Ready to live a happier life? Here are 12 Ways Self-Sufficiency can do just that.
Self-sufficiency isn't always a breeze, but there are plenty of studies that show working outside, caring for animals and making your own living all have physical, mental & financial benefits that are not afforded to those with your run-of-the-mill, nine to five job.
Imagine: You greet another day to the sounds of your livestock stirring, sun shining into your bedroom and a garden bursting with produce you've planted and tended from seedlings. After eating a breakfast of eggs you collected from your rambunctious hens, you pull on a pair of old, comfy jeans and slip into your well-worn work boots so you can start your daily routine with your garden, animals, and home projects in the beautiful day awaiting outside. Of course, not all days on the homestead are like this, but let's take a look at the goods of self-sufficient living that far outweigh the bads.
Related: 6 Things Homesteaders Can Live Without… Can You?
1. Exercise You Can Enjoy
You'll do more squats and lift more heavy weights while tending your garden or installing solar panels and do more cardio chasing your hens back into their pen than you ever would in the gym…and you'll enjoy the end result of not only your improved physical fitness but you'll also enjoy both the proverbial and literal fruits of your labor.
2. Stress and Anxiety Relief
Research has shown that working with your hands can provide stress and anxiety relief as it gives your mind something to focus on that gives a definite result rather than the abstract goals that we strive to attain at our day jobs.
3. Lower Cost of Living
It makes sense that if you're growing your own food you're paying for less at the grocery store, and paying less money to get there. If your home is solar or wind-powered, it makes sense that you'll be paying less of an electricity bill. Like most things, if you're putting in more work it will result in less cost.
Related: 43 Off The Grid Hacks
4. More Resourceful
When you're cooking zucchini for a month straight because your garden is overflowing with them, you learn new recipes or make up your own to keep squash interesting. Or if your horse is giving birth a little early and your vet is nowhere to be found, you'll learn about equestrian anatomy and birthing processes quickly. Self-sufficiency requires you to think on your feet and use what you have on hand.
5. Mental Well-Being
If you are outdoors soaking up vitamins known to boost your mental state of mind as you solve a problem you faced earlier in the day with a definitive result that you created yourself, you're bound to feel pretty good about life by the end of the day.
6. Variety, Variety, Variety
Even if you do the same chores every day, there is never routine on the homestead. There will always be a new challenge, opportunity or something that just makes you laugh at the spontaneous nature of your self-sufficient life.
7. You'll Pay Your Debts off Quickly
While spending less money due to your self-sufficient lifestyle and getting breaks from taxes and loan repayments, you'll be able to save up and pay off those debts in less time than if you stayed with your 9-5.
8. More Time Spent Doing what You Love
It's no secret that doing what you love will make you happier, and if you live an off the grid life then your work is your joy!
Related: Homesteader's Guide To Raising Backyard Goats
9. Rehabilitation for Injuries
The repetitive motions of many chores done on the homestead (especially gardening) can help rehabilitate physical injuries as well as emotional and mental strains.
10. Perspective on What's Important
Making your own clothing will change the amount of importance you place on labels and seeing your cows graze on organic grains in a pasture of green will give you a new perspective on organic vs. mass-produced meat and dairy.
11. Emergency Preparedness
Disasters both manmade and natural are inevitable, but with a self-sufficient lifestyle you'll have a leg up on how to survive and even thrive in a survival or emergency situation.
Related: 10 Blizzard Survival Tips For a Safe Winter
12. Pride in What you Do
Doing what you love and being able to care for yourself and your family is hard work, but you will swell with pride at all you've accomplished and learned in your journey to becoming self-reliant. And you should be proud…that's quite a feat! Becoming self-sufficient isn't a walk in the park but the rewards are greater than the struggles. There are financial, emotional, mental and physical benefits that stem from all the varied facets of a self-reliant life that make the joys of a life off the grid that much sweeter.
Self-sufficiency doesn't mean you have to go it alone! Subscribe to our newsletter and join our community of homesteaders to receive advice, tutorials, and support as you become more self-reliant so you can get more of the good stuff out of life with the help of other like-minded people.
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I love this post so much! We are no where close to being self sufficient but this year, we are working towards being further along than we were last year. We are planning a large garden and this is my year to learn to properly can. As our society has changed to the pace it has, I feel the personal responsibility to teach our children how to grow food, tend animals, UNPLUG and use your hands to make things. My husband is a Contractor so we use a lot of his demolition materials in making things around our property like our chicken coop, dog house and boys tree house. We are definitely a family of waste not! Love your articles and always find some excellent things to learn about.
Pamela Girard says
Great article. Thanks for the needed reminder of why we are doing what we are doing. Here’s to getting more self-sufficient in 2015, Cheers!