During this time of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to have feelings of stress and anxiety of the unknown, especially as it relates to agriculture.
Some farmers in Michigan are worried about not having guest workers to help plant and harvest crops this year because of the constraints the virus is placing on international consulates. Some are worried about getting the necessary seed and supplies for planting.
It’s easy to get sucked up in the things we can’t control, and Sarah Zastrow of Cultivate Balance has five tips to manage stress during the coronavirus crisis.
“Number one is to be patient,” she said. “In general, everybody is doing the best they can with the information and the circumstances at that time.”
Zastrow recognizes it’s easy to get frustrated, but it’s important to put things in perspective. The second tip is to focus on what you can control.
“This whole situation with the coronavirus is out of our control,” said Zastrow. “Last year, the rains were out of our control, the markets are out of our control. There’s a few things that are in our control—[such as]the way we react to situations. Focus on the things you can control—that is yourself and your operation.”
She said one of the most powerful tools to have in your toolbox is developing a gratitude practice.
“If you’re searching for good things, if you’re searching for blessings or bright spots, then that’s going to help you feel more positive and it’s going to help you feel like the world is a little bit brighter,” said Zastrow.
The fourth tip is to find some sort of time in your day to make an effort to laugh and have fun.
“We tend to be so serious—we don’t joke around enough,” said Zastrow. “We don’t intentionally try to have fun because it’s work, work, work and business as usual, but laughter really is the best medicine. If you can make an effort to joke around and to have fun—different things to invoke happiness and joy—your world will be transformed.”
Zastrow’s fifth and final tip? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and make changes.
“Being able to pivot when you need to, being creative about your laborers is going to be vital, especially as we look at how this coronavirus into fall and upcoming seasons,” she said.
To hear more in-depth examples of each, click on the player below.