December 16, 2019
By Linda Emanuel, RN, FarmHer and Community Health Nurse for the AgriSafe Network
The magic of a peaceful snow globe is captivating. The busyness of holiday preparations, year-end closing of financial books, tax preparations, loan renewals and prepay of next year’s commodity inputs may have your snow globe resembling the topsy-turviness of a blizzard.
Many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the FarmHer. Good health and wellbeing, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming.
Twenty percent of any population has mental health complications, including farmers and ranchers. Stigma and privacy concerns associated with mental health issues may mean that many people do not seek out available care. For agricultural populations, stressful events might include:
Ask yourself these two questions:
AgriSafe is here to encourage you to have a mental health conversation with your trusted health care provider. Share with them your mental load, unique to your work as a producer. Prolonged stress may have an accumulative effect on your physical wellbeing. Symptoms such as headaches, abdominal discomfort, recurring illness, and or exhaustion may occur. When you talk to a health professional:
Our brains deserve good care just like the other organs and systems. Try these new coping strategies to achieve good brain health.
It is a therapeutic alternative to putting your feet up and effective at relieving lower leg pressure as well as lower backaches. An additional bonus of this exercise is the deep breathing utilized to decrease tension. By elongating the exhale during this breathing exercise, you trigger a state of normalcy within your body. Take a moment to practice. I often do this exercise and immediately note my tense shoulders relax, facial tension and creases soften and heart rate drops.
Achieving the serenity and magical wonder of the season is a gift to yourself. After all that you give to others, give yourself permission to feel worthy of these self-cares.
For more information regarding the work of AgriSafe Network please see our website. Additional mental health information may be found on our resource, Mental Health and the Impact on Wellness.
On behalf of the AgriSafe Network and myself, we sincerely wish you the happiest of Holidays!
January 10, 2020
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