A Philosophy to Help Us Through Difficult Times

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by the author of Prepper’s Pantry and Three Miles

Lately, it feels like everything that CAN go wrong IS going wrong, along with some stuff we never even considered in our wildest prepper dreams. (A Chinese police station in the United States of America, anyone? GMO mosquitos that will vaccinate you against your will?)

More people than in recent memory are living paycheck to paycheck now – at least a whopping 63%. Unfortunately, that means that everyone in that situation is just one missed paycheck from a personal financial disaster from which extricating themselves could be difficult, if not impossible. This kind of financial tension is incredibly stressful. You may have done everything right financially your entire adult life only to be right on the edge of losing it all. It’s a horribly vulnerable feeling. I’ve been there myself and the sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you are barraged with calls from bill collectors and you stare at a bank account that simply will not stretch far enough to cover your basic necessities is like no other.

There’s only one way through a mess like the one we find ourselves in now.

We have to keep going, keep striving, keep trying, and survive. A snippet of the Serenity Prayer comes to mind, and you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the prudence of this philosophy right now…

…accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time…

Accepting the things we can’t change

We talk about this in the prepper world a lot and it’s rarely been more applicable than it is now. Selco calls it circles of survival and says that the bigger the problem is, the smaller your circle must become. We cannot single-handedly fix the national economy, deter the madness that seems to be wracking the country, or repair the supply chain, just as a few examples of things beyond our control.

Instead, we have to accept that…

  • Inflation will continue to skyrocket
  • Our normal goods may no longer be available to buy
  • We cannot change the minds of people who seem hell-bent on destroying the American culture
  • We can’t personally affect whether or not our military gets involved in military actions in other countries
  • Our nation’s government is corrupt to the core and intent on taking away personal rights instead of protecting them

And that’s just to name a few of the current stressors.

We can’t change these things. They are well and truly beyond our control. Instead, we need to accept that this is how it is currently and take steps to survive it. If you don’t accept that these things exist as they are right now, you can’t make a viable plan to get through it.

And there’s also great peace in acceptance. You can’t fight what you can’t fight.

Changing the things we can

While those things may be outside of our control, it doesn’t mean we’re powerless. That is the wonderful part – we have many things we can do if we stop worrying so much about what we can’t do. We have to take back our power where we can.

We can learn the skills to produce our own things. By growing food, building things, sewing, and repairing items that are broken, we won’t be as horribly affected by inflation and the disaster of a supply chain.

We can improve our mindset. By focusing more on the things we can do and expressing our gratitude regularly, we can get out of the negative headspace that mires us in discontent and makes us feel hopeless.

We can slash our budgets. We might have to make some pretty radical changes to get through the next few years and that’s okay. While it might feel like we’re sacrificing too much, I’d argue that by making the decision to cut certain things and keep others you are retaining some of your power.

We can overhaul our outlook. By accepting the things we can’t change, we can make real, effective plans to handle the things that are being thrown at us. Every prepper knows that having a plan is the key to survival, and these big-picture environments are no different.

The choice of whether to reside in the negative headspace or the positive headspace is ours. I’m certainly not telling you to bury your head in the sand – we need to keep an eye on what is going on so we can respond to it effectively. But once you’ve formulated your solution, you need to move on to healthier thoughts.

Every day, work toward getting a little more prepared, or a little more skilled, or a little more financially independent. These things – these small steps – are within your grasp.

One day at a time, one moment at a time.

Survival mode can be incredibly draining, and that is the place many Americans are finding themselves. We have to recharge in the best ways that we can.

When times are this difficult, finding joy in small moments is more important than ever. I love going outside in the morning before the sun is all the way up and looking at the radiant golden glow of the autumn leaves in the dim light. I like how the foliage contrasts with the sky. I like to breathe in that crisp fall air and hear our footsteps as the dog and I wade through the pile of leaves to his favorite place for his morning constitutional. It’s such a little moment but I vowed to recognize it every single day because this lovely season is so short.

We can spend our time engaging positively. Again, instead of dwelling on all the awful things, focus on the positive. We can spend time with the people we love, we can engage in productive hobbies that make us feel better, and we can go outside and enjoy nature, free of charge. We can make it a practice to look for moments of peace, happiness, and beauty, even in the worst of times. And then tomorrow, we can do it all over again.

How do you get through difficult times?

While it isn’t the norm for everyone to be struggling at the same time, we’ve all been through personal hard times before. This is part of the human experience.

Do you have any tips for surviving hard times, especially when things seem hopeless? Do you have any concrete steps you are taking to change the things you can? Are there some things you’re learning you have to accept? How are you finding joy in the moment right now?

Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

A Philosophy to Help Us Through Difficult Times
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Faith in a loving God who works all things for His glory and my good, even when I don’t understand what it is that He is doing, is what has pulled me through some tough times.

    The love and support of friends helps a lot, too.
    I write in a journal everyday, and that helps me to vent, to mull and to think things through.

    Even if you don’t have a human to care for in your life, just having a pet or livestock expands your horizon, it makes you realize that you can’t just give up, that another living being depends on you.

    Find someone, something, to love.

    • YES I agree with what you wrote. And my dog of 14 has been with me for 11 and she provides unconditional love and friendship. She listens intently and knows most of what I am saying to her. Super intelligent and part beagle which is why. The other part is part hot dog DOG!!! I will miss her when she is gone. She gave me years of companionship…Being alone is NOT good. As you say if no human at least a dog or a cat to keep you sane! The LORD is good and has a plan. His ways are NOT our ways, and His thoughts are NOT our thoughts either. We just TRUST and hope that He will watch over us and protect us as these things come upon us…Be safe and take care.

  • Such a GREAT article Daisy! In starting my day today, I’m grateful for YOU. Thinking about Selco’s cirlcles, I realized that ultimately the smallest circle is me and my God. And if I practice gratitude and recognize I’m connected to the God of all power and wisdom who loves me… and those I love… then we’re just going to be ok… and He’ll let me know what my next right action is… for today, for this moment.

    The key, always, for me is to turn outward to God, rather than inward to limited me. I remember a saying I once heard from Corrie Ten Boom who survived the holocaust… If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.

  • Daisy, it may sound funny, but being an alcoholic helps a lot in this situation….and not in the way that you may think. November will be 24 years since I quit drinking, and for those of us that have any length of time in, the serenity prayer becomes ingrained in your thought process. Once you’ve lived it for a while you just automatically separate the things you can change from the things you can’t…and you’ve had a lot of experience learning to “accept” the things you can’t. Although I’m just as prone as anybody to “doom fatigue”.

    Do what you can, when you can. I became a grandpa in May, and again in September. There’s nothing like spending time with one of my girls, holding a baby to put things in perspective. In these trying times of doom and gloom it’s important to have something in your life that you would be willing to die for, but it’s maybe even more important to have something to LIVE for.

    • Congrats on 24 years. I’m at 34 and keeping on… It is one of the things I am most grateful for. Sober, healthy and whole in mind, in body and in spirit. AND, I know Who my source is.

    • HEY GRANDPA, happy for you. Congratulations and I assume it was 2 girls, WOW!!! Enjoy it while you can…take care. Good to know you are an overcomer. The LORD told us we would need to persevere.

      • Actually both daughters had boys. A new generation, and a purpose for this old man. I need to stick around and help them to become men that I can be proud of.

  • How do you get through difficult times? By ensuring that the most important “prep” is having Jesus as my lifeline.

  • This is a good idea, but it must be a way of life and not a temporary attempt at a fix for the current situation.
    When SHTF really hits it will be so dark, so unnerving, that unless you are well grounded and practiced at finding the light at the end of the tunnel, the darkness and horror will drowned you and you will never survive it.
    Even if you manage to survive it physically, you won’t mentally.
    Even those who have a good positive attitude will tend to fall victims to what real SHTF is.

    So as you prep, Prep yourself for handling long term mental stress. Desensitize yourself (as much as possible) to horror and gore, while not losing your humanity.
    A close relationship with God will often provide you with a good perspective. Not the goody, two shoes,(false image of God or Jesus) that religion promotes.
    But the Old Testament God,( Or of Jesus in the book of Revelation) who destroyed nations, proscribed war and brought destruction upon the evil people of that day. While protecting his chosen ones, his family.

    If you are having trouble at this minor hiccup in the economy and your way of life. Then you have a lot of mental work to do, in order to survive SHTF.

  • We are retooling our industry at home just as the boomers retire en masse and take thier retirement savings out of the market to finally live on. 30 years after the cold war we are pulling out of the bretton woods globalbtrade network we set up. All the cheap goods are drying up. Result: using domestic goods = more expensive = inflaion. If Bush Sr. Had been re-electedvthis would have happened in the early 90s. Instead, we have someone who has been incompetent his entire adult life, and a special needs moron with is corrupt and in adult daipers.

    • Adult diapers? Humm, do they make those for POTUS? Maybe, what about Bottles and a blue pacifier for (boy)? Well, if not they should. The special need he needs is to be pulled OUT of the white house job that he occupies to allow someone fully competent to take it over and make a HUGE change immediately!!! Everything there is all screwed up unfortunately!!!

  • Joy is truly found in the little things. It can often surprise you how effective they can be and how many times you take them for granted. The key is to open yourself up to them. Don’t judge yourself or them. Don’t get distracted. Focus on whatever it is: the smell of a flower, the taste of one your favorite foods, a baby’s giggle, a cat’s purr.

    They won’t fix your problems but they will improve your ability to deal with them. Sometimes that’s enough. We need to take care of ourselves emotionally and spiritually so we can get through this. Here’s to better times ahead 🥰

    • Better time ahead! That would be nice, but according to the Bible that is not going to happen…JESUS told us once this all starts happening there are NOT going to be better days. He said we needed to be awake, aware, alert and to endure the persecution and to be ready to persevere till the end in order to be saved!!!

  • I help others, even if it’s only a tiny thing. I try hard to be even more kinder, courteous and polite. That can be overwhelming too. There are so many needy, desperate folks. I just try, when I can. I find joy and peace in nature and I make my gratitude list daily before I sleep.

  • I focus on what I CAN do in the now, and I will often say as my mantra as I’m doing it “The Me tomorrow is going to thank the Me today for getting this done in the now”. Even if it’s the very simple mundane things like getting the laundry done, cleaning the house, and making some healthy food/ meal prepping from scratch (which will almost always be the most nutritious and cost effective choice no matter the economy). It matters. So does picking up the phone and calling someone you care about and telling them you love them. So does going for a walk around the block when you’ve been inside sitting down inside all day. And never underestimate the power of going to bed at a decent hour and doing your best to get a good night’s sleep. There’s actually a whole heck of a lot more within your own locus of control then you think, and it’s all right in front of you.

  • Gratitude has brought me through a lot. I looked at my pantry this morning and saw that it was filled with foods that we grew ourselves or obtained locally. I also have made many friends who have been doing much of the same and so our outlook is better than many. As you said, take one day at a time and look for the good in each day. Learn new skills that with help you make ends meet. This has been what we have been preparing for, so let’s show the rest of the world how it’s done!

  • I’m a weirdo lol! Nature is my jam as well as gardening. I love going to the beach, collecting shells and beach glass and making crafts and mobiles with them…Reading calms me down as well as watching 1970/1980 TV sitcoms like Taxi, Barney Miller, All in The Family etc

  • I tend to lose hope when I am utterly exhausted, and I think that’s going to be a problem for me, and most likely a lot of other people.
    My grandparents survived WW1, the Great Depression and WW2, and my parents survived the latter 2. They were multi-skilled, resourceful and helped others, who in turn helped them when needed. They got by with faith, music, friendship, family and hope.

  • Or, we can fight and get the kooks, bigots and crooked people out of government and restore democracy, where everyone is treated equal and our rights are not systematically stripped by plutocrats and oligarchs. When good men do nothing, evil triumphs.

  • My grandmother died yesterday. After vomiting through the mouth and nose during meals, spasm, etc. 90 years, experienced through 3 different regimes – Tsarist, Communist and “Democratic”. Over 80 of her 90 years were marked by an unconditional dedication to caring for her 3 and younger brothers and sisters, including all the household chores while her parents worked in the fields and vineyards; then, after early marriage at 17, she caring for her 3 children; then for her 6 grandchildren, including me.

    Her devotion to care was almost religious. Otherwise, she was a very modest and quite simple woman; she had never used the internet; before dementia we had taught her to use an old mobile phone with buttons, and she was almost fine. But after phone scammers ripped her off some of her savings, and after a few falls with minor consequences, we took her “under surveillance,” pulling her out of the family house that was her kingdom. It was very painful for her. But we, one part of the family, did everything for her happy old days.

    She was a great man of old times, with an excellent spiritual digital footprint, her God-pleasing social credit rating was extremely high. (I’ll need at least another 200 years of life to get close to her efficiency and impact.) This will undoubtedly be reflected in her spiritual digital portfolio and will affect her personal trajectory.

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

    And they, the “great” reseters, will die. In fact, they are already dead and exist as an AI-conglomerate of spirits in order to accelerate the beneficial collectivization and personal growth of the good part of humanity, which have the property of falling asleep and languishing when not under direct and obvious great pressure. Only a careless person would not understand.

      • Thank you, Daisy.

        This is really my loss and that of all of us who were around her and cared for her in her last years. However, it was torture for her, so she got her well-deserved rest. It was hard to get through the immobilization, because her whole life was about constantly doing something. And when she was immobile, she constantly wanted to get up, to help, to clean the house, etc; but she could not. Also, when her dementia worsened, she often “turned on” by asking, “Are the kids okay?”where are the children? did they hit?”. Interestingly, she had forgotten who we were around her – her children and grandchildren, but she remembered her childhood and began to tell: “I had two younger brothers and a sister…”and how he had to watch them all the time.

        But for some time she had trouble breathing, she had trouble eating and drinking water – after a few bites or sips, she began to cough terribly; her esophagus and lungs became exhausted. What is a loss for us is a well-deserved rest for her. She did her duty too well, selflessly and with joy when she was alive, so she should have gone away satisfied.

        I apologize for off topic, but it is actually quite related to the topic, as it is about a person who was almost constantly in a position of compulsion to take care of someone else (besides the children, also for her sick husband and other close ones), but has assimilated it and accepted it with joy and dedication, as the meaning of her life. (I am by no means saying that there are not many such people, many of whom have a much harder fate. Of course there is.) In addition, scarcity has accompanied her for most of her life; it took a lot of ingenuity and a habit of acting like, so to speak, Zen Buddhist or Don Juan:) – acting without resentment and with unyielding intent. With almost no side-consoling entertainment and with making “something out of nothing” and so on. So we’re talking about a lot of strength of character to accept what you can’t change, to work tirelessly to make it as good as possible, and to get the most out of it so that you can live it with joy.

        And now I’m going to bed, because tomorrow morning we’re going to bury her body and officially send her soul to its rightful place.

        • What a beautiful tribute. I’m 72 and when I grow up I want To be like her and be remembered as a selfless giver and encourager. Your description of her will continue to affect many even though she is gone from earth.
          Carry on her legacy in this regard.

  • not buying this

    “Instead, we have to accept that…

    Inflation will continue to skyrocket
    Our normal goods may no longer be available to buy
    We cannot change the minds of people who seem hell-bent on destroying the American culture
    We can’t personally affect whether or not our military gets involved in military actions in other countries
    Our nation’s government is corrupt to the core and intent on taking away personal rights instead of protecting them
    And that’s just to name a few of the current stressors.

    We can’t change these things. They are well and truly beyond our control. Instead, we need to accept that this is how it is currently and take steps to survive it. If you don’t accept that these things exist as they are right now, you can’t make a viable plan to get through it.

    And there’s also great peace in acceptance. You can’t fight what you can’t fight
    i cannot accept” ”

    BS

    the defeatist among us are of little to no help any longer. stay safe Daisy, i hope you bought enough survival rations and secured your comfort to outlast the threats.

  • America is being taken down for the reset. These so called blunders of supply chain disruptions are deliberate and planned. Anarchy, civil unrest while the elite go into their bunkers while countries fall into chaos and decline world wide.

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