As the stresses involved in agriculture continue to increase, farmers are forced to deal with many more difficult situations. Stress not only affects how we think or how we concentrate on things, but it also can change our behaviour and emotional responses to situations. A dangerous side effect to prolonged stress is the decrease in our senses. Our senses may not pay as much detail to the stimulation around us, which could lead to mistakes being made that could unfortunately cause accidents.
There are actually physical symptoms that we should watch for that are caused by too much stress in our lives. Some of these may include increased heart rate and blood pressure, being more prone to illness, fatigue, decrease in attention span, sleeplessness or the need to sleep more, headaches, irritability and depression. It is important that we are aware of and watch for any of these effects of stress so we are able to deal with them.
- It is extremely important that we take the time to take a break. Take 10 or 15 minutes off the tractor at different times to walk around a bit, or take the time to stop for meals. A good nourishing meal can do wonders.
- If it is possible, change from doing one job to another
- Try to get as much rest as you can
- Do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Never turn away a helping hand
- Allow yourself some relaxation time.
- Most importantly, do not hesitate to share your feelings and concerns with family and friends.