Don’t try to tough it out if you’re stressed

Harvest is a particularly stressful time and it’s important that farm owners and family members know the signs and symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression.

“When you begin to feel overwhelmed or burnt out, one of the best things you can do is call a timeout, step back and take a moment for yourself,” said Dr. Nicholas Mitchell, senior medical director with the province’s Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network.

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“When you take time for yourself, you are giving your mind and body a break and time to re-energize.”

Those who are feeling effects of fatigue, anxiety or depression may include:

  • feeling sad, grumpy or moody
  • losing interest in their usual activities
  • eating more and craving carbohydrates (such as bread and pasta)
  • gaining weight
  • sleeping more but still feeling tired
  • having trouble concentrating
  • having thoughts that life is not worth living

“There is no reason to wait until you are feeling burnt out to make time for yourself a priority,” said Mitchell. “Building breaks into your days can help keep stress from mounting.”

Regular exercise, getting more sunlight and ensuring your body is getting proper nutrition and hydration can all help. Those experiencing difficulties should speak to their physician if the symptoms go on for two weeks or more.

For more information on stress and stress management, contact Health Link Alberta at 811, visit myhealth.alberta.ca or call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.

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