Staying Sane in a Long-Term Survival Situation


( – In a true long-term survival scenario (or even in a blackout that lasts a few days), eventually, there will be downtime. Yes, after SHTF, most of the day will be spent simply trying to stay alive. But there will be times where no immediate tasks will be required, and boredom – or worse yet, depression – may set in.

Rather than allowing the mind to run wild, recalling the disaster or wallowing in despair, you’ll need some sort of distraction to keep you sane. Here are some options to pass the time:

Board Games

This is an obvious way to stay entertained, but the only downfall is the size of board games. They’re not the easiest to pack up and take with you, though their shape makes them easy to store and there are miniature versions of the more popular games. Chess, checkers, and Monopoly are just a few among many to choose from. Of course, if you’re alone, you may find it difficult to play these games and stay entertained. If you are forced to bug in, there is a good chance you will already have one in the house somewhere.

Card Games

Playing card decks are full of potential. There are countless games you can play with a deck of cards, even by yourself. They’re also small, lightweight, and easy to store.

Even if you don’t have any on you, then you can make your own from chunks of wood. Granted, they won’t be perfect and you’ll likely be able to tell them apart. That’s likely not going to matter as much after a while. The idea is to stay entertained, don’t be a stickler. Cards can even be used as kindling if you’re desperate.


Books easily make the list because, like a deck of cards, there are countless books you could bring with you. You can even include some survival books in your pack. Bring whatever books you like whether they be entertaining or informative, though striking a balance between the two is a good idea.

Books are generally easy to store and don’t need a lot of room to pack to take with you unless you’re taking a copy of “War and Peace”. Obviously, you can’t carry too many books before you get weighed down or run out of space. Like cards, books can be used to start a fire in a pinch.


Don’t forget our furry friends because they really know how to cheer you up. Playing with, or even just petting, your pet can bring you joy. Happiness could probably be considered a precious resource after a while.

The drawback with pets is they’re another mouth to feed. They may also bring about the burden of needing to be protected, which could lead to some sticky situations. Their companionship is priceless, however, and they may be your only friend.

Final Thoughts

There are many other ways to entertain yourself during a SHTF situation. Singing, dancing, and doing puzzles are all great ways to keep your mind off things. The need to stay entertained is more important than one might think. It can help alleviate stress and fight off depression, which can be a serious issue, especially if you’re alone.

Although it may be tempting to during a survival situation, you can’t be so serious 100% of the time; sometimes you need to let go and unwind. Just because you’re trying to survive doesn’t mean you should stop living.

Do you have any tips on how to stay sane while dealing with the stress of a long-term emergency scenario? Reply to your email and let us know, we would love to hear from you!

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