Posted in Crops, Irrigation, Livestock

Stress is a Part of Life

First of all, I’d like to give a shout-out to the many volunteers who helped contribute to a successful county fair!  Without great volunteers so freely giving their time and talents to the youth in the 4-H program, 4-H would not be the success it is! I would like to personally thank all of the extension staff, fair board members, 4-H Council members, superintendents, and other volunteers for their dedication to the 4-H program. Fair can be a stressful time; however, when we don’t lose sight of its purpose can create long-lasting and positive memories.

woman working girl sitting
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

Speaking of stress, this week I’ve captured a few stress relieving tips to consider as summer comes to an end and youth will be in school. Stress is a part of life; we can’t live without it, but sometimes we feel that we can’t live with it!

Stress comes from many sources: a family crisis such as death, divorce or long separation; It might be from overloaded schedules; maybe expectations that cannot be met or unexpected circumstances; A loss of job, health, home or friendship; it can even come from a happy event as marriage, the birth of a child, or moving into a new home. Regardless of the cause, the following are three ways you can manage your stress: alter it, avoid it, or accept it.

Alter your life by removing the source of stress. Some stressors can be relieved by better planning or organization in your life. Simple things like having emergency supplies on hand, not shopping at the busiest times of the week, or organizing your work space can each be stress relievers. If morning schedules are tight, lay out children’s clothes or set the table for breakfast the night before.

Avoiding stress is another management strategy. Learn to say no, when an addition to your schedule will only add to your stress. If you are stressed by long waits, plan something to do (like reading a book) while you wait for an appointment. If there is too much tension in your home or office, go for a walk to clear your mind and relieve the tension.

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Find a way to accept the stressors that we have no control over. Talking to a trusted friend will help you put things in perspective. Keeping in good health by eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping a routine are essential. Look for the good. Even in the worst of circumstances, there are things that can bring a smile to your face, reasons to be thankful, and opportunities to help others.

Source: How to Manage Daily Stress@ by Dr. Herbert G. Lingren, Extension Family Scientist, NF98-388.

Resources for Nebraska Farmers, Ranchers, and Their Families
We hope you reach out if you are feeling stressed.

  • Rural Response Hotline: The hotline offers access to many attorneys, financial advisors, professional counselors, mediators, clergy, and others. There are 167 behavioral health professionals working with the Rural Response Hotline.  Ask about no-cost vouchers for counseling services. 800-464-0258
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: A national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 800-273-8255.
    – Crisis Text Line: Free, 24/7 support for those in crisis, connecting people in
    crisis to trained Crisis Counselors. Text GO to 741741
  • Veterans Crisis Line: Connect with this resource to reach caring, qualified responders within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves. 800-273-8255, Press 1 or Text to 838255
  • Negotiations Program: Mediation services for agricultural borrowers, creditors, and USDA program participants. Free one-on-one education on agricultural financial and legal matters. 402-471-4876
  • The Boys Town National Hotline: Not just for boys. For all teens and their parents, this hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with specially trained counselors. A TDD line is available (1-800-448-1833), allowing counselors to communicate with speech-impaired and deaf callers. 800-448-3000
  • SAMHSA National Helpline: Free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral in English and Spanish for individuals and families experiencing issues with alcohol, prescription drug, or other substance abuse. 800-662-HELP (4357)

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We care about you!

Posted in Crops, Horticulture, Irrigation, Livestock, Youth

Coping with Stress During a Crisis  

With the flooding and blizzard conditions affecting a large portion of the state, this week I looked up some Extension resources and decided to write some of the research ideas for dealing with stress and how to help the whole family cope. First of all, our Nebraska Extension publication, Effective Management of Stress & Crisis points out numerous tips that come from worldwide research on strong families. It involves research from more than 24,000 family members in 35 countries. While the publication identifies 18 ideas, I selected the top ten that interest me. For the remainder of the ideas, go online to the publication which can be accessed through our extension.unl.edu website and search for “Effective Management of Stress & Crisis.”

close up composition conceptual creativity
Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

Ideas for coping with stress and crisis include:

  • Look for something positive to focus and focus on that positive element in a difficult situation.
  • Keep things in perspective. “These things too, shall pass.”
  • Pull together rather than apart. Don’t see the problem as an individual’s problem but as a challenge for the whole family.
  • Focus on what is most important and minimize fragmentation. Without focusing on the essentials, the details, details, details can get you edgy, even hysterical.
  • Go to the flow to some degree. Sometimes you are relatively powerless in the face of crisis. At this point it can be useful to simply tell yourself to “let it go.”
  • Know how to laugh and know how to cry, for both are essential to maintain an emotional balance in life.
  • Create a life full of meaning and purpose. All people face severe crises in life. You will not be able to avoid these challenges. Rather, your aim can be to live a useful life of service to your community. This brings richness and dignity to your life, in spite of the troubles you endure.
  • Realize that suffering can be a catalyst for positive growth. Crisis, by definition, is a difficult time in your life. However, it also can be a turning point, planting the seeds for a satisfying and successful future. This is hard to internalize but useful to remember.
  • Identify spiritually with the grand procession of life: Through good times and bad, we, as individuals, come and go, but life from whence we all spring is eternal. There is something satisfying and soothing about that thought.
  • Get help outside the nuclear family when needed. Seek help from extended family members, supportive friends, neighbors, colleagues, members of your religious community, professionals in the community, or others. In a manner of speaking, it takes a whole village to resolve a crisis.

    person wearing clear plastic raincoat and pair of yellow rainboots
    Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

While it might be “easier said than done” to follow the above strategies, giving every effort to embrace a positive approach to deal with a crisis will help you and your family more effectively handle the situation at hand. Disasters, whether natural or human-made leave today’s families facing difficult times. Our ranching and farming families have especially been impacted by the recent floods and blizzards. Let’s remember to pull together as a state and help our fellow Nebraskans through this difficult time, as the recovery and rebuilding process will take a long time.