5 Steps to Re-frame Spring Stress on Your Farm
I watched a Ted Talk recently about how stress is not inherently bad. If we view stress as excitement and preparation that something big is happening, stress itself has several health benefits!
WHAT? Hold the phone!
There are actually properties of stress that repair damaged muscle, make us more resilient and encourage us to be more social.
So all that spring excitement, the sleepless nights, and anxiety surrounding getting in the field for the first time every spring can actually be re-framed into something productive.
Since farming is often a game of hurry up and wait, we get a rush of Adrenalin, but we can't actually get in the field yet.
Being stuck in the waiting game means we need to "use up" that rush of Adrenalin or else it manifests in things like increased blood pressure, headaches, shaking hands, and impatience.
5 Steps to Re-frame this stress are:
1. Take several deep breathes-10 or 20 slow deep breathes will help your breathing to return to normal, your heart rate to slow, and your blood pressure comes back down.
2. Fill your mind with good things, activating the five senses. Find five enjoyable things that are surrounding you right now. What is something pleasant that you can hear, smell, touch, taste and see.
For example, you are working on something and you suddenly feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and anxious. Stand up, take a deep breath, notice the sun on your face, the birds chirping, the smell of freshly turned dirt. Look up at the sky to see the beauty in the clouds. . . .and go get yourself a fresh cup of coffee (or water). This is a simple thing that will help you to ease stress. Plus, when you come back to working you will actually be refocused and have a clearer head because you “used up” excess adrenaline and now you can focus on the task at hand.
3. Find the facts. When you are stressed out, the facts often take a back seat. In order to solve a problem focus on the facts.
4. Take out the emotion. It's easy to get overwhelmed by stress, weather, and more problems than time especially in the springtime. However, if we can take the emotion and stress out of the situation, and focus on the facts, then it's easier to solve problems and re-frame stress. Think of stress as excitement and preparation for what is coming.
5. Break the stress cycle. Stress is an automatic response our body produces. In order to calm down, we need to break the stress cycle. For a full how-to video check out https://youtu.be/e3B1QVvbieg