They say that mindset will be what gets you through TEOTWAWKI (or any kind of stressful situation) and different people use different things to help maintain their sanity – some are “hobbies” and some are not. I have seen movies about prisoners of war who weren’t allowed to have a bible or didn’t have a bible, but were able to recite bible verses that reminded them that there is always hope – faith is something that no one can take. I have also seen a movie where music helped a Jewish man survive WWII. Not everyone survives all situations but it seems those who have something they can hold onto like music or faith fare better than those without.
For our family, music is what helps us through stressful times. Music is a really big part of all our lives from family members who play instruments and/or sing, to favorite songs heard on the radio, and even a non-profit for getting instruments to kids who want to learn to play. As such, one of our prepping areas is to make sure we have instruments and music. Honestly, the instruments and music were with us long before the prepping, but making sure to get copies of sheet music of songs we really enjoy is important too, especially newer stuff. Another thing is having extra strings for guitars or violins and reeds for clarinets. Repair parts are necessary too and memorizing songs is excellent as well.
If music is important, but no one plays or sings, being able to play CDs, records or tapes may not be that easy. Kate in GA has that part figured out and has a good article on how to have music without electricity, even when you don’t play.
Another important stress reliever for some in our family is reading. To say we have plenty of books in the house is not exactly accurate as there are never enough books available for true book lovers. However, I have to say we do have quite a variety from children’s books to text books, fiction to non-fiction and just about everything in between. We have books about machining and tooling, cookbooks of all kinds, older World Book Encyclopedias and a set of gardening encyclopedias. Books aren’t just for helping maintain sanity but will be useful for continued learning for the adults and teaching children if there are no schools. Extra copies of some books may even be used for barter.
Crafts are important for some – sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, woodworking, etc. I have seen people who can knit really fast and it seems to relax them. It’s also a way to be productive when you aren’t very mobile otherwise. Activities that are considered crafts now may be useful skills later to keep your family fed, clothed and warm.
So, what brings you the most comfort when times are stressful? Will your “hobby” do double-duty in a SHTF scenario? Whatever it is that helps you, are you prepping to keep it in your life?