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5 ways to keep your cool during the dairy crisis

Kimmi Devaney for Progressive Dairy Published on 19 May 2020

The COVID-19 global pandemic is bringing new meaning to what we previously thought of as a crisis. Milk prices plummeted, packing plants closed temporarily, and there may be more strains on our food supply chain in the weeks and months to come. With so much out of our control, maintaining our mental health and developing grit are essential to becoming better versions of ourselves on the other side of this health crisis.

There are three things we can always control: our attitude, our effort and our perception. We control our response to other people and the world around us, and this can make all the difference in staying sane. Mindset can either hold us back or help catapult us to the next level, and the result is up to us.

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Here are five ways to keep your cool and improve your mental health during this challenging season.

1. Set new goals. You are always your best investment, and there is no better time than right now to tackle some of those goals that have been on the back burner for a while. Maybe it is a health and fitness goal, or perhaps you just want less clutter in your house. Create a roadmap to reach your goal(s) and remember you do not have to have all the answers right now. Trust that you can figure it out. The conditions will never be perfect, and the secret is to move forward anyway. After deciding which goal(s) to pursue, seek out the tools and resources that will help you get there and also consider what may get in the way and how to address those situations.

2. Simplify your life. One of the quickest ways to simplify your life is by creating daily structure. While it will look different for everyone, some common components include morning and evening routines, fun activities and time with loved ones. Consistency is crucial. For example, I workout every day before lunch and have been doing this since the beginning of 2019. At this point, I don’t question if I should go to the gym around 11:30 a.m. – or lately, go upstairs to my newly created home gym – and I make it a priority. The structure of your space also matters. Does it feel overwhelming or calming? Decluttering can help you feel more in control of your space, since the state of your home reflects the state of your life. My golden rule of decluttering is love it, use it or get rid of it. Simplifying may also mean narrowing priorities to what is most important and letting other things go.

3. Move your body. Anxiety levels are on the rise, and exercise can help. As Rachel Hollis says, “Do what you can with what you have where you are.” Get creative. Maybe spin class was your thing. How can you recreate or shift your fitness routine? This pause in our regularly scheduled programming is a gift. We get to take a hard look at our “old lives” and decide what was working and where we need to do better.

4. Stay positive. Your thoughts shape your life, and attitude is everything. How are you framing the situation? How can this be for you, and what will you take from the experience to make yourself stronger and more capable of handling future challenges? Are thoughts positive, and do they support the life you say you want? Instead of worrying, focus on what you can do by embracing things within your control and connecting with others.

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5. Take a break from digital media. News stations, social media and the internet in general can cause anxiety levels to skyrocket.  We control what we consume and that includes entertainment. If social media is a source of anxiety or makes you feel like your life isn’t as good as someone else’s, consider decluttering the negativity within your social feeds. Taking a break altogether is another solution. Turn off your phone and step away from the computer for a pre-determined amount of time, and then spend this time working toward your goals.

051820 devaney keep your cool

A strong mindset is vital, especially during challenging times. We cannot control everything (or sometimes anything) happening around us, but we can control ourselves and our mindsets. Who are you going to be on the other side of this? What does the best version of you look like?

The dairy industry needs all of us, and the best gift we can give each other right now is to show up as the best versions of ourselves. We’ve got this!  end mark

PHOTOS: Graphics by Kimmi Devaney.

Kimmi Devaney is the director of communications and industry relations for the Dairy Farmers of Washington and writes an agricultural blog.

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