Managing stress

As we enter the spring season, it seems as if everyone’s schedules start to become very busy, farmers included.

As our schedules begin to fill up, it might seem a bit overwhelming to work, do extracurriculars and be all of the places that we need to be while maintaining somewhat of a routine. With that, I have a few tips and ideas that I would like to share to hopefully help you manage busy times while still remaining organized and productive.

As a full-time dairy farmer, whose fiance also works a full-time agriculture job and farms on the side, our spring schedules are insanely busy. To manage these times, I like to prioritize meal planning and have easy, yet healthy, grab-and-go snacks on hand.

Prior to the busy season, we try to stock up on nutritious favorites like yogurt, fruit, string cheese sticks and granola bars. In addition, we try to have easy, yet satisfying breakfast items pre-made such as sausage, egg and cheese muffin cups. Making casseroles such as baked pasta with meatballs, or chicken, rice and veggies are also easy ways to pre-portion out dinners that are easy to eat on the go, or to heat up later in the evening when the day finally winds down. Taking some time on a Sunday afternoon to pre-make meals and snacks for the week really can be a game changer, especially in farming when so much of our schedules for fieldwork are weather dependent and can result in long days to accomplish what needs done while it’s not raining.

Another way that I like to manage a busy season in life is mapping out the week. Obviously, there are set work times that can vary greatly with farming. In addition, writing out any appointments for the week, and then filling in the gaps with “extras” or errands that need done on days that aren’t as fully scheduled. Planning ahead and seeing if there are things that can be done in advance can also really help to make a busy week more manageable.

Although it might seem impossible to fit one more thing into your schedule, I highly encourage you to set aside just a small slot of time at some point during the week to either just relax for a few minutes, grab a coffee on the way home from a meeting, or read a chapter in your favorite book. Even though we have a million things to do, taking a few minutes for ourselves during the week can really be refreshing and help to prevent burnout.

My last piece of advice that I would like to share is to be flexible. I think that this can pertain to any aspect of life, but as a dairy farmer, this is one of the most critical pieces of information. Things can change in an instant. Although we might have a plan that helps us manage our week, if everything does not go according to that plan, don’t stress. Be flexible, and adjust as needed to still be able to make the most productive schedule with the time that you have.

Submitted by Julianne Holler, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.


OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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