Recognizing symptoms of stress during farming challenges

2017-07-20     Source: farm.com
Farming can be a life full of joy, love, heartache, and challenges. Many aspects of the job are beyond a farmer’s control – market prices, government regulations, drought, and disease outbreak, to name a few. Combined with long hours and financial pressures, farmers can experience high levels of stress.

Farming can be a life full of joy, love, heartache, and challenges. Many aspects of the job are beyond a farmer’s control – market prices, government regulations, drought, and disease outbreak, to name a few. Combined with long hours and financial pressures, farmers can experience high levels of stress.

Stress Symptoms

Stress can impact all aspects of a farmer’s life. Symptoms of stress can differ from person to person. It is important to recognize when you are feeling stressed before the stress becomes chronic. The following include symptoms of stress:

Emotional:

Moodiness, Irritability

Anger

Feeling overwhelmed; lacking control

Difficulties relaxing; restless

Loneliness; avoidance

Feeling worthless; hopeless

Low self-esteem

Anxiety; panic

Physical:

Lethargic; body fatigue; lack of energy

Headaches

Gastrointestinal issues (upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, nausea)

Aches and pains; tightness in muscles

Chest pain; rapid heartbeat; short breathing

Too much sleep or too little sleep

Frequent colds or infections

Loss of interest in activities; sex

Nervousness; anxiety

Dry mouth; difficulties swallowing

Clenched jaw; grinding teeth

Cognitive:

Forgetfulness

Racing thoughts; lacks focus

Constant worrying

Poor judgment

Pessimistic

Behavioral:

Sleeping too much or too little

Eating too much or too little

Procrastination

Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes

Nervous behaviors – nail biting, fidgeting, pacing

Managing Stress

From the list, how many symptoms are you currently experiencing? Once you have identified your symptoms of stress, it is important to try different stress management strategies to manage your stress. Here are some tips to help decrease stress:

Practice breathing and find inner peace. Some people find it helpful to learn and practice relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or yoga. A mindfulness app might work for you (e.g. Headspace, Smiling Mind, iMindfulness, Mindfulness Daily).

Exercise regularly. Please visit our Health and Wellness page for tips and tricks on incorporating exercise into your daily routine. (See Fit on the Farm and Active in a Rural Community)

Eat Healthy. Try to choose fruits, vegetable, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. (See Mindful Eating)

Utilize effective time management. By managing your time wisely, you may feel less overwhelmed

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