This month’s wellness tip comes from Laura Gosewisch of Vital Ground Farm, a farmer and massage therapist that uses her expertise to train and support farmers in maintaining their most valuable resource – themselves.
It’s as important to have a solid plan for ourselves as it is for any other part of the farm. We often think in great detail about the sustainability of our practices when it comes to our crops and livestock, but rarely turn the question toward ourselves. Our bodies are the soil of our lives, and tending to the foundation of our work means looking after our own longevity for the sake of our farm’s longevity. Prioritize the success of your farm by looking after your ability to show up for the work every day. Here are some starting points for creating plans that sustain your well-being through the season:
Take the time to make the plan
Even just a loose idea of a plan for the day’s goals and tasks can be enough. Farming is full of unexpected twists and turns, and having a plan is a helpful touchstone when we need to stay on track. Take a moment before it all begins to check in with your priorities, know what can’t wait and what can.
Nourish yourself throughout the day – make sure you have what you need to be fed and hydrated.
Know what foods will work for you, know when you could take meal breaks, bring enough food and water for the amount of time you’ll be out.
Protein helps sustain your muscles. As you work, your muscle tissue breaks down and protein helps support the process of rebuilding it.
Drinking extra water is an easy way to prevent soreness in the body, helping to move the healing process forward by keeping your tissues hydrated as they rebuild from exertion.
Setting realistic timelines means you could actually complete your to-do list. Managing time effectively benefits both our physical and mental well-being.
The beginning of the season is a good time to begin to notice how long it takes to complete tasks. Two things to note as you do this are 1) the amount of time and 2) the quantity of work done in that time. For example, “It takes ___ Hours to Seed ___ Trays” is useful to know as you plan more days of seeding.
Pay attention to signals from your body, however inconvenient, as you move through your day. Knowing when you’ll probably need a bathroom break prevents unexpected delays. If you know how many hours you can weed before you’ll run from the field screaming, you can change up activities so you stay productive. Of course, sometimes we can’t tend to our needs right away, but being familiar with them can help us anticipate opportunities when we can.
Reflect & Reset at the end of the day
Check-in with yourself when the day is over, feel what’s sore, ask yourself if you ate and hydrated well today. Think about what you might try differently tomorrow, and what went well today. Move your body if it feels good – dance or stretch, use a heating pad or ice pack if you’ve got pain, drink some extra water. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, just enough for you to feel like you’ve been tended to.
You can connect with Laura and schedule a free consultation through her website www.groundedvitality.com