Attending Mental Health First Aid Training with St John’s recently has got me thinking about stress and how the effects may differ across different industries. Farming can be a 24/7 job, and it’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done without even factoring in your personal life. A little bit of stress is normal, it may even be a positive as it gives us the drive we need, however, when does stress become burnout?
Burnout is caused when we become physically and mentally exhausted due to prolonged periods of stress. When stress builds up with no outlet, it can quickly become burnout. This can trigger mental health issues as well as problems with your physical health. This is your body’s way of telling you to slow down! It’s important to spot the signs of burnout early so you can seek the help you need.
Some of the signs of burnout:
You’re constantly running on empty. No matter how much you sleep, you still feel exhausted, and you feel like you have nothing left to give.
You’re unusually easily irritated; you’re finding yourself snapping at your colleagues and friends
You find yourself procrastinating and taking longer to get things done
Feeling easily overwhelmed
Finding it impossible to switch off from work or have any downtime
Ultimately, you know what your ‘normal’ is and are able to recognise better than anyone what is out of character for you. Make sure you regularly make the effort to check in with yourself and tune in to how you’re really feeling.
How to reduce the risk of burnout:
Take time to fully switch off from work. Make sure you take some time every day to focus on yourself and your mental health. You are the most important person!
Practice good sleep habits. Your body needs appropriate time to rest, especially if your role is physically demanding. According to the NHS, most adults require between 6-9 hours sleep every night. By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime routine and stick to it.
Ask for help. Reach out to your colleagues, your manager, or those close to you. Your colleagues will likely be able to relate to your problems. If asking for help feels too difficult right now, perhaps consider scheduling “check-ins” with colleagues in order to prioritise taking care of your mental health.
Prioritise self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. For me, it’s having some screen-free time and spending time with loved ones. For you, it could be as simple as having a catch up with friends or treating yourself to your favourite comfort food. Whatever works for you!
If you’ve noticed these symptoms in yourself or your colleagues, please reach out to someone you trust. Farming is a wonderful and demanding profession, make sure you talk to others in the industry who are able to relate to your struggles.
Please contact Cara Lloyd on; 📞 07521 089 223 | 📧 Admin@agriFJ.co.uk | ☎️ 01527 878 550