Friday, January 5, 2018

Five Tips for Dealing With Trying Times

I am sure I don't have to tell you things are a little trying right now. Prices are less than favorable, temperatures are downright cruel, and a lack of daylight doesn't help either. It is at times like these I need to spend more time than usual to keep myself positive. Hopefully these five tips will give you the spark you need to put a little pep back in your step.
  1. Take time to recognize positives that are occurring in your life. New calves; the cat that actually caught a mouse for once; your neighbor who stopped by with a cup of coffee because he/she knew how cold you must be; the amazing sound of, well nothing, when you wake up and walk to the barn in the morning (my personal favorite!); the beautiful sunrise allowing you to start again fresh. All of the above and more make my daily reflection time. Some people find it beneficial to write these types of things in a journal. I just spend a few moments whenever the time is right to give praise for all of the wonderful things that are happening around me.
  2. Help someone else. This doesn't have to burn through your already-stretched-thin time and
    money. It can be as simple as a quick call to a farm friend to see how they are doing or running
    after someone who dropped their glove in the farm store parking lot. The intrinsic value of helping others far outweighs the moments needed to complete it.
  3. Focus on your physical health. Since exercise isn't usually needed by most who farm or ranch (Although, many people find that a good workout, run or walk will help to alleviate stress as well.), this point is more about eating and sleeping. With the extra work this extended cold has meant, many people find mealtime to be a place they can steal from to get extra time in their workday. Don't make this a habit. Your body, and maybe even more importantly in these difficult times, mind, need proper nourishment. There are all kinds of gadgets out there that have made cooking for a busy family a lot easier. Check out all of the recipes online for slow cookers or electric pressure cookers. Great meals don't have to mean hours in the kitchen.

    So how are you sleeping? Do you even know what that word is? Find a way to unwind at night so you can get the sleep your body so desperately needs. Everything seems better when you are well rested!
  4. Take time away from the farm or ranch. Go for a drive or catch a local high school basketball game. You need some time to be away from the farm or ranch. Your mental health is important. Find the time. You will be more efficient on the farm when you feel better.
  5. Connect with another human being. I know cows can be really good listeners, but sometimes having another human to empathize with you is important. My Dad recently crushed his pelvis in an accident. He has to use a wheelchair until his bones have healed enough to start to use a
    walker and then a cane. While he has been surprisingly upbeat about the situation, a recent call from an old friend put things into perspective for him. That friend has been wheelchair bound for 12 years, and remains an incredibly positive person. He gave Dad some great tips on getting around and staying comfortable.

    Seek out someone to talk to about your situation. They may have new ideas to help. My personal recommendation would be to do this point in conjunction with numbers 3 and 4 above. Who doesn't love some great food and conversation in a nice, local restaurant?

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