Long time readers will remember seeing frequent references to the Farm Stress Certified program and directory on this page. Hopefully you are familiar with the program, but if not, check out this article from Ohio State News that highlights the Farm Stress Certified program and quotes from our program specialist, Bridget Britton.
There is a huge team behind the Farm Stress program including farmers, Extension experts, and the College of Social Work. We are so grateful for everyone who has worked together to create an impactful program for social workers, therapists, and other caregivers across the state of Ohio.
One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day. If you’re not familiar with the opening scenes of this masterpiece, the main character is a weatherman who wants to leave the small town of Punxsutawney and return home immediately, if not faster. His team comes across a road closure, and he hops out of the vehicle to question a state trooper about the delay. The trooper asks, “Don’t you watch the weather? We got a major storm here.” Frustrated and upset, the weatherman shouts, “I MAKE THE WEATHER.”
As most of the state ends another week with minimal or no rainfall, you might be feeling frustrated and upset. What each of us wouldn’t give to “make the weather” and control the rainfall, the temperature, and a million other small details that affect how crops grow and livestock thrive. While we don’t have that ability to control the weather outside our front door, we can control our own personal “weather”- our mindset. Here are some tips to “make the weather” for yourself (adapted from this article shared last year):
- Make time for laughs: Have you ever heard laughter is the best medicine? Well, it might not be the best, but it can help. Make sure you find time to spend with your funny family member or employee. You know who they are.
- Stay away from unhealthy coping mechanisms: Coping by stress eating is easy to do, but it can also make you feel lethargic and uncomfortable. Try playing a game, calling a friend, or spending time in nature. An increase in unhealthy habits such as alcohol use can contribute to farm accidents, and could negatively impact you, your family, and your farm business.
- Take a look at long-term goals and plans: Talk with family and employees about any improvements or goals you have for the future. Making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial, and talking about the future can help us remember that things won’t always be this way, and we can hope for better days ahead.
- Help yourself and others during stressful times: Make time for check-ins with family and friends. This support not only helps them but you during this stressful time. No one should have to feel alone if they may be feeling any type of anxiety or sadness. While you are waiting for the weather to change, this is a great time to reach out to friends, family, and neighbors- even if it’s just a quick text.
- Remember that you are more than your farm. We need you to be healthy both physically and mentally. Reach out if you or someone you know may be struggling. There are resources available at go.osu.edu/farmstress and you can reach out to your local Extension office. If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Suicide and Crisis Prevention Lifeline at 988. You can also use the Crisis Textline by sending a message to 741741.