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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Camp Hand is an Extension Specialist at UGA who has been a big champion of talking about farmer stress and stress management. Today I’m posting a Q&A I had with Camp this week, where he talks candidly about his own actions in overcoming stress and emotional distress. A: Hi Camp. Thank you so much for…

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  • I’m sure that as some of you have read my posts and suggestions for managing stress, you may have thought “That’s easy for her to say–what does she know about farming?” Well, you’re right that I am not farming, though I have lots of farming connections and learn more every day from my friends and…

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  • “Anna, are you a witch?”  The question took me by surprise. I was at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers conference talking about farm stress, and one of the growers asked me this at our booth. “Excuse me?” I replied, feeling really puzzled and a tiny bit offended. He continued “Because unless you’re a…

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