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5 Ways Farm Spouses Can Help to Relieve Stress on Your Farm and in Your Home

Family farms and working with your spouse can be stressful. Sometimes when things aren't ideal we tend to complain, take each other for granted, and just overall be negative and pessimistic.

This is not what I want my life to look like.

I want our farm to be a joyful place and I want our home to be relaxing and inviting.

So these are the things that have helped me to achieve this. (I'll do a brief overview, then go into each of these in further detail below.)

Note: These are the things that work for me to reduce stress in my life. Zack follows along but these things aren't a conscious choice that he makes every day. I don't want to annoy him by always telling him what to do, so I don't push him into participating. I will say, however, that some of these have become a habit in our house and now it's easy to maintain.

1. Take 15 minutes to vent about your day

2. Keep the conversation positive and present

3. Daily Gratitude practice- do it in the morning then talk about it over dinner

4. Know you and your spouses "Languages of Love"

5. After we get into bed at night be positive and present

Bonus: Do not fight about money

1. When we both get in for the night I have found it helpful to take 15 minutes to vent about our day. Since we work with family, the weather, livestock and a number of other variables we need that time to get things off our chest.

2. This also allows us to put all that aside and keep the rest of the night more positive and upbeat! After our 15 minutes is up, we keep the conversation positive and we don't stew about the past or other uncontrollable circumstances.

3. One thing that has been extremely helpful for me is to do a daily gratitude practice. The whole process that I use in outlined in a video here.

Every morning I write down five good things that happened the day before. I do this because our brains do not realize the difference between a memory and an actual thing that is happening. This triggers our brain into releasing extra dopamine! Starting our day with this extra dopamine helps us to feel energized, happy and motivated.

I do this every morning because I think it's the best part of my day. Zack (like many farmers) thinks that such a practice is a waste of time. So instead of pressuring him to conform, at dinner I simply pose the question "What is something good that happened today?

Then, it allows us to talk about it over dinner. This is a great question to ask especially if you have kids.

4. The book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a game changer and I highly recommend this book. Not only did it change the way I viewed my relationship with Zack but it also helped me to have more patience and grace with the family members that we work with.

The 5 Love Languages are:

Acts of Service

Words of Affirmation

Physical Touch

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

It helps us identify how we like to receive and express love. It also helps us to identify how others like to receive love. Hereby improving our communication, appreciate and love for our spouse.

5. When we get into bed at night we keep the conversation positive. It helps us to sleep better.

Bonus: Lastly, do not fight about money. They say that the majority of divorce happens because of money fights! Money is always tight for farmers and having good healthy communication about money is extremely important for your marriage. Zack and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and it taught us how to budget, talk about money, and plan for the future.

These were 5 ways that I work to relieve stress on our farm and in our house. Let me know what you think and if you have any tips or tricks that help you!

Sarah Zastrow


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