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Overcoming the Stress of Farming

We all feel stressed from time to time, but the busy seasons and challenges of farming can elevate stress levels. Stress is what you feel when you react to pressure and can is a normal reaction caused by your bodies instinct to protect itself. It’s important to know how to identify sign of stress in your body and how to manage stress in a healthy way. Here are some tips and resources on stress management. 

Signs of Stress

Signs of stress can be different for every person. It can cause health problems or worsen existing issues. Some possible signs of stress are:

  • Anxiety or worry

  • Back pain

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Depression or sadness

  • Feeling very tired

  • Headaches or migraines

  • High blood pressure

  • Problems sleeping

  • Relationship issues

  • Stiff neck or jaw

  • Stomach pain

  • Weight gain or loss

 

Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

Talking About It

This can be one of the hardest ways to deal with stress but it can really help. Talking to supportive family or friends can help because it gives you a chance to express your feelings. Outside help is always available if you’re not comfortable talking to someone you know. If you notice signs of stress in a neighbor or friend, take the time to ask them how they’re doing or if they’re ok. It can be tough to bring it up unless someone else starts the conversation. If you’re feeling stressed, know that you can always talk to your AgCredit account officer. They’re there to support you in any way they can and want to see you succeed.

Get Away

As a farmer, this may seem impossible most of the time. But, try to make a point to get away from the farm once in a while. It doesn’t need to be a gig vacation, something as simple as getting away for the day or a few hours to do something you enjoy can help. 

Exercise or try some relaxation methods

Exercising doesn’t have to be anything intense, just taking a walk to clear your head and get some fresh air can help with stress. Many people also find coping methods like meditating or yoga to be helpful. The important thing is to find something that works for you so you can release stress is a healthy way.

Resources

The Farm Credit System offers a free program called Rural Resistance. This program teaches participants to understand the sources of stress, manage their own stress, learn the warning signs of stress and suicide, identify effective communication strategies and connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources. Access the program here: https://farmcredit.com/rural-resilience

The AgCredit Said It Podcast has two great episodes talking about mental health. They are linked below. Both episodes are full of relatable stories and resources. Be sure to give them a listen. 

Episode 8: Recognize, Persuade, Refer: The three most important words you need to know when it comes to mental health with guests Nathan Brown and Sarah Noggle

Bonus Episode: Mental Health Conversation Continued