At This Difficult Time Of Year, We Need To Remind Ourselves, It’s OK Not To Feel OK, And It’s OK To Ask For Help

January can be a tough month for people mentally, but there are ways to fill your well with positivity.

Take care of yourself – Building healthy routines is important for our wellbeing. Pic. Deposit.

January is in full swing and so are we. Dusting off the cobwebs of the Christmas and New Year break, I got back into work.

I carried out one important job that got me thinking over the last few days. I was invited to give a talk on mental health for farmers and how to keep good care of ourselves through this time.

It’s a talk I’ve given in many ways before to various groups since going public on my own mental health issues a few years back.

The talk for farmers was a new one — a talk to my peer group as it were, and how we are all on the same journey.

January can be a tough month for people mentally so the organisers were right to hold their conference when they did as it’s a good way to start the year on a bit of an upswing.

My talk concerned filling your well with positivity. In so many ways this personal well is what we need to use to build our happiness, manage our anxieties and get a hold of our stress.

Building the well starts in the small acts of every day: treating yourself to that cup of coffee, making time to go for your walk or run in the area, and getting to bed at a good regular time.

It might all sound quite simple, but we are all guilty of not minding our health through busy or stressful times on the land. In ways, building that well of positivity is about doing the little things right or controlling the controllable.

We must understand that even in the time of the pandemic there are some things we can control, such as our reactions to events and people’s actions.

“But so too we must know that there are certain things we can’t control; for example, it’s not in our ability to stop a pandemic in its tracks globally.

What we can do is control our actions in this time and work towards making ourselves happy and content.

Building healthy routines allows us to build our well. Dr George Sheehan, an American cardiologist and runner, used to say that today is the great event.

You have to make today your masterpiece; we have to approach each day as our own masterpiece.

In my talk, I also touched on one of the biggest issues for farmers: visiting the doctor. We can all be guilty of not getting to know our doctor at all or only going when things are very bad.

But the doctor is there to be used, and when things are building up to bad mental health, a positive first port of call.

There is no weakness in having suffered mental health issues — one in four of us will at some point in our lives.

As the great adage goes from the Cycle against Suicide group: it’s OK not to feel OK and it’s totally OK to ask for help. We could all do with remembering that.

John Connell lives and farms in Co Longford

(Source – Irish Independent – Indo Farming – John Connell – 18/01/2022)

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Rural Enterprise Skillnet
Rural Enterprise Skillnet

The Rural Enterprise Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

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