There have been some long, stressful days with planting this year. The planting, spraying, and fertilizing have been compacted into a small window due to the weather – for those of us who were able to get in the field. The pressure and stress of it all starts to wear down our bodies and our mental health… a fact that has been proven after yet another farmer took his life.
This life we live is far from easy. We don’t punch in and punch out. The food we work so hard to produce is at the mercy of people in positions that don’t understand what we have to endure. The weather, the markets, and the ability to stay healthy (physically and mentally) to show up and get the job done.
My friends, we know the stress and overwhelm doesn’t go away but we often make things worse for ourselves by how we process it. Stay with me for a minute.
Planting has not been ideal. How we are talking to ourselves matters. If we are saying things like this “I am exhausted,” or “I can’t do this anymore, or “I’m failing…” you get the idea…this does not help your situation. These thoughts set us up to give up. They give you permission to become a victim and takes you to a place where you lose your power. These thoughts suck the energy you have left and leave you with nothing to propel you forward.
Seems simple – but reading it and processing our feelings are two different things. Our brains are funny that way. They don’t know the difference between a thought and reality – they still produce a feeling that moves you one way or the other. Thoughts come up without us even realizing it and the key is to just start paying attention to what you are giving your energy to. When you recognize these unhelpful feelings come up, don’t fight them. Just recognize those thoughts aren’t helpful to you and redirect yourself when they come up. You don’t drive straight into a tree in the field – you manage your position in the tractor – just like you can with what’s running through your head. You may have just not been taught that yet.
So when these thoughts come up (and you know they won’t help you) notice them. Then practice another set of thoughts. For example: “It’ll work out,” We’ve been through hardships before,” “We can get through this,” “Just one day at a time,” … you get my drift. What ever it is that’s believable to you.
I’m not minimizing what it’s like to be in your situation. I’ve had all the same thoughts above and when I am exhausted and then the breakdowns happen it takes that extra effort to not lose it. And sometimes I still do, but I know now that how I feel and how I respond all comes back to me. I get to chose how I get to show up for myself and my family this season.
So, hang in there everyone. Suffering is no way to live so please get help. Talk to someone. Have a beer with a buddy. You aren’t alone – just don’t isolate. If you are low on energy take care of yourself. Cut back on social media drama. Watch less news. Don’t get sucked into political debates. Save that for when your busy season is over.
Much love my friends♥ KM
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