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Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Farm Stress II

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By now, hopefully you understand that chronic stress is a contributor to significant health problems and impaired decision making So, what can you do to reverse this process and improve your well-being? Start

That’s it By doing one small thing, then another, we steadily regain a sense of control We are all creatures of momentum One good decision leads to the next It’s easy to believe that one step forward won’t make a difference; but that is wrong

So let’s take a look at how you can start Make a plan and write things down The act of writing thoughts onto paper, BY HAND reduces confusion and ambiguity It clears your head of confusing information so you can take action While planning takes time, it actually HELPS you to be MORE productive and efficient

Spending time to plan also helps you to creatively consider options… and it improves memory Eat healthy This can’t be emphasized enough Take time to eat a good breakfast and include healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein throughout the day Avoid added sugar

Strive for BALANCE and make sure to get enough healthy food during busy times to fuel your body Sometimes coffee or an occasional soda is fine… but it’s not a substitute for getting plenty of water Staying well-fueled and hydrated helps your brain and your body to function like a well-tuned machine Sleep Your body AND your brain need quality sleep

Often, a good night’s sleep takes a back seat to other activities – or worry Good sleep helps your body and brain recover after a long and difficult day Most healthy adults need about 7 or 8 hours a night Watch caffeine intake – especially in the afternoon and before bed Develop bedtime routines that make sleep come naturally

Avoid stimulation that will keep you awake and resist the temptation to check your smartphone in the middle of the night Exercise Researchers agree that exercise is a key stress management tool If approved by your healthcare provider, exercise helps your body channel excess energy and it can help regulate stress hormones Exercise enhances brain structure and creates a sense of well-being

Exercise can help you make better decisions and it can even improve your memory Remember, stress occurs when we perceive a threat…it ramps up your urge to act physically Exercise provides a healthy way to release this excess energy Mindfulness Take a few minutes of quiet time every day to be still

Or, if you have 15 minutes, take a quiet walk away from the worksite to get re-centered Focus on your breathing Think about and picture in your mind’s eye a couple things that you’re grateful for Sometimes we only focus on the worries of the future, but when you take time to purposely think about the gifts and resources that you have, it brings peace And, it helps you to envision a more positive future

Support Staying connected with friends and family is important Sharing your struggles and comparing notes can make a world of difference It’s good to stay in touch with your family doctor or other primary healthcare provider by checking in for needed care and routine checkups Think of it as scheduled maintenance

If you find it difficult to cope with daily activities…or have physical symptoms like pain…or if you find it tough to get a good night’s sleep, seek help from your doctor Your doctor is also an important resource if you have thoughts and feelings of dread or frequently feel hopeless and pessimistic There are free or low-cost counseling services available that help farmers deal with stress and the emotions you might feel If you’re worried about a loved one or close friend, don’t be afraid to start a caring conversation Never be afraid to check in with others; ask questions; or express your concern

When in doubt, offer your support by listening and helping You can also find help and support by checking in with Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 – or check their website for other resources Regaining control and breaking the cycles of chronic stress takes commitment, support, and a willingness to embrace the challenge Take a step forward Then another

You can do it

Source: Youtube

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