We are entering spring, hopefully, and as spring comes we need to remember to take care of ourselves; physically, mentally especially as our schedules become busier with spring tillage and planting along with the regular day to day activities. As things get busy and sometimes overwhelming, it’s important to understand that mental health affects all of us at some point. With May being National Mental Health Awareness month, what better time to start the conversation.

The definition of mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. There are many signs that can indicate issues surrounding mental health. Some of those signs include eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from family, friends and activities, having low or no energy, feeling helpless or hopeless, severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships, increases in smoking, drinking or use of drugs and/or thinking of harming oneself.

Conditions like stress, depression and anxiety can also affect a person’s mental health. With spring’s busy season coming into full speed and the continued recovery from COVID-19, taking care of ourselves and our family is very important.  Spring can give people a sense of hope. The sun is out and the birds are singing. What better time to check in on a family member, friend or neighbor? Have a cup of coffee or lemonade, sit and relax outside, and be sure to listen to each other without judgment. Offer a helping hand or maybe go for a walk together to relieve some stress. People want and need to know that they are valued. By simply checking in, listening, and visiting with the people close to you can really help to validate them.

We don’t know what a simple “Hi”, hug, or smile can do to make someone’s day. Be safe, check in on your loved ones, and have a wonderful spring season!

-Cheryl Tyrrell, MN Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee,  American Farm Bureau Promotion Committee