LET’S TALK ABOUT STRESS!
When building the blueprint for the We Talk. We Grow. mental health campaign, common farm stresses were identified such as finances, family disagreements, administrative burdens, long hours, heavy work load, lack of sleep, weather, working in a high hazard industry, working with livestock, lack of insurance, home is work/work is home, and stigma. These stressors can cause the feeling of being out of control.
Some farmers have learned to effectively deal with the high levels of stress through various coping mechanisms and have learned to become resilient in such challenging times. Other farmers have yet to discover that it is stress causing some of the signs and symptoms that they are experiencing such as upset stomach, headaches, tension, fatigue or insomnia, change in eating habits, relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, withdrawal and perhaps substance use. Depending on your current health and fitness level, the signs and symptoms may vary.
There are ways to take back the control to reduce the stress and become a more resilient farmer.
Over the spring and summer months, Dr Bill Howatt from Howatt HR gave us several lessons on microskills that may help with maintaining mental fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic. These microskills would be a good fit to help with on farm stresses too. Visit the Tactics for Maintaining Mental Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic to discover microskills that may work for you such as having an attitude of gratitude, feeling overwhelmed, prioritizing sleep, progressive relaxation, flipping the switch, understanding stress and many more.