Feb. 21 2017 08:00 AM

A little bit of self-care can go a long way in terms of improving mood and productivity.

Is it just me or do the last few weeks of winter seem like the longest?

You get a little break, maybe a couple days of gorgeous sunshine, and then the next storm blows in dashing your hopes for spring.

I think we just get to a point where we are burned out from handling Mother Nature’s fiercest season. There’s only so much of the cold, snow, rain, and all the extra headaches that come with winter weather that we can handle before we start to feel down.

At least for me, that’s when I start to feel down mentally. Dairy farming is hard, stressful, and just plain exhausting physically and mentally. I think it is important to examine and keep an eye on those times when you just need a little breather.

I know that is easier said then done! It’s tough when you go from a possible free couple of hours to a broke down tractor that needs parts or chasing heifers that got out. Obviously, emergencies have to be taken care of in a timely manner, but try to schedule some time away from the farm.

Find a day that you can designate for only doing the “have to” tasks. Then get off the farm! I feel this is important because too often when we plan a down day in the house, something always pulls us back to the barn. Head to town and grab a coffee with a friend who is long overdue a visit. Attend that meeting you’ve been wanting to but have always had a conflict with timing. Take the family out for a fun activity.

Even those few hours in between daily chores can provide a much-needed change of scenery. Don’t be afraid to admit when you need that time. A little bit of self-care can go a long ways to bringing you back to the farm feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next task.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and is in the process of transitioning to a robotic milking system.