This is an interesting time to be alive. Fear and panic abound. Many in the community are ill at ease, even frightened. Others appear oblivious and even foolish in their responses to a public health emergency.
This is the first time since 9/11 that the entire nation is facing a collective experience that stands to upset daily life in uncomfortable ways for many citizens. It’s also the first time many have witnessed the true vulnerability and fragility of a culture dependent on life always being the way it has been and the pitfalls of such a mindset.
What does a rational and calm person do to ensure their family’s well-being and that of their community as well?
We felt compelled to write about this issue because it is an opportunity for a change in thinking. One in which, we’ve been fortunate to have experienced before this calamity and that has served us well during this pandemic.
We’d like share some of the Intrepid Homestead mindset that has allowed us to endure and flourish during these times.
1. We are our own best health advocates and health coaches.
If there is any area where abdicating responsibility is done so at great peril, it’s in personal wellness.
Despite times of crisis, no one cares more about the health of our persons and the people we love than us.
This is an area we experienced major transformation at the beginning of our journey and was a seed that grew into homesteading. We will tell that story another time.
Certainly, some health conditions are beyond our personal control. However, many are within our control. We are complex creatures with complex needs and want to understand those as much as possible. Educating ourselves on how to be healthy human beings has been imperative for us.
We still utilize physicians and healthcare, but the difference is that we own the responsibility for our health personally.
For us, this goes way beyond yearly wellness visits to a physician and entails learning as much as we can about managing stress, nutrition, fitness, emotional and spiritual well-being and handling more common health concerns on our own. This is just a form of self-reliance.
2. We make most of our healthcare decisions at the grocery store and the dinner. We make our sick care decisions at the doctor’s office.
Modern society has seemingly lost the understanding that “you are what you eat” and “you are what your food eats”.
We’ve become grossly unaware of the relationship between cause and effect between food and wellness and our journey into homestead is a direct result of having a wake-up call after hearing the above statement many decades ago.
We came to realize that what we eat ultimately becomes the very building blocks of our bodies at a cellular level. We’d rather ours be made of simple, natural and nutritious materials versus mysterious, processed, manufactured, and chemical-laden food.
Prior to this, we consumed a steady diet of sub-standard foods and yet couldn’t understand why poor-health was our experience. Our low sense of personal value was reflected in a lifestyle of trying to spend as little as possible feeding ourselves.
Think about that for a moment… we were seeing the food we eat (and build our bodies with) as something to give minimal investment to! As our understanding of our own value grew, so did our willingness to invest in better health via better food.
3. Health is often, but not always, the result of a large number of right decisions.
In addition to the decisions we make about food, we sometimes make a lot of small but important health decisions on a daily basis – for good and bad.
- Should we stay up to binge-watch another episode of our favorite show?
- How about one more piece of sugar-laden, immune-lowering desert?
- Can’t we just take tomorrow off from exercise?
- Should we buy into the panic around us and meditate on fearful outcomes?
- Let’s take a walk.
- How about one more cocktail or glass of wine?
All of these kinds of decisions slowly build up or tear down our personal wellness and in-turn, the wellness of our family. Since a nation is only a strong as the the collective health of it’s citizens, then the nation too suffers as our personal decisions erode.
Before we had better guiding principals for life, or simply had none, we suffered the consequences in many ways, including health. After years of making better decisions, ourn health has improved.
Does this grant us immunity to pandemics like COVID-19? Of course not! However, it has ensured that our bodies, minds, and spirits are at optimal health and we believe that would make any sickenss we encounter a better experience than had we not.
4. We aim to be fortified and resilient
… In our pantry, person, family, and community.
In many ways, the current “TP crisis of 2020” is indicative of much that ails us… a populace that is generally unprepared for disruption and in-turn, makes hasty panic-driven decisions to hoard resources that deprive others in their community of meeting basic needs.
This would be an entirely different situation if the collective American psyche returned to a simple mindset of having more provisions on-hand at all times. A mindset of planning ahead, being wise, buying locally.
Resilient families of resilient people create resilient communities.
Is it really such a bizarre idea to be ready for the next three months at any given time?
Why do we see it as wise and virutous to have three months of living expenses in the bank but not three months of food in our pantry? What about basic medical supplies?
If we all did this, we stabilize our society, preventing panic and mayhem during a crisis. The resources available to those who could not would be far more in number as a result.
When everyone waits till the last minute to concern themselves with necessity, the result is panic, hoarding, and the weakening of community as individuals shift toward self-preservation, “survivalist” mindsets and actions. That is a horrible outcome in our estimation, not to mention, preventable.
5. We are our own first-level healthcare provider
In the past, most of our sickcare scenarios that involved professional treatment were largely validating what we already knew and could have addressed by ourselves. Rest, ice and elevation, fluids, rest, etc.
In reality then, the healthcare system was often acting for us as service to soothe anxiety, calm uneasiness, and validate obvious viral infections. While there were many times this was not the case, we still exhausted resources that were often unnecessary. The real issues were often just fear and uncertainty.
As we learned to be more calm by trusting our instincts and the tools at our disposal, we learned to be patient and wait for our bodies to recovery from basic illness.
This has been all the more important in a time of overrun health systems, supply shortages and stay at home orders by allowing us to treat ourselves for the basics and let the professional focus on the more serious concerns.
As a result, there are some tools, in addition to common first aid supplies, that we employ that help us know more precisely when we might need professional healthcare.
– Digital Thermometer – such as the Withings Thermo
– Pulseoximeter – such as the iHealth Air Wellness Fingertip PulseOx
– Blood pressure cuff – such as the Greater Goods BP Cuff
– Regular monitoring of weight gain and loss – via smart scale like the FitIndex Bluetooth Scale
– Regular mointoring of heartrate – via Apple Watch
Together, these allow us to understand better if emergency care is necessary and distinguish between shortness of breath that comes from anxiety vs shortness of breath from more serious concerns.
These aren’t a substitute for professional healthcare, however they do provide us better information for making go/no-go decisions during a time when going to a clinic carries additional risk.
We hope these mindsets inspire and empower our readers toward a more resilient and self-reliant lifestyle. If we can help, drop us a comment below.
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~Sven & Zelda