May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Many resources are available to rural Missourians to help with ongoing stresses, but sometimes it is difficult to find them. University of Missouri Extension and its partners through “Together We Can” are working together to help farmers, their friends and families, and rural communities find practical resources. Resources are found at the MU Extension “Show-Me Strong Farm Families” Facebook Page.

Sometimes health care resources are not located in rural areas. Barriers such as transportation, cost and stigma create barriers. Farmers, who are self-employed, may not have insurance coverage for mental health issues.

Week 4: Managing Stress

You can manage and alleviate your stress by taking time to take care of yourself. Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news. You will want to stay up to date on the news, but make sure to take time away to focus on things in your life that you can control.

Chronic and uncontrolled stress can be detrimental to your health and interpersonal relationships. Learn ways to manage stress in your life.

Work and life creates stress for all of us and we all manage and cope with stress differently. Here are resources to help you manage stress in your life.

Farming and ranching are stressful occupations, it is important to know how to manage stress levels and to reduce the effects of unwanted stress. Learn more.

Stress is inevitable and ultimately unavoidable.

Build fun and relaxation into your daily and long-term plans. Think of something you can do regularly, even if you can only take five minutes a day to do it. Once you have built five minutes into each day, try to increase relaxation time little by little.

Approaches that focus on relaxation can help a variety of health conditions. Learn about relaxation techniques and which technique is right for you.

Many aspects of farming and ranching can be isolating and stressful. Stay connected with your family and community, find ways to relax, maintain healthy habits, and pursue hobbies you enjoy.

Farmers and ranchers often work long hours and eat meals on the go. Healthy, regular eating is essential. Pack fruits and vegetables, whole grain snacks, and plenty of water for long days in the field.

Research shows the benefits of exercise go beyond just physical well-being. Physical activities, like walking and biking, can help reduce feelings of depression and stress, enhance mood and overall emotional well-being, increase energy levels, and improve sleep.

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #ShowMeStrongFarmFamilies

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