Sam Odrowski Special to The Standard
Just recently, Canada participated in Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, to raise public awareness on the importance of farm safety.
The annual safety week took place from March 11th to 17th, and aims to provide families of farmers and producers with the information required to stay safe on their farm or ranch.
Information relating to stress was one of the main focuses for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW).
One in five farmers consider themselves “very stressed” and nearly half describe themselves as “somewhat stressed.”
There are lots of stressors associated with farm life, such as adverse weather, working long hours, and unexpected problems.
Stress effects a person’s mental and emotional well-being, so being aware of the signs and symptoms of stress is important.
Some physical stress symptoms include headaches, stomach problems, chest pain, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, teeth grinding, and clenching.
Emotional stress can be shown by an increase in angry blow-ups, frustration, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
Behaviour stress symptoms include overeating, increased use of substances, smoking, changes in sleep, forgetfulness, and short-temper.
One of the best strategies for fighting stress from farm life, is by talking it out. Talking to a trusted friend, counsellor, or other professionals can help reduce stress and even assist a person in developing a strategy to deal with their stressors.
Long term problems on the farm left unresolved can often lead to long lasting stress.
Sometimes creating an organized plan, of how to tackle these issues, is the best route for reducing stress and improving a person’s farm.
If the issues are health related, seek a medical professional, if it debt related, seek financial advice, and if it is relationship related, try talking to a professional relationship counselor to resolve the issues.
Other keys to relieving stress include getting quality sleep. Sleep is a major factor for a person’s mental and physical well-being
Getting physical activity regularly and eating well will also help in reducing stress. So, consulting a dietitian and a fitness consultant will equip a person with the needed information.
By doing this, people fuel their bodies properly throughout their busy day. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is also equally important.
A lot of stress management strategies are more easily said than done, but a person’s health needs to come before there farm. A person can’t look after their farm without first looking after them self.
For more farm safety tips, visit the CASW website, at http://www.agsafetyweek.ca/.
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