Key Coping Tools in Times of Farm/Ranch Stress

(FS1927, Aug. 2019)

All of us cope with the stresses and challenges of life daily. When it comes to farm/ranch stress finding tools that will help us manage stress is needed to help make decisions. This publication is part of a series called Managing Stress and Pursuing Wellness in Times of Tight Margins.

Lead Author
Lead Author:
Sean Brotherson, NDSU Extension Family Science Specialist
Web only
Publication Sections

Effective Coping Strategies for Farm Stress

Each of us copes with the stresses and challenges of life on a daily basis. We rely on different “tools” or strategies that we are familiar with from our toolbox of coping approaches. When it comes to farm stress, we need to find those tools that work in helping us to manage stresses and make decisions for our health, our families, and our future.

First, think about your strategies for using resources or coping with stresses that can be used and whether they are effective. In other words, what is the right “tool” to use from your current coping toolbox? Perhaps you need to learn a new coping strategy or use a different tool in your stress management efforts. Use the following points to explore this topic:

  • Assess current strategies being used to manage stresses. Brainstorm and list other possible options.
  • Explore whether what you are using as a coping strategy in relation to a specific need is working. Be open with yourself and/or others. What are you doing? Does the approach you are using have a helpful effect or a harmful effect?
  • Assess whether a change in coping strategy is needed. What might need to change?
  • Focus on using strategies that are most effective and work for you and your circumstances.
  • You may need to learn new strategies or adopt different ways of managing stress that you have not used before. Practices such as mindfulness can help in managing stress. Changing the way you work and schedule time also can be examples. Being open to new coping practices is helpful. 

Scenario – The doctor diagnosed you with mild to moderate depression in the last month. How are you coping with this issue?

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For more information on this and other topics, see www.ndsu.edu/extension