By Christy Gualtieri
When it storms at our home at night and the power goes out, as it sometimes does, my husband and I like to fire up the shortwave radio we own (don’t laugh), and try to catch a few stations. It’s not unusual for us to come across shows featuring survivalists, folks who stock up on provisions in case of a disaster, and I will admit that while it’s practical, it’s something I don’t much think about.
Other people do, though. Recently, Costco announced that it would be selling food Emergency Kits that are meant to provide 1,200 calories per person per day for a year. The shelf life of the food is 25 years; and while I may turn my nose up at it now, who knows? During an upcoming zombie apocalypse I may be grateful to have my daily serving of canned dairy and dried fruits.
More seriously, a recent headline announced that a survivalist who had amassed a great amount of provisions donated them to hurricane-tossed Puerto Rico – and just like that, something that had seemed so silly served a real purpose.
I do not have the cellar space necessary to accumulate a great amount of food and water to survive for very long if an enormous disaster was to come my way, but I do, from time to time, think about those who do. Do they walk among their goods with checklists, making sure what they have is still edible and shelf-safe? Do they check their cans for dents, make sure their boxes are airtight?
It sounds facetious, but I don’t mean to be. I actually admire people with the foresight and dedication to plan and prepare. And I wonder how I might apply it to areas of my own life, especially when it comes to mental health, because it’s easy to forget. I may think to myself, “I’ve been feeling pretty well these days, been keeping up with my therapy appointments, I’m good”; but if I haven’t been periodically checking in with myself, and asking after my water intake, or how much exercise I’ve been getting, or how I’ve been trying to keep my stress levels down by using positive self-talk, it gets harder for me to stay on top of my health, and it’s easier for me to feel worse.
If you’ve been feeling down, more anxious, or even depressed recently but aren’t sure why, try taking a few minutes to look over the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your life. As the months of the year draw to a close, it might be a good time to “take stock” of where you are in your physical and mental health journey, and try to make a few tweaks, if necessary, before the stresses of the holiday season begin.
Until next time, be well!
Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117. Follow PghPsych on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, inspirational quotes, articles, and different events and causes related to good mental health.