Saturday, July 7, 2012

Drought Coping Skills

Just hearing thunder, seeing a flash of lightning and then watching the rain fall was a great stress reliever. Although any rain is a welcome site and considered a blessing, dealing with the stress and damage of this drought on our crops and pastures will continue for the rest of this year as we adapt and make necessary changes for our farm's survivability. Undetected stress can create a drought in personal well being and I will confess, I have felt pretty discouraged and distressed in this dry,hot spell.

During stressful times when it feels like we might be "going crazy", it's important to recognize these common signs of distress as normal responses to unusual situations:
  • irritability and anger
  • feelings of anxiety and worry
  • headaches or gastrointestinal complaints
  • increasing risk-taking behavior
  • changes in eating and sleep habits
  • increased alcohol or drug use
  • forgetfulness
  • fatigue
  • sense of helplessness
  • lack of concentration
  • avoidance or denial
  • sadness
For mental and physical health, it's important to recognize stress and take steps to cope with the challenge we face by focusing on our own strengths and our community of support. According to information from the University of Missouri Cooperative Extension  and Missouri Department of Health, we can take these steps to help ourselves and our families by:
  • Acknowledging feelings and talking them out.
  • Paying attention to health, nutritious diet and adequate sleep is important.
  • Nurturing personal relationships should be a priority.

As my family and I worked together this week to help our neighbors who are also struggling , it was definitely a stress relief for personal drought!

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