One of the things that we tend to overlook when we think of survival is how we will feel at the time. Feelings don’t seem that important now, but they will have a huge influence over our ability to think, behave and function when the SHTF. Slight changes to the status-quo or our environment can bring about a lot of stress that we don’t anticipate, and it’s best to find ways to identify these potential problems now instead of being caught off-guard later.
Some of us like it hot whereas others prefer cooler temperatures. However, one thing that most people share in common is a sensitivity to major temperature changes. The impact of changes will also be greater when we’re in situations that take us away from our creature comforts as well. For example, I don’t like the cold, and I tend to start shivering faster than some of my friends. However, I’m also used to being cold for short periods of time, such as when waiting for the car to warm up or when I take a walk in the winter. My mind has taught my body to adapt over the years, and it won’t react strongly to the temperature change unless exposure lasts for longer periods than I’m accustomed to experiencing.
All of our bodies adapt to prevailing conditions to one degree or another, but it can take some time to adjust once changes take place. Consequently, it can be a couple of days before you get comfortable and established in an environment that is warmer or cooler than you’re used to. In the meantime, it can be a miserable experience. It can be difficult to get motivated to do some work, it can be a persistent distraction, and it can be very difficult to ignore. Each of us will experience this in different ways, but we all have sensitivities to temperatures that will most-likely rear their ugly heads at the worst possible time.
Constant hunger, mood swings and unexpected fatigue can unexpectedly creep up once we step out of our normal routines. These annoyances can easily be magnified in survival situations, and this can lead to detrimental distractions. Expect to feel a little bit off until your body adjusts to being more-active or under strain and you get settled into a new eating routine. Another unexpected issue is that we can suffer from withdrawal symptoms after going a prolonged period of time without consuming our favorite foods or drinks. Some people can tolerate this better than others, but it’s something that all of us will have to contend with to one degree or another.
Disruptions to our schedule, being in an unfamiliar environment, and coping with a range of emotions following the onset of a crisis can all wreak havoc on our ability to sleep. Did you know that sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of accidental death? It can cloud our judgment, interfere with our emotions and ability to think clearly, and we can become uncoordinated or even momentarily black out. Fortunately, our minds can adapt to cope with extended periods of sleep deprivation, but it takes time to find that groove.
These are just a few examples of the effects that even the slightest changes to our environment and routines can have on our physical and mental well-being. It’s important to prepare for them ahead of time so that we will know what to expect when faced with a real survival situation. Take time to put yourself in uncomfortable situations so that your body and mind will know how to cope and adapt. The more you can get used to changes now will make life a lot easier to contend with during difficult times later.