Progressive Agriculture Safety Days

With the new year upon us, let's resolve to take better care of ourselves, including both our physical health and mental well-being.

Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. (Progressive Farmer image by Progressive Agriculture Foundation)

As we kick off 2020, let's strive for a year that is not only successful but less stressful. Here is a checklist of resolutions worth keeping.

> Adopt better sleep habits - Prepare yourself for a restful night's sleep and secure a comfortable environment by turning off electronics, lights and other distractions that may stimulate the brain.

> Begin an exercise regimen - Start with small changes by opting for the stairs over the elevator and take stretch breaks during the workday.

> Find a hobby - Don't be afraid to try something new or go back to doing something you enjoy.

> Take a social media break - Put down the smartphone or turn off the computer.

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> Utilize stress-management techniques - Try yoga or meditation to get you to a relaxed state.

> Get organized - Use a planner and set goals for yourself. You will feel a great sense of accomplishment crossing things off your list.

> Keep a journal - Instead of dwelling over negative thoughts, put them down on paper, and then you can "close the book on them" and enjoy your day.

> Volunteer - Not only does it feel good to help a friend or give back to your community, but volunteering is a great way to connect and cultivate relationships.

> Strengthen your communication skills - Reach out and talk to someone, as well as being a good listener.

> Treat yourself, as well as others, with respect - Remember, we are all human, we make mistakes, and we miss goals, but maintaining a positive outlook is key.

Farm Credit is supporting the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program to create a mental well-being and stress-management chapter for rural and agricultural youth.

After a primary focus on farm safety for the past 25 years, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® is turning its attention to the overall health of children living in rural and agricultural communities. Farm Credit supported this effort through sponsorship of a Youth-Focused Mental Health and Stress Roundtable, held last fall. The roundtable brought together various mental health providers who specialize in rural populations, as well as individuals with expertise in agricultural safety and health.

The roundtable helped the Progressive Agriculture Foundation identify the basic content and lay the framework for the creation of a youth mental well-being and stress chapter to be offered at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days starting in 2020. The new mental well-being and rural stress chapter will focus on hands-on activities tailored to help children understand stress and their emotions, learn positive coping strategies to deal with stressors, and provide resources to go home to the families and encourage open conversations, as well as break the stigma surrounding mental health.

"Farm Credit's mission is to support rural communities and agriculture. At the core are people: our farmers and their families. They form the backbone of our country," explains Mark Hayes, vice president external communications with the Farm Credit Council. "We're excited to partner with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation to focus on the mental well-being of children all across rural America. Through engaging exercises and hands-on activities offered at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, they will bring these ideas home and help teach their family coping strategies and initiate important discussions."

CONNECT WITH US:

Visit progressiveag.org or call us at 888-257-3529 for a complete list of all upcoming 2020 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days or to see how you can host a Safety Day during 2021.

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