2019 was the Year of New for me. I moved to a new city in a new province. I bought a new home. I started working in a new office with new colleagues. I bought a new vehicle. And most importantly, I met new friends.
While all this was exciting and I am truly grateful for it, 2019 was also a Year of Loss. Loss of life and loss of crop. Both my grandma and 40 year old cousin passed away. And my family farm suffered crop losses due to Mother Nature.
But 2020 is a new year and we must be optimistic. In the last several years, mental health in agriculture has been brought to the forefront. There’s more talk and less judgement. As someone who works in agriculture, I’ve followed the conversation closely. I strive to have a positive outlook on life. Some days I excel and some days I fail. Along those lines, I’m declaring 2020 as the Year of Self Care for me. Because sometimes you have to put yourself first. Your mental health and wellness is important.
As I drove the 10 hours to the farm and back over the holidays, I thought about my self care goals for 2020. What can I do for myself in 2020 that will have a positive impact on my mental wellness?
- Exercise more – I enjoy going to the gym but find I get stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over again with no noticeable results. So I now have a trainer that will give me fresh ideas, demonstrate how to exercise safely and motivate me to push myself and do my best.
- Eat healthier more – Along with exercise, comes healthy eating. I currently consume too many carbs and sugar, and need more protein. The trainer will also give me nutrition advice including meal plan prep and portion control. All of this comes down to building self confidence.
- Read more – I love reading so I’m excited to join a small book club in my new city with friends who also work in agriculture. The books are good, and the socializing is even better.
- Volunteer more – I’ve always enjoyed volunteering, too much in fact, that I tend to overcommit. With my move to a new community this past year I decided to take a break from volunteering, and I’ve missed it.
- Travel more – I’m a big believer in seeing the world and experiencing cool stuff. Unfortunately, this costs money. But I believe it is money well spent. Invest in experiences, not things. This year the goal is to do this once a month. This means it won’t always be a big trip. It may be a weekend getaway or a day trip, exploring my province. Don’t forget about all the cool stuff in your own backyard.
Along the way this year, I hope to provide you with a monthly update on these goals. Stay tuned.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020!