5 ways farmers can stay positive in 2022
Farmers know better than anyone the true meaning of the phrase, "you reap what you sow." So, as 2022 gets underway, SIU Medicine encourages Illinois farming families to begin the new year with a positive mindset and outlook.
Find some inspiration with these five ideas:
1. Focus on what you can control
Weather, the economy, politics, trade policies, rising and falling commodity prices, equipment malfunction, sick livestock, that great piece of equipment you didn't buy at the auction—there are plenty of factors in farming that are largely out of your control, which means worrying about them likely won't translate to a very positive 2022.
Take action where you can, but focus most of your energy on improving the things you do have more control over, including your food choices, your social media habits, your activity level and your sleep.
2. Get organized
It's not possible to avoid all mishaps and unexpected obstacles. But when you keep your farm operations more organized, you'll be less likely to deal with avoidable headaches.
Find areas around your farm or home where you can bring more order and organization, such as your equipment and supply inventory or receipts and bills. While it might seem like drudgery upfront, becoming more organized can help you face the unknowns of the coming year with greater confidence and headspace.
3. Do more acts of service
Doing something kind for someone can help you gain a wider perspective on life and see the good in others—including yourself. Volunteering has even been connected to improved mood and greater life satisfaction.
This year, adopt the mindset of "How can I help?" Make yourself smile by looking for opportunities to make other people smile. Farmers are already known for lending a helping hand to neighbors and other people in their community, so double down on your cultural tendencies and find some creative ways to give.
4. Set big goals—but celebrate the small wins
It's great to have big personal and professional goals, and there's nothing wrong with setting New Year's resolutions either. But even if you're aiming high, don't be afraid to recognize the small positive steps you take along the way.
Tell trusted loved ones about what you're excited about and what goals you're working toward—they'll help you stay accountable and cheer you on as you make progress.
5. Strengthen your relationships
Research consistently tells us that having good relationships is good for you.
People who are well-connected socially and have stable committed marriages tend to be healthier and live longer than people who don't. Feeling lonely and isolated raises stress and can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
So, to improve your outlook on life—and possibly even extend it—make an effort this year to improve your close relationships. Spend quality time with your spouse, children, extended family members and friends. Tell people often what you appreciate about them and why you are grateful for their presence in your life.
If necessary, explore couples therapy or other resources that can give you tools and strategies to build better bonds with others. The stronger and healthier your relationships are, the easier it will be to face the inevitable challenges that arise—and the more fulfilling it will be to celebrate the inevitable successes.
Are you looking forward to 2022?
If you'd like to make some major changes in your physical or mental health in the New Year, our team at the Farm Family Resource Initiative can help. Call 618-713-0759 to learn more.
Karen Leavitt Stallman
Ag Resource Specialist