By Carol Ryan Dumas

Capital Press – Not many people like stress, but it was the center of conversation at Saturday’s Women in Agriculture Conference, hosted by Washington State University.

The conference was delivered digitally to about 700 women at more than 30 locations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska in an effort to help farm women cultivate personal resiliency.

“A healthy you is going to mean a healthy farm,” Shauna Reitmeier, a third-generation farmer who specializes in behavioral health with the Northwestern Mental Health Center in Minnesota, said.

There are tools women can use to focus on self-care and alleviate stress before it becomes an illness, she said.

For some people, stress can be neutral — it just rolls off their back. In some cases, it can be positive — motivating them to meet deadlines. But it can also be negative — and that’s where it can really impact people, she said.

Stress can become overwhelming due to different priorities competing for a woman’s time, external and self-expectations, financial issues and worry. That can cause people to internalize and stop communicating, affecting the individuals, their families and their employees, she said. Read more…