=== ZONE 0: MENTALLY
Mental Health Keeping up your mental health in a survival (or any situation) is very important. Boredom can cause depression and loneliness a lot faster than you would think. Here are some tips to help prevent depression and mental fatigue.
- Read a book- Bring some books, not just on wild edibles or survival. Bring an extra book for enjoyment that makes you feel good and happy, like 'Harry Potter.' I recommend paper-back, as hard-back books are heavier. You can also use the book as kindling if you are in a desperate situation.
- Sing- Don't be afraid to sing and dance. Sing out loud. Don't worry, you're alone anyway, so there's no one around to judge you. If you are male, do this to fight male oppression.
- Start a fire- Even if you are not cooking anything or even if it isn't dark, having a small fire is very comforting, plus it can ward off predators.
- Write in a journal- Writing in a journal is a good way to track your thoughts, make notes and document your experience. But be careful. Just remember that it could be destroyed by the elements like mine unfortunately was.)
ZONE 0: EMOTIONALLY
Emotions Keeping your emotions positive is vitally important. Letting bad emotions get control of you can put you in a dangerous situation or at least diminish your experience.
- Anger- It's easy to get frustrated with this sort of project: Your fire doesn't start; you cant cook your food; the animal you were hunting gets away; you injure yourself; you spend hours building a shelter and it collapses; I could go on and on. Don't let these things get to you. Take a deep breath, meditate, and understand that sometimes these incidents can occur with this kind of project.
- Happiness- Take joy in the nature that is around you. Recognize that you are experiencing something most people only dream of. Unlearn and then learn to love what you are doing.
- Depression- If you are an extrovert like me, having people around is important. But when no one is around, there is no one to talk to. Not a soul to share your experience with...It can be depressing! Remind yourself that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Think of what has made you happy in the past. If depression sets in, one of the best things you can do is try to to take a small hiatus from your adventure and head to the nearest village (even if it takes a couple of days.) Reconnect with people, other travelers, call family, call friends and have a good think and listen.
ZONE 0: SPIRITUALLY
Your own personal Spirituality is very important for overall health and morale. In order to help myself stay strong in spirit, I prayed.
- Carry Prayer Beads- I carried a rosary with me at all times and I tried to pray it every day. This helps in keeping a connection with God.
- Church- While I was training, I would travel back into town to go to church once a week, for the first couple of weeks. There was only one Catholic church in the town of Dominical (Hint: they don't like it if you carry a machete inside!)
- Morning and Evening Prayers- I would pray in the morning to God, asking Him to help me find food and stay safe. In the evening, I thanked God for the food that I found, and for protecting me from mortal danger.