Small Bites – Staying Healthy on the Farm

Authored by Coach Polly Shyka

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and farmer well-being. They are written by coaches from UMaine Extension’s Farm Coaching team. Farm Coaches are available at no cost to work remotely with farmers and farm families.

Anu Rangarajan from Cornell’s Small Farms Project recently said, “A healthy farm needs a healthy you.” Do you agree? What small way might you increase your health this week? This day? This minute? Of course, what is healthy for you may not be healthy for everyone, but some things are considered pretty universally healthy. The challenge is having access to these things and support to have them in your life. How are you doing?

Check in about these things:weathervane silohuette

  • How much is your stress level having an effect on your well-being?

  • Are you getting enough sleep?

  • Do you take time for regularly scheduled and healthy meals?

  • Can you find moments to breathe, journal, or meditate?

  • Are you drinking enough water?

  • Is there clear and regular communication with the people around you?

  • Is there time to move your body? Ergonomically wise movements for repetitive jobs, stretching when tight or sore, brief bursts of movement for sedentary workers, exercise.

If one or more of these is lacking, just know that healthy habits take time to form. Try to repeat your healthy action or new activity as many times per day or week as possible. Setting reminders on your phone may help you remember and act on your actions. Telling the people who care about you that you are attempting to incorporate a new healthy habit is a good way to get support and encouragement.

Like Anu said, If you want your farm to thrive into the future, make sure you are tending to yourself along the way.

One way to tend to yourself is to sign up for a farm coaching session. This can include talking about setting a plan for self-care.