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HomeBeefCounsellor/PT urges farmers to ‘balance work with self-care time’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Counsellor/PT urges farmers to ‘balance work with self-care time’

Lynne Troughton aims to combine physical and mental health through her business, Counselling through Fitness in Northern Ireland.

The online counsellor and personal trainer’s belief there is an “organic link” between physical and mental health prompted her to combine the two to support clients physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Counselling through Fitness

She supports clients to ‘feel good on the inside’ through counselling in areas including stress, depression, anxiety, confidence, motivation, and self-esteem. “This all comes from within”, she explained to That’s Farming.

She also strives to help clients ‘look good on the outside’ through personal training – muscle tone, strength, improve sleep, more energy, lose weight, increase muscle mass, working internally and externally.

“I have different family members that are mixed farming in dairy, beef, cereals, and vegetables. Growing up in the countryside gave me a great appreciation and passion for the great outdoors.”

“Being outside, I enjoy a range of activities such as hiking and cycling. I work indoors, but I prefer being outside when it comes to having time to myself or exercise. This helps me with my physical and mental health. It brings me away from my work life and provides time to unwind.”

“It is important to balance work with your physical and mental health. Farmers are subject to the pressures of working long hours, heavy physical work, financial strains, and loss of livestock.”

“What about your mental health? What impact does this have on each farmer? Everyone manages in different ways. It is important when it comes to our mental health to balance work with self-care time. “

“Being away from your daily work environment helps you process thoughts, feelings and emotions and gives you time to reflect.”

Mental health in farming

A survey carried out in 2020 by the Farm Safety Foundation’s Mind Your Head found that 84% of farmers (under 40) believe mental health is the biggest hidden problem they face.

Commenting on this survey’s findings, Lynne said: “We all have mental health, like our physical health with each being equally important.”

“Our mental health can change at any time possibly due to an issue, trigger, relationship, work, or something within our personal lives.”

Lynne supports clients with online counselling through fitness providing, counselling and personal training. “This allows you to explore a personal difficulty in a confidential and supportive environment.”

“This may include expressing feelings that are painful and which many of us experience at certain times in our lives. When this happens, it can be difficult to stay positive and cope with everyday life.”

“Online Counselling through Fitness allows you to access counselling support at a time and in a place which is convenient to you.”

“Personal training allows you to work on your physical and mental health, exploring fitness goals together and understanding how your body is feeling and responding, before, during and after exercise.”

She said she tailors fitness programmes to meet goals and wants in a “safe and effective manner”.

Further reading

That’s Farming has published this article as part of World Suicide Prevention Day 2021. The HSE has provides some information as part of the global public health day, which you can find by clicking this link.

In the second part of this article, we will publish Lynne’s five tips for farmers.

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