No matter how poised you may be generally, emergency situations will always test your limits. Even if you feel prepared to face an emergency, things can slip quickly out of control when you’re in the midst of one. In an age when major emergencies are becoming more common, your life can go from easy and breezy to chaotic and frightening in the blink of an eye. Wildfires, hurricanes, chemical spills, power outages, protests gone awry, pandemics, and other disasters can upend even the best-laid plans.
Self-reliance is key. If you’re prepared to stand your ground and rise to the occasion, you’ll be able to face any challenge and overcome virtually any obstacle.
How can you cultivate self-reliance in an emergency? Here are six ideas:
1. Clean and Organize Your Life
With crisis comes opportunity. If you’re stuck at home in lockdown, this may feel like a worst-case scenario. You may be living in uncomfortable conditions, and it’ll feel even worse if you can’t access food staples and other supplies or equipment you need.
On the other hand, it may be an excellent time to organize your life. By taking the time to sift through old papers, get rid of old clothes, weed out extraneous junk, and organize your supplies, you can make your home more comfortable and better equipped to deal with any issues in the future.
If you find a lot of things to throw away, you can rent a dumpster and discard them all at once. Demand for dumpster services has increased, but they’re still quite affordable to rent (as low as $300 weekly or less), and many rental companies offer contact-free delivery and removal.
2. Change Your Mindset
You can never be more prepared than your mind says you are. By changing your mindset and becoming more mentally resilient, you can become more self-reliant — and better prepared to face the worst if it occurs. Nobody’s life is perfect. But by adopting a positive attitude and exercising self-confidence, you can improve your self-reliance and boost your ability to overcome obstacles.
Whether you choose to watch motivational speeches, read books, repeat daily affirmations, or take part in other exercises that encourage positivity, you should engage in these activities on a regular basis to bolster your self-reliance. Then, you’ll feel —and be — ready for whatever life throws at you.
3. Build Your Credit
Emergencies always reveal the areas of our lives where we’re lacking. They’re typically accompanied by unexpected expenses, and we may not realize just how financially lax we’ve been until it’s too late. In fact, experts assert that approximately 60% of Americans are unprepared to cover the kind of surprise expenses that can arise from an emergency.
The good news is that it’s never too late to take the reins on your financial journey and prepare for the future. Creating a budget and cutting unnecessary spending are good first steps. And by starting an emergency fund and building your credit, you can find yourself ahead of the curve the next time an unfortunate incident occurs.
4. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
As the pandemic has shown us, there is certainly such a thing as a perfect storm. One minute, everyone was blithely living their lives, and the next, we were all in the grocery stores, fighting over rolls of toilet paper and cans of soup. If nothing else, most of us have now realized how much of life is beyond our control.
Taking concrete steps to make sure that we’re as prepared as possible is one of the best things we can do moving forward. Safeguard your home by investing in a home warranty plan that covers major system and appliance repairs. Create an emergency plan; purchase life insurance or a homeowner’s/ renter’s policy; get your important documents in order; stock up on supplies, etc.
There’s no harm in taking these preparations at any time — but the sooner, the better. You may soon encounter unexpected situations that make you wish you’d done so when you had the chance.
5. Sharpen Your Skills
If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, there’s no time like the present. If you’ve been laid off and/or have more time on your hands than usual, this is a great time to sharpen your skill sets. You might learn a new language or learn to code; increase your financial literacy; or even figure out how to drive a stick shift. No matter what skill you wish to learn, taking the time to study and hone your capabilities can bolster your confidence and increase your self-reliance.
6. Strengthen Your Circle
Just because you’re focusing on self-reliance doesn’t mean you should shut out others. By creating a strong circle in which everyone brings unique skills and resources to the table, you’ll all be much better off. If you take the time to reach out to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to discuss how you can help one another during times of crisis, the connections you make can provide you more confidence and peace of mind moving forward.
Disasters are never fun, but often they present us with the opportunity to grow. These tips can help you become better prepared to face and overcome emergencies whenever they occur.
By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com