to manage it yourself could be a crucial skill in a survival scenario. Below is a comprehensive guide aimed at arming you with strategies to self-manage traumatic experiences effectively.

Face Reality Head-On

The first rule of effective disaster preparation is to confront the situation without any rose-colored glasses. Acknowledge that you’re facing something that is emotionally taxing and affecting your mental state. Failing to do so can lead to poor decision-making, which is especially dangerous in survival situations.

Create a Safe Emotional Bunker

In the same way you’d secure a physical safe space stocked with supplies, make sure you have a psychological “safe room.” Isolate yourself from emotionally toxic situations or people who may worsen your trauma. Just like you wouldn’t allow a security breach in your physical bunker, don’t compromise your mental fortitude.

Build a Support Network, But Be Cautious

Even the most self-sufficient prepper understands the value of community in survival scenarios. While you may be confronting your emotional upheaval alone, selective external inputs can be invaluable. Confide in a trusted friend or family member, or share experiences in like-minded online communities. Choose your emotional allies as carefully as you would your survival team.

Structure Amidst Chaos

Routine can be an anchor in turbulent times. By maintaining a schedule, you give your days a sense of predictability, allowing for small wins that can build psychological resilience. But keep in mind, much like a survival scenario, flexibility is key. Be prepared to adapt your routine to the demands of your emotional state or external situation.

Choose Your Coping Arsenal Wisely

Survivalism often involves making do with what you have, and the same holds true for emotional coping mechanisms. While journaling, meditation, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques can be helpful, make sure to avoid detrimental coping mechanisms like substance abuse. Just as you’d reject faulty gear, steer clear of anything that could hamper your long-term resilience.

Draw Your Emotional Boundaries

Just as you would establish the physical boundaries of your survival space, setting emotional boundaries is critical. This could mean distancing yourself from individuals who trigger your trauma, or allocating specific periods to engage in activities that contribute to your emotional well-being.

While material preparations are undeniably crucial, failing to prepare for the psychological impacts of disaster or trauma could be your undoing. By acknowledging the emotional aspect and using these guidelines, you bolster your overall preparedness, ensuring you’re fully equipped to face whatever challenges lie ahead.

Here is a good reading list of books on trauma to better understand how humans deal with traumatic crises.

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