Stress on the Farm and Ranch
Stress is something farmers and ranchers deal with daily.
Years like this one seem to amplify this stress. A group at Iowa State University (ISU) wants all farmers to know you are not alone and there are people there for you.
This past week ISU held their annual Integrated Crop Management Conference. One of the breakout sessions dealt with farm stress and managing it.
Economist Chad Hart talks about the stressors in agriculture.
There are many symptoms that could be stress-related. They include physical signs such as headaches, lingering fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns, and more frequent illness. Mental indicators of stress include anxiety, depression, and trouble relating to others.
The action you should take depends on your level of stress. Take action on one small piece of the problem. Do what you can manage now, without trying to do everything at once.
Ask for help from family, friends or community resources, including counselors.
Do some physical exercise and make personal health a priority. Protect your physical health by eating well and avoiding alcohol and drugs. Do something enjoyable each day.
Work on accepting change as a natural part of life. But be aware of ongoing changes that contribute to stress, and postpone new commitments if they will add stress.
Increase the time spent with supportive family and friends, who are important buffers in times of stress. Communicate with loved ones by listening and expressing appreciation.
If you're working with a stressed co-worker, take time to listen. Stressed individuals should not be rushed. By listening, you show that you care. Ask questions so you can understand the person's problem, and so the stressed person can explain the issue.