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We are living in critical times. There are threats to our health, finances, physical, and emotional well-being. Many can cope and keep moving along. Others are struggling, trying to keep our heads above the water. If you suffer from a mental illness, you have additional challenges when trying to start your emergency prepping.

For more than 30 years, I have been suffering from depression. At times it can be debilitating where I can barely make any major decision. But as a single woman who also looks after elderly parents, I don’t have the luxury to feel pity for myself.

For those who suffer from a mental illness such as depression, you may feel like you can’t deal with your problems and can’t think about preparing for emergencies. 

Emotional Healing: Easier Said Than Done, But Not Impossible 

In my case, I can honestly say that after 30+ years, I have gotten to know my depressive cycles and what can trigger them. Here as some tips that have helped me over the years to cope with my mental illness:

photo of a healthy salad

HEALTHY DIET: If my diet is not healthy and balanced, it’s like starving my body from the nutrients it needs to thrive. When this happens and I need to take control of my eating habits, I try to start with one healthy meal a day and build on that.

I try to eat more raw foods such as fruits and salads. My body responds very well to a raw food diet, but it is hard to maintain. I simply try to incorporate raw foods as much as possible. 

Woman in bed trying to get sleep; rest is very helpful in managing mental illness

NOT GETTING ENOUGH REST: If I maintain a hectic work week and weekend without making time to get sufficient rest, this lifestyle can aggravate my depression.  If my calendar is too busy, I have to schedule rest periods.

Also if my sleep patter changes where I am waking up in the middle of the night, I try to address it by either taking a sleeping pill, melatonin, or planning to wake up late the next day. Proper sleep is essential for my mental health. 

woman suffering from a stomach pain lying down on bed; know your physical symptoms of depression if you have any

KNOW YOUR PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: Depression may or may not have physical symptoms. In my case, if I suffer from constipation AND insomnia, this can trigger a depressive episode if not managed.

A constipated colon can make your body toxic and cause a number of ailments. Maintaining a healthy diet will help your body detox naturally. 

two women arguing, one walking away from a toxic relationship

TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS: We can’t live in a bubble. We also cannot control all relationships.

You may be married to a narcistic spouse or have a co-worker who is always negative. If you can control the relationship, try to limit the exposure. You can still be friends, but keep them at an arm’s distance.

If it is impossible to control the situation, you need to make time for yourself to rebuild your inner self.

Negative relationships can eat away your emotional strength piece by piece. You will need to recognize this and make a conscious effort to reinvest in yourself. 

a person wearing a lighted headlamp standing outdoors in the winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder can aggravate depression

SEASONAL DEPRESSION: The winter months also aggravate my depression, I also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter. 

I know that I am not as productive during the winter months. The body needs the vitamin D from the Sun. Some people are sensitive to the shorter days and less sunlight.

If you suffer from SAD, remember that this condition is only temporary. Plan your activities around the seasons if necessary. 


Woman seeking medical help for her symptoms of depression

SEEK MEDICAL HELP:  When do you need to seek medical help? Keep a calendar of symptoms. Generally, if you feel symptoms for more than two weeks, you should seek medical attention. Sometimes medication may help, or you may also need therapy.

If you have feelings of suicide, this requires immediate attention. Do not brush it off. Thoughts of suicide can lead to taking action. Do not try to manage this alone.


Person learning to start a garden as a hobby to keep the mind busy and cope with mental illness

KEEP YOUR MIND BUSY: Keeping your mind busy is healthy. Pick up a hobby. Start a survival or butterfly garden. Play a mindless game (as of this writing, I’m on level 3810 on Candy Crush!).

Learn a new survival skill, such as navigating with a map and compass, learning how to tie ropes, and practice to carry your bug out bag going hiking and camping.

Person reading their bible for spiritual comfort and emotional healing to help copy with mental illness

SPIRITUAL HEALTH:  This is by far the most important aspect of staying sane in a toxic environment. Having a personal relationship with God reminds me that I am not really alone in this world. I can pray to Him for strength and direction to help me make important decisions.

The following are some bible scriptures that have helped me during some dark moments: Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 41:13, Psalms 40:1-2, Psalms 55:22, Luke 12:6-7, Philippians 4:6-7, and many other.

If you have any other favorite scriptures, please share in the comments below.

Emergency Prepping When You Are Emotionally Down

Depression doesn’t have to keep you knocked down. Make a list of emergency preps you want to do. Try to accomplish the easy ones first. If your budget is tight, check out my post, No Money, No Problem

Find a prepping buddy to keep you motivated and exchange ideas and concerns. 
Watch YouTube videos about prepping to get creative ideas. Some of my favorite channels include: Mamabear Prepping, Canadian Prepper, and Pinball Preparedness.

In Conclusion

Sometimes, it’s ok to be a little selfish. It’s ok to say “no”. It’s ok to say “not today”. When you are emotionally drained, take a moment to breathe and give back to your self.

When I started my emergency prepping and taking self-defense classes, it actually made me feel empowered, like I am taking control of my future. It gives me the confidence that whatever happens, I know that me and my family will do better that most.

So get prepping and take control of your life!

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you also suffer from depression or any other form of mental illness, what helps you to cope? Leave share your comments below.

About Post Author


During the day, Ms. Williams is a compliance officer for a major insurance agency in Florida. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors and share her passion for the adventures life has to offer. She now shares her passion for Emergency Preparedness, making it simple for everyone to start.
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