NZKGI plays a central role within the industry to advocate and support during adverse events including weather, natural disasters, biosecurity, and in-market risks. Therefore, we are dedicated to our growers and their overall wellbeing, inside and outside of the orchards. You are not alone, we are here with you, as well are the people around you. Either pick up some inspiration on this page for yourself or someone else.
Farmstrong is a nationwide wellbeing programme for the rural community. With the aim to help you live well to farm well. Many challenges are hard to predict or control. They range from climate events like drought and flood to fluctuations in commodity prices, changing government legislation, and new technology.
Along with these external factors, come the demands of running any business – financial and production planning, managing cash flow, hiring and managing staff, succession planning, etc. These pressures aren’t going to disappear so it’s vital that farmers develop the skills and resilience to cope.
Research shows that people with strong social connections are happier, healthier, and live longer.
Developing new friendships and spending time with your mates makes a big difference to how you feel about yourself. Talk and listen, be there, feel connected. Even when busy, try and make it a priority. When you do, the rewards are huge.
When you give your time, your words, your presence to others, not only do they benefit, but it makes you feel a lot happier too. There are lots of ways you can give. It may be spending quality time with your family, being there for someone who is having a tough time, or offering a hand to your neighbours. For example, feeding their dogs so they can have a few days away from their farm.
And remember to give to yourself too, like having a break or going easy on yourself.
We all get busy and our minds get cluttered. Each day, take a few moments to pause and think about what you really appreciate. It might be as simple as listening to the sound of the birds or pausing to watch the sunset.
Remember the simple things that make you happy. Paying attention to these, even for a few moments, can help you feel calm and relaxed.
At whatever age, learning new things is good for your brain and keeps your thinking flexible and open. Being curious about all sorts of things on and off the farm will help keep your mind active and no doubt farm smarter too.
Embrace new experiences, see opportunities, surprise yourself.
Keeping active is a great way to feel good. Working up a sweat releases endorphins that make you feel alert and better able to cope with challenges.
Make physical activity a habit, aim for at least 30 minutes of movement a day. It could be as simple as leaving the quad at home and walking to the shed. It can be a game-breaker in lifting your mood and keeping you in better shape. Do what you can, enjoy what you do, and shift your mood.
Dealing with stress and uncertainty
Whether it’s the weather, border restrictions, or changing regulations, dealing with uncertainty is a constant for many farmers and growers. Here are Farmstrong Ambassador Sam Whitelock’s tips for getting through tough times.
“I think the best players I’ve seen at handling pressure are the ones who can just focus on doing the basics really well game after game, irrespective of the weather or the ref or pressure on the scoreboard. When I’m under pressure, I try and keep it simple and just concentrate on the things I’m good at and can control.”
“Work on a farm is never done, so it’s important to prioritise. Work out what you can and can’t do in a day and be okay with that. Ask yourself ‘what are the top two or three tasks I need to do?’ and park everything else. Once you’re feeling back in charge, your stress levels will go down.”
“One of the best things I’ve learned is to listen to people who have been through similar experiences before. There’ll be a lot of knowledge in your community, people who’ve been through droughts or floods or other adverse events before and got through ok. Make sure you tap into their wisdom and advice.”
“Rugby is a big part of my life, but I also have other things going on in my life so it doesn’t define who I am as a person. The expectation is always there that we will win every game, but that’s not the reality. So, while losing a rugby game still hurts, I can tell myself, I’m still a father, a husband, a son with a great family. The reality is I also have other things going on in my life, so it doesn’t define who I am as a person.”
“No-one can just go ‘hammer-down’ the whole time. We all need time to ‘reset’ physically and mentally, even if it’s just for a short while at smoko or lunch. One of the things I’m doing now is planning a ten-minute slot into each day and say, ‘this is my time’. I know taking breaks when you’re busy sounds odd, but I’ve learnt it makes you a lot more efficient and productive in the long run. You’re not tired and overthinking things.”
“If you’re only thinking about one thing such as the weather all day, every day, of course, it will start to get on top of you. So, it’s important to go and do something else from time to time. I play rugby because I love it, but I also go hunting with mates to relax, unwind and forget about rugby. Time away from your main job energises you for when you are back at work. “
“These simple habits help keep things in perspective when the going gets tough: staying connected with mates; keeping active; taking note of and enjoying the simple things in life; learning new things to keep fresh; giving back to friends and community.”
“Farming, like professional rugby, is a job with a lot of challenges. That’s why it’s important to look after yourself by investing in your wellbeing. I’ve found the Five Ways have a positive, cumulative effect over time. They make you more resilient and give you something to draw on when you are under pressure. Different things work for different people, so find out what works for you and ‘lock it in’.”
Rural Support Trust
Rural Support Trust has the primary goal to support rural people heal and recover, returning to farming and family sooner rather than later. They also aim to support the development of Individual and Community resilience with education.
Sleep well techniques
Sleep is key to health, both physical and mental health is very beneficial after a good night’s rest. Within the below document, the information provided will help you go to sleep earlier and improve your sleeping patterns. Give it a go, your body deserves it.