Living and working in rural Australia can be very rewarding. However, farming can also be stressful. There are the everyday issues of family life, balancing budgets, planning for the future and keeping up with developments in your area of farming. The added pressures of managing a farm during difficult times like extreme climatic events, market fluctuations or natural disaster can sometimes seem overwhelming. Social isolation and working long hours can make this harder to cope with.
Keeping yourself in a fit state to enjoy the good times is very important. Keeping yourself fit to weather the difficult times is even more important. A small amount of stress can help keep us motivated. However, persistent stress can result in distress.
Different people respond differently to potentially stressful situations. Be aware of some of the common effects of stress:
- Poor sleep
- Poor concentration, irritability,and anger
- Increased drinking or smoking
- Poor decision making, avoiding making decisions or forgetfulness
- Changed appetite, not feeling well or nervousness
- Feel like you are at the end of your tether
If you see or feel these signs, take notice and take action. Persistent stress can have a significant effect on your physical health and mental wellbeing. Find out how stress affects your body.
Some simple tips to help get you through tough times:
- Eat healthy, nutritious food
- Get adequate sleep and have a regular sleep routine
- Keep physically active
- Make time to get away from the farm
- Find things to laugh about
- Allow yourself time to do something you enjoy
You need to talk about it
While we know people in rural farming communities are very willing to volunteer help to others, many farmers, who are used to working things out for themselves, don’t want to share their problems. But, it’s really important that you talk to family or trusted friends about issues that are upsetting, stressful or difficult. You may be helping someone else as well if you open up and say how you feel.
References used for this topic page
Last updated: 15th November, 2016