tractor in a coastal field with a roller attached

A tractor cab guide to self-care

Looking after ourselves is a priority. Just like your tractor, without regular maintenance you won’t run efficiently and will eventually breakdown. Taking a little time to take care of ourselves can improve all areas of our lives.

Even small changes can make large differences to our mental wellbeing. You may want to make one change at time.
Here are 14 self-care ideas to get you started:

1. Morning quiet time

A moment of calm can help you feel fresh and energised for the day ahead.

Sun rising over a barley field

2. To do list

Unclutter your mind by putting pen to paper and writing your day to do list. It can feel good to tick off each item and have a visual of progression.

Write a to do list

3.Stay hydrated

Ensure we drink enough fluids is a simple act of self care.
Dehydration can cause:

  • Low mood
  • Inability to thinking clearly
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Filling a water bottle to stay hydrated

4. Balanced diet

A balanced intake of fat, wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and protein is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing. Caffeine, alcohol and sugar should be consumed in moderation alongside mood-boosting foods.

A balanced meal

5. Stretch

Not only does stretching reduce stress and tension within our bodies, it also benefits our posture.

cat performing the downward dog stretch

6. Music (and sing)

Turning up some feel good tunes can lift our spirits and promote the release of dopamine (a feel good hormone). By singing along, you will engaging your diaphragm, which is at the core of breathing exercises.
When feeling anxious, music of a slower tempo can help calm your mind.


7. Listen to a podcast

Podcasts are portable audio entertainment perfecta act of self care for when you are confined to the tractor. They even work without radio or internet signal. There is everything from education to comedy. Here are some we heard earlier…

Mobile phone with headphones attached

8. Stop for lunch

A lunch break enables us to refuel and refocus for the afternoon ahead. Distracted eating also leads to increased snacking. Joining someone else for lunch will reduce isolation and boost spirits.

farmhouse kitchen table

9. Phone a friend

We are social beings and isolation can get us down. Our friendships offer support, keep us grounded and help us put things into perspective. Sometimes, something as simple as a listening ear can help us feel more positive.


10. Build relationships

Talking to people with similar experiences can help you feel understood, less alone and offer the opportunity for collaborative problem solving.
Focus group and agricultural events offer the opportunity to meet like-minded farmers while social media allows you to connect with others without leaving the farm.

Showing cattle at a county show

11. Follow farming related social media accounts

Social media allows us to connect with the world around us, ask for advice, read the latest news and have a little fun. In a profession which can often leave us feeling isolated, it provides an opportunity to feel less alone with our problems. One great account we discovered is @FarmersoftheUK. A different farmer hosts it each week. There is also @AgriChatUK, a twitter chat hosted on Twitter every Thursday at 8pm.

Twitter account open on a mobile phone

12. Tackle the paperwork

Doing little and often prevents it from building out and becoming an overwhelming paperwork mountain.

paperwork pile

13. Learn to say no

It can be difficult to say no, but maintaining boundaries is an important part of mental health maintenance. If we say yes to everything, we risk exhausting ourselves.

No text arranged to form the word yes

14. Bullet journaling

Journaling has been shown to:

  • Reduce rumination
  • Promote action
  • Boost mood
  • Increase wellbeing
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Improve working memory
  • Maintain sense of self

Traditional journaling takes time, while bullet journaling works on the principle of rapid logging.

Bullet journaling over breakfast

15. Weekly bath

We are talking self care so we had to include baths in this post somewhere. Adding epson salts can help relieve tired aching muscles. The magnesium and sulphate contained within the both play essential roles in brain and body function and will be absorbed through the skin.

rubber ducks enjoying a bubble bath

16. Ask for help

It can be daunting to accept that you may need help. A chat with your GP about how you are feeling is the first step. They can offer support, treatments and make referrals. Follow ups appointments can often be carried out over the phone.

Doctor writing notes

If you are worried that you do not have time to attend therapy, you may like to consider online NHS funded Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can self-refer through Outlook South West.
2 Minute Farmer content is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are worried about your mental health, please speak to your GP or other health care professional.