Ag News

Add some mental health days! by Nathan Scott

  • By: Nathan Scott
  • Aug 09, 2017

There is one topic that no one in society, but particularly agriculture, ever talks about enough.  Often until things have progressed further than they needed too.  That is mental health.  I think part of the reason for this, is that as a society we look at mental health as something that we need to categorise.  Is it depression? Is it anxiety? Is it ‘just’ stress?

I am certainly in no way downplaying the need for diagnosis if you are experiencing difficulty, that is a given.  But like everything else that I tend to talk about within your farm business, I want you to be more proactive.  All of us are guilty of spending so much time managing everything else, that we forget about managing ourselves.

Whether it is simply managing your time, managing the state of your workshop or office desk, your physical health or your mental health, it should be a priority for all of us.  And I can talk about it from plenty of experience, because often I am very guilty of focussing on EVERYTHING else.

So, what are WE all going to do about it?  How can we manage ourselves better?

First thing first is to get away from the day to day.  We simply cannot spend every minute of every day immersed in our business.  It is not healthy, and while it sometimes sneaks up on us, being aware of it happening and actively working to release ourselves from it is critical.

We all get busy, and sometimes it becomes overwhelming.  You have to free yourself.  Maybe it used to be footy or netball training, and retirement has taken that away.  Remember when you used to go fishing? When you used to play golf with your mates? Or even just have a quiet drink with a couple of friends (not for a special occasion, but because you just wanted to catch up).

We all, but blokes in particularly, are notorious for never ever organising anything socially.  We are socially lazy, and that results in spending all of our time working or at least thinking about work.  We can even be guilty of using family as an excuse.  Life is too busy.  It isn’t!

It’s like working weekends… Sometimes you actually need to, and sometimes you just do it out of habit.  Don’t!  If you don’t need to, don’t! Give yourself and your mind some clear air.  Some freedom from what consumes you the rest of the week.

And how many holidays do you have a year?  Real ones, where you free yourself from the day to day and allow yourself to stop thinking about work?  In my opinion, it should be at least two.  Forget the bullshit you hear from others about “always being on holidays” or “do you ever do any wo...
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