It's the perfect time to focus on the importance of self-care.
Just like adults, children feel stress. Therefore, Progressive Agriculture Foundation recently developed a curriculum focusing on mental well-being and stress management for youth. From using balloons to simulate juggling stressors to creating their own stress ball, a total of eight hands-on activities and demonstrations were created to assist children in understanding stress and their emotions, helping them learn to adopt coping strategies and sharing resources to ensure conversations continue at home.
A special thank-you to our 4-star partner, Farm Credit, for providing initial funding to support this new chapter. Additional support was made possible through grant projects with the University of Nebraska Medical Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and the University of Illinois North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center, a 12-state, 15-partner collaborative to create and expand stress management and mental-health resources for agricultural producers and stakeholders in the North Central Region (financed by USDA-NIFA 2020-70028-32728).
Here are 10 tips or self-care practices to help eliminate stress and strengthen your mental well-being!
1. Adopt better sleep habits. Prepare yourself for a restful night's sleep by securing a comfortable environment. Turn off electronics, lights and other distractions that may stimulate the brain.
2. Begin an exercise regimen. Start with small changes by opting for the stairs over the elevator, and take stretch breaks during the workday. Go on a walk or a bike ride.
3. Find a hobby. Don't be afraid to try something new or go back to doing something you enjoy.
4. Take a social media break. Put down the smartphone or turn off the computer.
5. Utilize stress-management techniques. Try yoga, meditation or breathing exercises to get you to a relaxed state.
6. Get organized. Use a planner to set goals for yourself. You will feel a sense of accomplishment crossing things off your list.
7. Keep a journal. Instead of dwelling over negative thoughts, put them down on paper. Then, "close the book on them" and enjoy your day.
8. Volunteer. Not only does it feel good to help out a friend or give back to your community, but volunteering is also a great way to connect and cultivate relationships.
9. Strengthen your communication skills. Make connections by reaching out and talking to someone, and also be good a listener.
10. 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.
In a post-program survey of our 2020 Virtual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day participants, 90% of the youth identified the importance of finding a coping strategy to deal with stress or stressors.
-- FIND US ONLINE: Visit progressiveag.org or call us at 888-257-3529 for a complete list of all upcoming Safety Days or to see how you can host a Safety Day during 2022 or 2023.
(c) Copyright 2021 DTN, LLC. All rights reserved.