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Ways to tackle a bad day

August 28, 2020

The other day, I read a great opinion piece about how the stress of the pandemic is different from any other stress we may encounter

It explained how we have a certain “surge capacity” for dealing with disaster. Humans adapt mentally and physically after difficult situations like natural disasters, life changing medical diagnoses, or other traumatic experiences. We are able to cope pretty well with these short term stresses, even if the recovery period may be long or unknown.

But… the pandemic is different. We don’t know when it will end, how it will end, what measures will be put in place next. It’s like having an earthquake and the tremors just keep going... FOREVER. Our body is NOT designed to deal with this. It is stressful.

I chatted with farmer Aaron about this. The next day, I got an uplifting fax from him with some fantastic remedies for overcoming bad days. 


(View image to print and hang on your fridge)

This really made my day. It put me back in the driver seat of life. And, it got me thinking about how stress is dealt with on the farm.

When I asked Aaron how he tackles a bad day, he said “Well, I don’t know, because I don’t really have bad days. Within a bad day, you can have a good day.” 

Here’s an example. A new family moved on the farm last week (they are going to help with farm chores). Before their arrival, Aaron and his family sacrificed many hours of sleep, scrambling to prepare the house for their arrival. They had many repairs and lots of cleaning to do. 

Running out of time, they hired a painter to help, and he did an awful job. He not only painted the walls but also the windows and the floors! Oh no! 

Aaron and his wife Rebecca called the girls that work on the farm, their parents, and their brothers and sisters. They asked for help on Friday afternoon. It turned into a community effort and pulled everyone together in a fun work party. 

Somehow, someway, they scrubbed that paint… and that negativity... away. They chose to see the positive in a difficult situation. Without even thinking about it, Aaron used many tips from the sheet he shared with me. 

He looked for the positive in the situation. He told people they are appreciated. He dealt with conflict by attacking the problem, not the person. He solved the problem, and moved on. And, he made work fun!

OK OK OK I know this is an example of normal “surge capacity”. But, I think what’s remarkable is that farmer Aaron didn’t need to think about it. Positivity is a life practice for him.

The same goes for the farm staff. The farm staff sing while they pack your orders. Lena, the on farm manager, aims to make work fun. She rotates jobs so no one gets bored. They spend a good amount of time laughing every day.

I’m not there yet. I have work to do. I have the “Ways to Tackle a Bad Day” sheet hanging on my fridge as a daily reminder. And, I will use these strategies to deal with the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic.

How are you dealing with stress? How are you incorporating positivity into your life? Anything new you’d like to try?

Marie Reedell

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