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Emergency Preparedness, Minimalist Style

Emergency Preparedness, Minimalist Style

    Almost everyone who is interested in life hacks has come across the concept of minimalism at some point. Living with less means you have less clutter in your life, which always helps with productivity. One subset of the minimalist movement is 100-item Minimalism, where people make a commitment to live with 100 items or less in their homes.

    But a lot of detractors of the 100-item minimalist lifestyle say that living this way is really impractical, even if it has productivity benefits. For example, if you subscribe to 100-item minimalism, then how do you adequately prepare for an emergency scenario? How do you make room in your life for the items that could save you in the event of a hurricane, natural disaster, or terrorist attack?

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    For apartment dwellers, this need to minimize possessions is especially key. If you have a studio, you probably barely have enough storage space as it is…but making room for emergency supplies is tough!

    Emergency Preparedness and Minimalism Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

    At least, according to the woman who runs ApartmentPrepper.com, a wife and mother who became interested in blogging about emergency preparedness after Hurricane Ike hit her home city of Houston. She argues:

    “If you think about it, preparedness and minimalism can actually go hand in hand…Cutting down on so much material possessions and focusing on the minimum items that are truly necessary to live is the first step to being a minimalist.  Emergency items, to a prepper, falls under the “needs” category…With preparedness items, you can be selective with what kinds of gadgets do you really need. The rewarding part will come, as we find newly freed space for the stored food and water, which we do need.”

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    The team at SurvivalBackpacker.com agrees.

    “Survivalism and minimalism share common roots insofar as they’re both conducive to flexibility and adaptation.  In an emergency situation, you need to be able to adapt quickly.  And having less “stuff” to deal with (in your home as well as in your head) helps,” one post explains. “But so much of preparedness is often about stockpiling goods and food – in addition to the extra equipment and gear so often needed for being able to live outdoors.  How do we reconcile being prepared with living minimally?”

    “Authentic survival is already minimalist in its own way.  If it’s just you and your backpack, you will want to keep your items as lightweight and as few as possible…In sum, at first it seems as though preparedness is at odds with living sustainably and minimally, until you look at the common needs and assumptions of each lifestyle.  Stockpiling foods is a symptom of the consumerist lifestyle of excess most of us are used to living.  Authentic survival skills allow you to live closer to the land – it’s really not a cliche – and in so doing, you’ll be more green and minimalist than you probably expected.”

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    Small Scale Preparedness

    If you want to be prepared for a disaster, but still use a minimal amount of space, you might want to consider having a small kit you can store in your car or even in your purse. For example, Think Geek sells an emergency first aid kit that fits inside a sardine can.

    It’s waterproof, compact (4.25″ x 3″ x .9″), impact resistant, and even floats in water.

    The Home Depot also offers some basic emergency preparedness supplies that are compact and well-suited to any minimalist’s home.

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    The Ready America Grab ‘n Go Kit 2-Person Backpack contains food and water that will sustain two people for about three days. The seven pound backpack is only about 13 inches tall, and also contains a 33-piece first aid kit, ponchos, gloves, and face masks.

    For under $50, you can be prepared for most minor disasters, without having to sacrifice too much room in your home or apartment. If you are only going to live with 100 items, it makes sense that at least one of those items would be a disaster readiness kit.

    Conclusion

    The more prepared you are now, the less time and energy you will waste later if you have to run around and purchase disaster supplies at the last minute. From either a productivity, minimalist, or emergency preparedness standpoint, it makes sense to be ready to face any curve balls that life may throw at you.

    More by this author

    The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity? How to Diagnose the “Phantom Cursor” Issue on Your Mac Extreme Minimalism: Andrew Hyde and the 15-Item Lifestyle 6 Easy Tips for Living with 100 Items or Less

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    1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days 4 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself 5 How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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