Recent Articles

  • Welcome to Thriving on the Farm!

    Welcome to my new blog, Thriving on the Farm! We all know farming is important and rewarding, but also demanding and stressful. Too much stress can be toxic—it can raise your blood pressure, give you headaches, make you anxious and depressed, get in the way of being a good parent, spouse, or friend, and cloud…

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  • September is National Suicide Prevention Month

    (Note: Today I’ll be talking about suicide, which can be a really painful topic. I’ll be focusing on suicide prevention.) In this blog we’ve talked a lot about stress and how at its most extreme it can significantly increase the risk of suicide. We’ve talked about ways to recognize someone experiencing dangerous stress levels and…

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  • After the Storm

    Well, Hurricane Idalia has come and gone, leaving a swath of storm destruction behind it. I hope you and your loved ones are safe—that’s the most important thing. Reports are saying the most severe damage in Georgia is in the south central and south eastern counties—but winds and flooding caused damage in lots of places…

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  • Resources in response to Hurricane Idalia

    Here are a lot of resources–to stay safe, to deal with the aftermath, and to take care of our stress levels throughout. I pray you all stay safe. Staying Safe information from UGA Extension: Emergency preparedness general resources Food and water safety-specific resources Storing Food for Emergencies Information on crop loss and disaster assistance (from…

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  • Breathing Doesn’t Stop a Fire

    I saw a cartoon the other day that really got me thinking. It was a simple drawing of a really upset person standing next to their house, which was on fire. Next to this person was someone (who looked like an exercise instructor or relaxation guru) saying “OK, let’s work on centering your breathing now.”…

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  • The Brain is an Organ of the Body

    Why is it that lots of people are so reluctant to talk about mental health? We talk about all sorts of health without being in the least bit uncomfortable.  It’s easy to talk about heart health and being on a medication to lower cholesterol, or digestive health and taking medicine to manage indigestion. People seem…

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  • Is It In the Circle?

    I recently learned a useful phrase for dealing with worry from a friend of mine (I think she borrowed it from Stephen Covey). It’s been really helpful, so I am passing it along to you. Remember the old term “worrywart” as in “She is such a worrywart—she’s always worried about something”?  Well, guilty as charged.…

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  • I have one word for you today—plastics.   Actually, with apologies to the movie The Graduate, the word I really have for your today is neuroplasticity.  Neuro-what?? We used to think that the brain stopped developing in adolescence, but more and more we are learning that the brain is active and changing throughout our lives in…

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  • When I was at the Southern Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers conference this year, I spent a lot of time talking with growers about what they thought would be effective messages for farmers about managing stress. I asked about the words that resonated with them, and the images they thought were most powerful. Growers were…

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  • Little Moments Add Up

    It was my birthday this week, and a big number birthday. Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I lost my parents about 3 months ago, so this was my first birthday without them. I spent a lot of time being wistful and reminiscing, and during the week I’ve realized that…

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  • Stress is Not a Badge of Honor

    I was reading an article from University of Minnesota Extension on farm safety today, and this phrase jumped out and hit me over the head. “There is no award for who suffers the most.” Ouch. How often do we brag about how long our workday is, or how little sleep we’ve gotten, or how crazy…

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