Tips from Ann
As a nurse who is no longer practicing, I wanted to share some insights I’ve gleaned from my years of practice and experience. First, prevention is way better than cure. So many injuries and illnesses can be prevented, and that is really important to women farmers and growers. We all know, too well, that an injury that puts us out of commission, even if only for a few days, can determine when our crops go in, get harvested and everything in between. And that can impact our bottom line, perhaps to the point of determining if we stay afloat.
After recovering from an illness or injury, many of us put ourselves at risk for another injury as we scramble to “catch up” (which never happens). Sometimes, getting caught up in doing things as fast as we can forces us to leave reason behind. Our thoughts are two steps ahead of what we are currently doing and “POW” --- we find that we put the chainsaw down before it was fully shut off, it skids along the ground, and watch out for toes and ankles! We bend over picking about-to-be overripe fruits or vegetables, push ourselves past the pain and may end up with chronic lower back pain.
What I have come to realize is that a little careful planning and prioritizing prior to starting my day allows my mind to be in the present moment. This is far better than planning ahead while using any motorized or sharp implement; that’s an accident waiting to happen. I know I want to produce food for myself and my family for many years to come, so I practice some simple prevention techniques:
- Wash hands frequently to prevent colds and the flu
- Pay attention to your body, it does communicate with your mind if you just pay attention
- Recognize that pain is your body sending you a signal --- enough is enough
- Stay in the present moment as you move through your daily activities. Things will flow better and you won’t have to go back and redo the task again because you messed up in your efforts to get it done while thinking of what to do next.
- Some tasks like weeding and planting, for me anyway, turn out to be meditations, thereby reducing my blood pressure, getting that never-silent voice in my head to be quiet, letting not-currently-used muscles relax, and finally, allowing me to see more clearly what is really important in life.