Easy does it!

A US academic believes farming to be one of the most stressful occupations in the world. “Profits are uncertain. Producers must adapt to rapid technological advances and consumer expectations.

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That’s why managing stress is essential,” says Dr Robert Fetsch, a Colorado State University human development and family studies specialist. He points out that stress is a personal response. “Family members experience stress differently. Daughters-in-law in particular are affected. The older generation can help reduce stress and keep a son in the operation by building a good working relationship with the daughter-in-law. Involving both the son and his wife in decision-making will ease the family’s stress.”

The more negatively you perceive your financial situation, the higher your stress levels will be, possibly increasing your blood pressure. Dr Fetsch suggests refocusing your energy to break this negative cycle. To take an example: if a spare part on order is delaying your operation by a day or two, don’t worry yourself to a standstill about the potential loss. This simply builds stress – and doesn’t make the spare part arrive any sooner! Refocus on things you can get on with.

‘Freeing‘ yourself mentally like this may even help to provide you with an alternative solution. Even a short break can be beneficial. This, argues Dr Fetsch, will also increase your energy, improve concentration and allow you to get more done in less time. In short, try to adapt to stressful events; if you allow them to overwhelm you, your body will be in real danger of breaking down.

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