Harvest Mindfulness

For many of our Active Farmers who are involved in harvest at this time of the year, participating in classes and remaining mindful can be particularly challenging. The demands long harvest hours have on the body are often not felt until harvest is over and there is time to rest and notice the tight muscles and overall physical and mental lethargy. 

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 This year I’d like to suggest a different approach. Do you think it is possible to remain tension free, high in energy; healthy and fit throughout harvest this year?  What impact would this have on your long-term health if you continued to remain committed to your Active Farmers classes or at least stretched throughout the day? Do you think your business would be better or worse off, if you remained more mindfully aware of your health?

 Research now comprehensively shows that mindfulness can actually help us be more productive, make clear choices, keep our immune function optimum and steady us in a sense of calm when we need it the most.

 So here are my top 5 Harvest Mindfulness tips to keep you feeling healthy and happy this harvest.

 1/ Notice your body and respond to tension early by moving the joints in a full rotation within your comfort and ability.  

 2/ Keep hydrated. Don’t wait until you are very thirsty before drinking fresh water. Be mindful about how much you are drinking throughout the day and top up regularly.

 3/ Plan nourishing meals and make sure you are eating highly nutritious food throughout harvest. Avoid going long periods without food. Try to have a great breakfast, hearty lunch and early dinner before the late evening work hours. Eat mindfully by fully tasting your food. It doesn’t take any more time to chew well, taste the food and refuel your body well.

 3/Notice your environment –We live in incredible environments but it is easy to move into tunnel vision when harvest begins. The problem with this is that you are less likely to see danger and respond with alertness and clarity. Take in the detail all around you and it will actually help keep you safe.

 4/ Become more mindfully aware of your posture – Don’t put up with an uncomfortable seat. Put support behind your back and try not to lean forward over the steering wheel or computer by arching the back. When we sit quite upright we activate the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, which keeps us more alert when working.  Stretch and rotate your spine often. It makes the world of difference.

 5/ Notice the breath and try to maintain an easy steady breath as you work. Become aware of when your breath changes. Perhaps when the phone rings or when you feel annoyed with a disappointing challenge during your workday, your breath may shorten or you may be almost holding your breath when stressed.  Breathing well under any conditions is the secret to handling pressure!

 Happy Harvest everyone, look after yourself.

Narelle Hunter

Ginny Stevens