Being a farmer means wearing a lot of hats. You’re managing staff, tending to stock, caring for the land, responding to changing weather patterns, analysing global markets and doing the books. Oh, and you’re also trying to be a good partner, parent and family member.
The nature of farming means some periods of the year you’re flat out, doing really long hours and working to tight timeframes with a lot at stake.
Juggling all of these things can take its toll on your health and increase your risk of unhealthy stress and getting burnt out.
Ongoing stress and lifestyle factors can lead to an increase in some physical health problems. In fact, when Farmstrong completed health checks of 70 farmers (48 men and 22 women) at Field Days throughout 2015, we found that:
- 27% had high cholesterol
- 12% had high blood pressure
But what is stress? How do you manage it? How do you know if you’re burnt out? Is stress always bad? How do you help someone who is over stressing? Could your daily routine be causing you stress?
We’ve teamed up with Clinical Psychologist and Wairarapa Farmer, Sarah Donaldson, to help answer these, and your questions about stress and burnout on the farm.
Sarah lives and works on a sheep and beef farm, has been a competitive rugby player, is a mother and wife, and is also a clinical psychologist working both in her own business and for the Rural Support Trust.
Sarah Donaldson On Managing Stress
Clinical psychologist Sarah Donaldson explains what stress is, the effect it can have on body and mind and offers practical advice on how to manage it.
Farmers On Stress
Three farming couples discuss how they recognise the warning signs of stress and manage it so it doesn’t negatively impact their business and wellbeing.