MANAGING FARM STRESS

Updated: Oct 5, 2019



Farming is a high-stress occupation, taking care of crops and animal is hard on farmers and agribusiness professionals. This coupled with issues of family life, long work hours, balancing budgets and planning for the future heaps a lot of stress on farmers. Extra stress in situations like disease outbreaks, extreme climatic conditions and market fluctuations can be overwhelming at times.

Taking care of your well-being becomes important in these situations to enjoy the good times and weather difficult times. A farmer’s health is as important as the health of his crops and animals.

Stress is the human response to any change that is perceived as a challenge or threat. While some degree of stress is good as it motivates and improves productivity, persistent stress is dangerous to our health.

We respond differently to stressful situations, farmers should be able to detect when they are stressed and managed their stress level. Here are some signs that your stress level is high:

  • Poor sleep

  • Headaches and fatigue

  • Poor concentration, irritability and anger

  • Poor decision making and avoiding decision making

  • Depression

  • Forgetfulness

  • Loss of appetite and nervousness

  • Withdrawal from social interactions

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to act and reduce your stress level. Don’t ignore these signs, persistent stress poses a significant threat to your physical health and mental well-being. Here are some simple steps to help you get through stressful situations:

  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals

  • Get adequate sleep and have a regular sleep routine

  • Exercise

  • Don’t indulge in alcohol, caffeine or drugs

  • Keep a positive attitude

  • Accept the situations you don’t have a control over like climatic conditions and market fluctuations

  • Prioritise your tasks and delegate other responsibilities

  • Take a break from your farm for a bit

  • Relax: do activities that you enjoy

  • Find things to laugh about

  • Talk to family and friends about it.

Farming is stressful but the stress can be managed adequately. Pay attention to how you respond to stress, watch out for signs like sleeplessness, irritability and anger, loss of appetite and the feeling of being drowned. Talk about your feelings, share the burden with somebody it will become easier and hire a help if you must. Keep a positive attitude and worry less about situations not under your control. A healthy farm requires a healthy farmer.


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