What Survival Experts Say About Quarantine Baking
It’s all about competence, confidence, and control
In 2017, right before I embarked on my career as a freelance writer, I traveled to Yosemite National Park for a four-day solo trip along the John Muir Trail. While I was a frequent hiker and camper, I had been backpacking only once before in my life, and I had certainly never done it by myself.
The two challenges I was facing — backpacking and starting a business of one — seemed unrelated at the time. But I now realize that my subconscious rationale was that if I could survive in the woods by myself, surely I could survive professionally and economically on my own.
It’s not really about being able to build a fire or carry a heavy pack over long distances, it’s a general feeling of competence that imbues you with a sense of confidence.
Although the link is tenuous, survival psychologist Sarita Robinson, PhD, a principal lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, says the connection between conquering a physical challenge and a mental challenge makes sense. “[You] have that satisfaction and knowledge that, ‘If I was under pressure, I could actually cope with it,’” she says. “It shows you that when push comes to shove, you’re able to get on and do things.”
It’s not really about being able to build a fire or carry a heavy pack over long distances, it’s a general feeling of competence that imbues you with a sense of confidence. And that realization of “I can do this” can carry over into other parts of life. Having accomplished one hard task, you believe you can problem-solve and persevere through other difficult situations as well.
Now faced with the challenge of a global pandemic, it seems that many of us are brushing up on our practical skills, although they’re more Little House on the Prairie than My Side of the Mountain. And while knitting a scarf may not directly relate to surviving a deadly virus, it does provide a feeling of competence and control. Maybe we can’t ensure that our parents will be safe or we won’t lose our jobs, but we can turn flour, water, and yeast into bread and grow our…