When you're a leader, or a parent, or simply a good unselfish person, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. You need to do that. The people around you, they'll be scared and looking to you for answers and direction. The less you are prepared, the more time you'll spend inefficiently foraging, or reading to play catch up, leaving you zero time for self-care.
Those other people, may need a little help in seeing that you have your own struggles. You'll have to tell them, as worried people turn inward, and become less aware, which is counter-intuitive. The more someone worries about food, they less aware they are about seeing trail sign, animals hiding, plants that they might gather, and overlooked water sources.
If you've been reading along, I wrote a section on affection. Many people don't know how to give affection. It's a skill like any other. People who were raised with little affection, whether they are hungry for it or not, tend to do the same things their parents did. They also hate themselves when they see that behaviour as it is ugly to them. Then they feel guilt, so it takes a little work to overcome it.
You'll need to educate people if you need affection. If you've been giving it all along, then it's far easier to motivate them to give more.
Complaining and saying, “I'm so horny, and you never give the time of day.”, well that never helped anyone. It makes you appear selfish, and saying, “Never” is seldom true, so to that person, it means your first statement isn't true either. Does that makes sense?
Saying, “You are beautiful, and take my breath away, and I feel blessed to be with you. I miss our intimate time so much. Let's sneak off, and look at each other, like we used to. I miss that.” well this is 100x more effective if sincere.
Romance is the spice that few of us can live without. Romance generally happens when things are secure and abundant, neither of which happens during survival times. Love can sustain you due to its power on a mystical level. This is why any substitutions of false romance always in the end are bitter.
If you are a prepper, and you have specific needs like a food item that gives you a lift, well heck, store some of that to use as a special treat for YOU. I love curry. Curry is made of more than forty spices. It is not possible to replicate in America. I have some. It gives me an immediate sense of well being.
If you're a prepper and you cannot live without some item like lotion, well stock some. Jojoba oil works well, stores well, and can be used for other things. Saving your cracked hands and feet is a necessity not an extravagance, and requires a few drops.
It is important to do little things to take care of your health. While long hair is great when you can frequently wash it, and a lot of guys would love to go for the Native American look, that actually is pretty tough to maintain in a survival situation. It could actual cause a defense issue since long hair can actually be grabbed and used against you, something that the first Chinese emperor of the Qing dynasty warned about.
You're not bathing as much, so it's very easy to get a tick in your hair, and they can cause disease. Watch for bull's eye rashes, a sign of Lyme disease. Deer ticks are tiny.
You're tired, walked ten miles through bad terrain, grumpy and hungry, and setting up the camp, collecting firewood, cooking, get the kids to sleep, taking a watch, and finally turning in to bed exhausted. Check your feet for blisters, ingrown toenails, long toenails, fungus, splinters, cuts, etc. It only takes a few minutes. The first time you tear off a toenail, and have to walk six more miles, well...that'll be the last time. They are counting on you, and likely you're the only one up.
You'll say, “I don't have time!”. Well make time. A good hunter/gatherer is minimizing wasted time by scouring the field, collecting different things, multitasking. You do not do this:
6:10 am collect firewood.
6:20 am collect young dandelion leaves
6:30 am check traps
That is wrong. That is what business people do. You are looking at the totality of the grasslands and forests to gather what you find on the way, making the best time, and not wasting effort. Sometimes you'll be lucky, and find something, maybe a extra flint, or a cluster of herbs, or a scared rabbit, and you'll harvest it then, versus wasting time and doing whatever it was that you intended to do.
Buying the tool you need
Preppers know that time is precious. Sure you can make something work. You've learned to be creative. If bugging in, then you know, you might need an unusual tool like a long turning tool or Peavey to move around a really heavy log that could hurt your lower back, and is difficult to do otherwise.
The more you have purchased tools that you need, justifiably so, the more personal time you'll have. This applies to every frontier skill there is, from curved surgical needles, to a length of copper flexible tubing and accurate thermometer for making ethanol (for medicinal reasons only). :)
There are special issues for women. Contraception in the wilderness is mostly about timing. Unfortunately most people are wired by hormones to be desiring sex three days after ovulation, so you're made to want to make love, right when it might not be the best time to do so.
When women stop taking birth control pills, your body returns to a now normal cycle of hormones. This can mean dramatic bleeding. A lot. The body copes with the now massive change in hormones. If you can see that coming, it means planning for it. Not too great for hiking, especially without tampons. You'll need to educate your husband, and alter the trip, or make due as best as you can.
Hormones are like dropping a drop of a herbal tincture in a Olympic swimming pool. That's more precise a measurement that anything we can fathom. Not only that, but your body is juggling testosterone from your adrenals to give you sexual desire, and follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from your pituitary gland and estrogen and progesterone from your ovaries. And that's just what we know about. Even more during pregnancy, which happens more than people realize, and people don't know it, and many times you have a period, and never know that you were pregnant at all. Your body knows when the survivability is very low, and you have a spontaneous miscarriage, and no one is the wiser.
Note, the lower your body fat, the lower your estrogen level since body fat produces estrogen. Lean people usually produce more testosterone, which makes people horny. That's one reason people can have a big increase in desire in survival situations, beyond all the stress defense mechanisms. Some people go the opposite route, and have less desire.
Here's a link When women have no doctor:
[link to www.hesperian.org
Some men, who are not medical professionals, their eyes glaze over when you talk about female needs. You need to educate them, particularly if you have daughters since it will effect group decisions.
Urinary tract infections happen for reasons I detailed earlier. You are at a high risk in the wilderness. Take all the precautions if you have EVER had a UTI.
I'm a guy, and I never had a UTI until three years into my first marriage, and I was shocked how much it hurt. I never dreamed it hurt that bad, and it happened after a camping/canoeing trip. Thank goodness it didn't happen on the trip. We had Septra at home, since my wife occasionally had them. Whew! When I grabbed the medicine, I was so freaked out, I tried to take triple the recommended dose, because you are NOT RATIONAL when a UTI is bad. It hurts in a sharp pain. I'm no wimp. My badly broken leg, I mean shattered, didn't hurt that bad.
If you're an closet drug abuser, say an alcoholic, and go through a survival episode, you're going to find out how bad it can get. You want to taper off, not go cold turkey, and tell your group medical person. This is highly complex. Severe withdrawal can happen, and you need to read up on it. I've seen it up close, and helped people through it, and it is awful. If you have this issue, you should be working on it now. Not then. Get some help today.