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Calming the Mind for Resilience

26 Jul 2018 11:10 AM - By Alex Robinson

Writing with my nutritionist’s hat on today, I felt it important to discuss what you can do to look after yourself in hard times – particularly stressful ongoing periods, like the current drought taking hold in our country.

As a farmer, you spend a lot of time by yourself running your own operations.  You have to be reactive to whatever comes at you day in, day out and be able to adapt quickly to any given situation.  To remain resilient, employing a few simple self-care strategies can really make a difference to how your day pans out.  

Today, I’d like to invite you to the idea of taking some time out to calm your mind during the day.  I’ve been surrounded by men in my life being agronomists, farmers, jackaroos and labourers, so I know that might sound a bit ludicrous, but it can really help change your mental perspective!  We know the serious ramifications farming and drought can have on the mental health of the farming community, so practising small simple calming strategies needs to become part of the daily farming picture, if you are to survive and thrive going forward.


Real food and wellness are have a strong connection, Alex Robinson.


I suggest taking 5-10 minutes in your lunch break to find a place on your land that brings you calm and reminds you why you love what you do.  You could sit in the truck or lie on the ground and close your eyes.  Work towards focusing on deep breathing and every time your mind wanders, gently come back to the rise and fall of your breathe.  Slow and gentle. 

When you feel ready, focus on your achievement.  Achievement in providing food for this country, feeding and supporting everybody, everyday.  Remember that the majority of the Australian population live in urban areas and depend on your passions, skills and resilience to keep us fed.  Many of us would buckle under the pressures of regular farming, let alone multiple droughts…it’s a game for only the very resilient and brave. 

This is a form of meditation and it may sound strange, but there is a ton of peer reviewed studies supporting the use of meditation to improve and reduce the effects of stress.  If you’re interested, check this one out, Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey.  The positive effects of doing just 10 minutes a day include improved mood, sleep, productivity and improved biomarkers of key health status indicators.   That sounds like good value to me!

If you want learn more about calming the mind through meditation, you can check out https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/meditation-101-techniques-benefits-and-a-beginner-s-how-to.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more.


REFERENCES

Kachan, D., Olano, H., Tannenbaum, S. L., Annane, D. W., Mehta, A., Arheart, K. L., … Lee, D. J. (2017). Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, E01. http://doi.org/10.5888/pcd14.160034

Gaiam – all about fitness, wellness and healthy lifestyle practices. https://www.gaiam.com/