Defeating stress on the farm

Published 9:42 am Friday, April 27, 2018

Stress is universal. Everyone deals with it to some degree throughout their lives. As April winds down, it’s time to highlight Stress Awareness Month and explore how to manage stress — with a local twist.

Bell County and the surrounding region is, obviously, very rural. Farms populate the area for miles, and with farming comes stress.

The Bell County Cooperative Extension recently released a statement on how manage the stresses of farm life. There are a multitude of factors inherent in farming that can pile on the stress — uncooperative weather, market shifts, changes in standard policy, and the overall day-to-day hardships that come with the job.

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The key to handling your stress on the farm is to first identify it when it happens. What does it feel like? What situations trigger it? Knowing how to identify it is key to managing it. Find something that you know personally relaxes you and make it a daily routine. Breathing exercises, reading, or anything that you find works in getting your mind and body ready for the day. Doing these activities and exercises helps to release hormones that help relieve stress.

The age-old axiom of “laughter is the best medicine” has a basis in scientific fact. Laughter generates endorphins, which make your body feel good.

Another relaxing technique is staying away from the various screens that surround our lives for at least an hour before bed. The specific light that comes from devices such as TVs, smart phones and computers keeps the body awake. Simply expressing your key stress points can also help. Talk to family and friends about what bothers you the most on the job. An open ear can go a long way.

And of course, if you find that these tips don’t seem to help, it is always an option to seek out professional medical help.