Small Bites – Practical Tips for Farm Resiliency – Reconnecting

Small Bites are short, informational articles with practical ideas about stress reduction, improved communication, and family 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.

Meaningful, relaxed, non-business oriented connection in times of stress is so important for long term business and relationship stability. It can feel impossible to prioritize connection with your partner or children when things are so stressful on the farm and in the world. Just plowing through the “To Do” list can seem like the biggest and best stress reliever. And for some people it is, but not for everyone. Some people have higher needs for connection than others and no matter what your role in the farm business and family, look out for and speak up for your and other people’s needs. If you are a decision maker and leader on the farm, have you asked about people’s needs? Are your family’s and your employee’s needs on par with your own? Small moments of connection can go a long way toward easing family, relationship or business stress (if you work with your kids or partner). Connection looks different for everyone but usually involves slowing down and paying attention. It doesn’t have to be a ½ hour walk everyday. It can be a ½ minute slowed down hug or reaching out to put your arm around your partner’s shoulders while walking to the greenhouse. It can mean making the person at the desk a cup of tea or putting a chocolate bar in the front seat of the delivery van. It can be asking the question “is there anything you need?” Connection takes a bit of effort but mostly it takes thoughtfulness and willingness to do a small thing. Connection makes everyone feel a bit better.

Need ideas for how to connect with your family and farm team? Want to talk to someone if you’re feeling stuck? Reach out to the Farm Coaches at UMaine Extension. No topic is too small.