5 Stress-Management Tips for Uncertain Times


Sara Schafer, FarmJournal's Pork 

March 23, 2020


A crashing stock market. Mounting weather concerns. Machinery breakdowns. Volatile markets. Tough financial decisions. Uncomfortable conversations with lenders. Information overload. Family quarrels. The list of ag-related stressors can go on and on.


Agriculture is a taxing occupation, so it is vital that farmers understand how to manage their stress level and reduce unwanted stress. Most of all, farmers should not ignore stress.


“Signs of stress are like the warning signs on your vehicle dashboard,” explains Sean Brotherson, family science specialist for North Dakota State University. “They indicate there’s a problem with your engine. So, you need to take steps to remedy what’s going on.”


Unhealthy patterns such as headaches, increased irritability, sleep difficulty, increased use of alcohol or drugs, communication difficulties and isolation are all signals to slow down and focus on wellness.


“If stress becomes chronic, it can adversely affect our physical well-being, thoughts and actions,” explain Glennis McClure, University of Nebraska Extension farm and ranch management analyst; and Cory Walters, University of Nebraska Extension grain economist.


Take steps to balance physical and mental wellness, which is vital to staying healthy and less accident-prone, McClure and Walters say.


McClure and Walters provide these suggestions for dealing with financial stress: