Farming and Anxiety from a Non Farmer perspective

With harvest in full swing for a lot of farmers I love seeing the deluge of videos and pictures on social media of farmers harvesting their crops. With everything I have learned over the past couple of years and now having some friends that are farmers I am sure I could be a farmer, and I am sure I would love it, driving the big equipment, working the land, producing a product, helping to feed the world, working for yourself, it all sounds so romantically wholesome and downright patriotic, right?

BUT what about that anxiety, all the unknowns, all of the things out of your control, the weather, the input costs, the market prices, the pure thought of the anxiety that can come along with so many unknowns is scary enough to make a person not want to farm…..let’s not even discuss the anxiety that obviously comes from being the poor soul who has to drive the grain cart, that’s entirely a whole different level of anxiety right there…..

Anxiety is something that affects many people, it truly is a mental health condition. Anxiety can come in many different shapes and sizes, I wanted to take a quick minute to list some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety and offer a few tips to help you, a loved one, or a friend deal with anxiety.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
Feeling nervous, restless or tense
Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
Having an increased heart rate
Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
Sweating
Trembling
Feeling weak or tired
Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
Having trouble sleeping
Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
Having difficulty controlling worry
Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

You should see your doctor if:
You feel like you’re worrying too much and it’s interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Yes I know harvest season is extremely busy and it is not a good time to go see a doctor, but if the anxiety gets to be to much not getting help for anxiety issues can lead to:
Depression (which often occurs with an anxiety disorder) or other mental health disorders
Substance misuse
Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
Digestive or bowel problems
Headaches and chronic pain
Social isolation
Problems functioning at school or work
Poor quality of life
Suicide

Remember you are the most valuable asset on your farm…your life matters, if you need take a break to refocus yourself, then take that break…you deserve it…and you have definitely earned it!

Source of reference used for this post: www.mayoclinic.org

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