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HomeFarming NewsHow farmers can prioritise their health after a long day’s work
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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How farmers can prioritise their health after a long day’s work

In this article, Katie Brenneman takes a look at how farmers can prioritise their health after a long day’s work. 

There is no denying a typical workday for a farmer can be long and tiring. Many farmers have to get up before the sun rises, so by the time you are done for the day, you are probably exhausted.

Farmers play a crucial role in the stability and everyday functioning of our society.

While farming practices today might look different than they did centuries ago, the work is still gruelling. So, farmers must prioritise their health and well-being to keep going.

Simply put, without healthy farmers able to do their jobs, our world would be a mess!

So, how can you prioritise both your physical and mental health after a long day’s work?

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Get enough rest

One of the biggest challenges farmers face is getting enough sleep. It is not always easy to go to bed early, even if you know you have to wake up when it is still dark.

However, prioritising sleep is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and strong. Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of issues like:

  • Heart disease;
  • Diabetes;
  • High blood pressure;
  • A weakened immune system.

It can also lead to excess stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Consistently failing to get enough sleep will also impact your reaction time and cognitive function, and could make working with machinery on the farm incredibly dangerous.

So, what can you do to prioritise sleep?

First, make sure you are leaving the workday behind when you are home.

A strong work ethic is admirable, but finding a healthy work-life balance will make it easier to unwind with activities and people you love, de-stress, and relax at the end of the day so you can get your mind and body into a better state for sleeping.

Overworking yourself can lead to burnout, impaired judgment, poor health, and decreased productivity.

Even during busy times of the year like harvest season, make time for yourself, your family, and rest.

Doing so will make it easier to develop a reasonable sleep schedule so you can keep your mind sharp and your body strong.

Address any concerns

Farmers can find themselves fitting into stereotypes of being “tough,” or even too busy to take proper care of their medical needs.

In addition to those outdated tropes, you might live in a rural area without a lot of direct access to medical care.

Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever to connect with healthcare professionals across the country, no matter where you live.

Plus, you can do it from your own home, so you don’t have to give up much of your time (or your pride) to make it happen.

Whether you are experiencing any specific health issues or not, it is good to have a primary care physician you can check in with periodically to monitor your health.

Utilising telehealth can connect you with a doctor you trust, and all of your medical information can be stored online for you to access at any time.

You can even connect with mental health professionals online to help you deal with feelings of anxiety or depression.

Many farmers have struggled with the impacts of COVID-19 as it applies to supply chain issues and even isolation. Talking to a professional about your struggles can make a big difference in your mental well-being.

These tips are only the beginning of what you can do to prioritise your health each day.

By putting your mental and physical well-being at the top of your list, you will be able to do your job more effectively.

More importantly, however, you will be able to enjoy everything else your life has to offer – for many years to come.

About the writer:

Katie is a passionate writer, specialising in lifestyle, mental health, and fitness-related content.

When she is not writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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