Small things add up when managing stress at harvest

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What does black electrical tape have to do with protecting your state of mind at harvest?

For Megz Reynolds, during a particularly bad harvest, covering up the yield monitor with it was a small boundary she set to help ease her mind and focus on the task at hand. It may seem small, but small things can really add up to enduring tough, busy times like a harvest season in a drought year, she says.

As executive director of the Do More Ag Foundation, Reynolds is encouraging farmers to try a few small changes that may help navigate this stressful season.

“Can you still find ways to do a little bit of self maintenance? Maybe that means shutting down at supper, having dinner with the family, taking that half hour instead of just spending it in the equipment — because that’s going to be something that’s good for everybody to kind of recharge your batteries and destress a little,” Reynolds says.

There is more help out there, too, especially for when you’re feeling overwhelmed or really bogged down. Do More Ag launched AgTalk earlier this year, an online, anonymous, monitored platform where farmers and ranchers can go to talk and connect with people going through similar stresses.

“The beauty of that platform is that you’re having a conversation with people that get it. So even if you’re not going there for support, you can go there to read what other people are posting, and in doing so understand that you’re not alone. And just that in itself can make someone feel so much better. Or maybe you’re in a pretty good place, and you can actually go there to support others and build can help build community,” she says.

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