Being resilient doesn’t mean you don’t feel the knocks. It means you can recover quickly.
Resilience is the process of ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences. It means you don’t cave in when faced with adversity, tragedy, family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.
The very nature of farming means that difficult experiences can’t always be avoided. But if you’re resilient, you’re better equipped to cope with them.
What does a resilient farmer do?
- Stays calm under pressure and makes health and wellbeing a priority.
- Focuses his/her emotions and energy on solving problems, not worrying about them.
- Is optimistic about the future and confident of success.
- Has a healthy sense of reality and doesn’t assume the worst.
- Sees issues for what they are – just another challenge in a challenging job.
- Relates well to others – socialises regularly, joins in activities, has hobbies and/or plays sport.
- Takes breaks and holidays, schedules family time, gets off the farm to recharge the batteries on a regular basis.
- Doesn’t pretend to be an expert at everything – gets training to improve skills in business planning, financial planning, succession planning, workforce management, marketing, new technology and government legislation.
How does a resilient farmer live?
- Makes a good night’s sleep a priority. Poor sleepers are at greater risk of illness (diabetes, obesity) and early death (15% more likely).
- Knows when to stop. Tiredness and fatigue impair coordination and decision making, contributing to farm accidents.
- Eats a healthy diet and stays fit. Poor diet and lack of exercise are big contributors to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Thinks positive. An American study of 7,000 students found the death rate among the most pessimistic third of students was 42% higher than the most optimistic third.