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Farming: Resilience the Farmstrong way

19 Jul 2018

I have just discovered the Farmstrong website and I can recommend it. “Farmstrong is an initiative designed to give farmers the skills and resources to live well, farm well and get the most out of life.”

I can identify with that. And it is a great site for everyone else as well.

One of the website sections is called ‘The Big Five’ – five strategies for looking after your wellbeing and happiness. The five are: Give, Connect, Notice, Learn and Active. There is an in-depth explanation of each on the site, see here. Note that the word ‘Give’ is missing from the first bullet point in this section. It should read, “Give your time, your words, your presence.”

There is another section called ‘Becoming a Resilient Farmer,’ see here

If the link doesn’t work or you would like to read it here, I have copied some of the material below for you to read. At the end they suggest you sign up for their newsletter and why not. I thought the material was excellent. Right on the button and great for everyone, not just farmers. The material is couched in farming language, but it is perfect for everyone, I think.

Becoming a resilient farmer (from the www.farmstrong.co.nz website)

“Building resilience requires a two-pronged attack – you have to strengthen body and mind.”

 “Wellbeing research shows that people can actively improve their wellbeing and resilience. A study about the pursuit of happiness found that 40% of our happiness is determined by how we choose to approach and deal with life.” 

1. Build a resilient body

Commit to taking care of yourself. Take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Don’t overwork.

Keep active. Exercise keeps the body healthy and helps you handle pressure. It also releases endorphins and chemicals (seratonin and dopamine), which will automatically improve your mood.

Eat healthily and regularly. Make sure your body gets the fuel it needs to function at its best. Don’t skip meals or live off junk food. Eat nutritious snacks during the day. Drink plenty of water.

Avoid self-medication. Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking or caffeine to get through. They just create new problems.

Get enough rest. Give your body the opportunity to rest and recover. Make sure you get enough sleep. 

2. Build a resilient mind

Connect with others. Talking about your farming challenges relieves pressure and makes you realise others are in the same boat. Mates might have helpful advice or suggestions.

Give your time to others. Volunteer your time and talents, spend time with people you enjoy, join groups and attend functions. Have a life outside farming.

Choose to be positive. Learn the habits of healthy thinking so you can maintain a positive outlook. It’s easy to fall into patterns of faulty thinking that assume the worst in every situation and undermine confidence. Learn to challenge faulty thinking and look at things from a positive perspective.

Don’t waste energy worrying. Getting upset about the things you can’t change, or control gets you nowhere. Find solutions for the things you can control.

Keep learning. Embrace new skills, ideas and experiences. Stimulate the mind.

Live in the present. Enjoy what you are doing. Find pleasure in the simple things.

Sign up for Farmstrong news. It will help you achieve a healthier, happier working life. There is a ‘Sign Up’ button on every page on the Farmstrong website www.farmstrong.co.nz

 

“Remember, the most important asset on any farm is you, so just like you look after important farm equipment, you need to look after yourself” – Farmstrong.

Keep asking great questions …

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