2020 has been a challenging year for many, especially for farmers who, as key workers, have been continuing to provide essential food for the nation. As Coronavirus has had a huge impact on travel restrictions, farmers have been unable to employ many seasonal workers to assist during the summer months – the busiest time of year for many farmers. This has meant they have had to work around the clock to look after their livestock, maintain the land and the upkeep of the business, usually in isolation. Therefore, finding time to take care of themselves and their wellbeing has taken a back seat, having a direct impact on farm safety. In fact, 84% of farmers under the age of 40 believe that mental health is one of the biggest dangers facing the farming industry.*
According to HSE statistics, work-related stress is a major issue, and not just in farming. More than 11 million days are lost at work each year due to stress.**
Below, we list some tips which could help you take care of your wellbeing during these continuously challenging times.
Stay connected – during busy periods, it is important that we do not isolate ourselves. Stay in touch with friends and family as much as you can, even if it is just a quick message a day or having a scroll through social media. Social interaction not only helps with mental wellbeing but can also help our immune system.***
Talk about your worries – if you do find yourself struggling, talk to a friend, family or work colleague about the problem causing you worry. There are also farming forums on social media available where you can chat to other farmers who may have been in the same shoes at some point.
Carry on doing things you enjoy – try to find some time out from work if you can. Going for walks, reading a book, watching TV or going to the pub (where able) with a friend can help you relax and stimulate your mind.
Look after yourself – it goes without saying but try to ensure you have a healthy diet, take regular exercise and try to have between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. This will help you feel refreshed and positive, even when it comes down to challenging times.
Set yourself challenges – setting yourself goals and challenges, whether this be at work or outside of work, can help build confidence, helping you to deal with stress.
Work smarter, not harder – prioritise your workload; concentrate on the tasks which will make a difference if you can. This will stop you from feeling overwhelmed when it comes to an extremely busy period.
If you do need support through these challenging times, and beyond, Equipsme is an affordable health insurance plan, providing 24/7 GP access, stress support and physio sessions, amongst other benefits. This will allow you to benefit from prompt diagnosis and qualifying treatment, helping to reduce the amount of time people may need to take off work. The plans are available to all businesses from the self-employed and SMEs through to larger businesses. You can find out more about the plans, here.
To find out more, speak to a member of the Farm Team on 01653 609152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.