Coping with stress on the farm – simple steps to deal with stress

Stress is normal and part and parcel of everyone’s daily life but, how we handle it varies from person to person and can affect your health.

A certain amount of stress is a good thing, as it can help keep you focused and on your toes.

However, too much stress or handling stress badly is not good. Major events in your life can bring on stress, such as financial pressures or relationship issues.

Dealing with these situations is stressful for everyone. However, other people will find that dealing with everyday stresses can be difficult to bear and find it overwhelming.

Research also shows that farmers in Ireland are often stressed over their rural situation – often feeling that they are isolated.

Signs that you’re stressed

Common warning signs that you are stressed include:

  • Eating more or less than normal.
  • Mood swings.
  • Not being able to concentrate.
  • Feeling tense.
  • Feeling useless.
  • Headaches.
  • Feeling worried or nervous.
  • Not looking after yourself.
  • Not sleeping properly.
  • Being tired.
  • Being forgetful.
  • Excessive drinking.

Further, having back pain, indigestion, bowel issues and migraine can also by symptoms of stress.

Top Tips for dealing with Stress

The best way to deal with stress is through a healthy manner and often simple things like getting enough sleep will help. Here Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority outline 10 tips to help deal with stress.

  1. Work it off: Doing exercise gives you energy and makes you feel better.
  2. Get enough sleep: Rest is important to revitalise your body and mind.
  3. Keep it simple: Take things one step at a time; be aware of negative thoughts and try to focus on the positive.
  4. Take time to relax: Make time for yourself. Do something you enjoy such as going to a match, listening to music or reading.
  5. Prioritise: Review how you organise your time. Prioritise tasks, make lists and reward yourself for doing them.
  6. Be assertive: Don’t try to please everybody. Learn to say ‘no’.
  7. Try to eat healthy: Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and drinks lots of water. Cut down on eating foods that are high in fats, sugars and salt.
  8. Keep your mind active: You can do this by playing cards, doing quizzes or crosswords, or researching something you are interested in on the internet.
  9. Get it all off your chest: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. Simply talking to someone you trust can really help.
  10. Accept the things you cannot change: Focus your attention and energy on the things that you can do and that you have control over and try to accept that there are certain things you cannot change.

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