Homesteading Stress: Why It Happens And How To Avoid It

Homesteading stress, we all can relate to what that’s all about. Homesteading is challenging. It is all about making plans and then life happens and plans change. That’s stressful. Things break, fallhomesteading stress apart or quit working at the worst times. All of those things cause stress. And it is even harder for beginners.

We have to be careful as homesteaders that we don’t allow homesteading stress to get the best of us. Understanding what causes the stress we endure and knowing how to deal with it can really make a difference. With a better understanding of what changes you can make and actions to avoid, we can eliminate some of that stress. Let’s take a deeper look at the causes of homesteading stress and what you can do to limit or even eliminate it.

 

Homesteading Stress: Why It Happens And How To Avoid It

 

homesteading stressWhat Is Stress?

Stress, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is described as”a constraining force or influence: such as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.” It is described elsewhere as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances”. Now I don’t know about you, but “a state of mental and or emotional strain” sounds like my daily routine as a homesteader! After all, isn’t there always something new and challenging? And the “demanding circumstances”, that’s my whole entire homesteading lifestyle!

So we now know that stress must come with the territory right? I mean think about it. Emotional strain? Yep! Tension? Yep! Every time the pigs break out that’s tension right? Knowing you have 10 things to complete and 1 day to do them is an emotional strain! Let’s talk about demanding circumstances. Isn’t homesteading demanding? All of this is what homesteading stress is all about.

 

What Homesteading Stress Causes

Homesteading stress can cause so many issues for ourselves, our families, and even our animals! It can cause headaches, disagreements with loved ones, and even health issues if we allow it. These health issues are not simple either. Insomnia, restlessness, and digestion problems are just a few of the many problems stress can cause.

Our family relationships can even be affected. When we are affected by stress we tend to lash out at others, especially at the ones we are closest too. Homesteading stress can cause us to feel physically tired too. As parents that could affect our children and how we spend active time with them.

 

What Causes Homesteading Stress?

There are so many things that can wreak havoc and cause homesteading stress! Some of the items listed below are simple, yet others are more complicated. Let’s take a look at the most common issues that cause homesteading stress. Then we can look at ways to eliminate those things.

 

Some stressful homesteading events:

  • Not having enough help
  • Too many repairs needing to be completed
  • Money or lack thereof
  • Changes in plans at the last minute
  • Deliveries not being on time
  • Weather issues
  • Illness in the family
  • Lack of sleep
  • No free time
  • Inability to physically do what needs to be done
  • Too much on your plate
  • Lack of knowledge or know-how

 

Let’s look at those causes of stress one at a time and figure out ways to eliminate some of the issues.

 

Homesteading is stressful. However, with these simple tips, you can alleviate some of the homesteading stress in your life starting today!

Not Having Enough Help

 

Not having help is stressful. This is true especially if you can’t do it alone. Ask yourself the following 3 questions about the project you are trying to complete.

  1. Is it absolutely necessary?
  2. Is there anyone I can ask for help?
  3. Can I put this off until I have help?

 

If it is not necessary, maybe let it go. You can always come back to it later. If it is demanding and necessary go to question 2. Who can you ask for help? How about a significant other, your kids or a friend? Can you hire someone? If you really cannot find anyone to help, reconsider the project. If it must be done, and you have no means of help you need to rethink of a simpler way to complete the project in a way that you can do it alone. This will eliminate one area of homesteading stress.

 

homesteading stressToo Many Repairs

Let’s face it, there is always something needing to be fixed on the homestead. If it’s not a fence or a gate it’s a stall or machinery. And it seems those repairs always come at the worst times don’t they? Repairs are a big cause of homestead stress. But they don’t have to be!

Face it, we can’t fix everything and certainly not at one time. Make a list of all the repairs and then prioritize them. Fix the most important ones first then work on the rest as time allows.  Fix that hole in the fence so the livestock can’t escape. But that creaky door isn’t that important right now. Do what you can and save the rest for that never-ending to-do list and tackle it as you go.

 

Lack of Moneyhomesteading stress

Unless you’re a millionaire, which few of us are, money is a big cause of homestead stress. We need money to buy feed, to pay bills, and many other expenses on the homestead. Not having enough is common for homesteaders. How do we eliminate this stress? Start with a budget! List all of your bills and expenses. List them according to priority. Compare your expenses to your income. Which is higher? If it is your expenses then you need to think of ways of increasing your income.

How do you increase your income? Maybe you can sell at a farmers market, sell eggs, rent out part of your land or space in your barn. There are so many ways to make an income from your homestead. You have to figure out what works for you and your homestead.

 

homesteading stressChanges In Plans

I have a specific schedule that I follow each day!” says no homesteader ever! Things change. We as homesteaders need to adapt without letting the stress set in. We can plan all of our goals for the year. We can put it all in a planner and think we have the best plan ever! But guess what? Things change, life happens.

When something comes up that wasn’t planned it is okay! Handle it. If it can wait, schedule it for another time. Know that part of homesteading is that nothings perfect. When you’re in the middle of starting seeds and mama pig starts having piglets the seeds will have to wait. You can come back to them later. Don’t let those changes affect you. My Daddy always said…”be the duck and let it roll right off your back.”

 

Deliveries Being Latehomesteading stress

Let me nip this one in the but right away.  Know this: YOU CANNOT CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE! Don’t bet on a delivery ever. Things happen, weather, mistakes in GPS directions, miscommunication, you name it and it can happen. Try to plan ahead for things you must have delivered. If you have to order supplies, don’t wait until the day before you are out to place an order.

If you keep all of your receipts, as you should, look at them to see what the norm is for order through delivery. Allow a few days extra. Also, have a backup plan. If you order meicines for your animals because of a great price online, that’s great! But have a local place be known. That way, if you can’t receive an order quick enough you can still go get what you need locally. You may a little more. But you will have what you need. This is a great way of eliminating some homesteading stress before it has the chance to happen.

 

Weather Issues

Even though the weather is not in our control, we can take steps to prepare for disasters. Below are some great ways to be prepared for potential weather problems on the homestead.

Weather Prep:

These are just a few things you can do to avoid the homesteading stress brought on by the weather. How many of these do you partake in?

 

homesteading stressIllness In The Family

Last year I, unfortunately, lost my father. During the two years leading up to his death, he suffered many illnesses. It was difficult to run a homestead and still care for him like I needed to. Many things didn’t get done. I didn’t make as much money from my homestead either during those 2 years. However, he was sick and I had to care for him. I did it. When illness happens on the homestead it causes a lot of homesteading stress. You can’t remove the illness so you have to let certain things go.

If the illness is happening to you, then be understanding if your family is helping out. They may not do things as you do. That’s okay. Just remember that they are helping and things will get better eventually. Take things one day at a time. In the meantime. try having a healthier lifestyle this year to avoid illness.

 

Lack of Sleephomesteading stress

Did you know the biggest complaint of homesteaders is a lack of sleep? Are you surprised? Why is it that we suffer from not getting enough sleep? We know we need at least 7 hours. Yet we awaken early and some nights fall into bed at 2 and 3 am. only to repeat that process day after day. The problem is that eventually, that very lack of enough sleep can cause a lot of homesteading stress.

A lack of sleep means we aren’t energized and have no motivation. With a lack of motivation, we become unproductive. Then what? Things don’t get done, we are crabby, overwhelmed and stressed. What’s the solution? Sleep, of course. Know what time you want to awaken in the morning, count back 7 or so hours and go to bed! No coffee or RedBull before bedtime either.

Pick a time to quit for the day. Pick a time you can let it all go for the day and relax.  Eat dinner, put the kids to bed, let the dogs out and just relax. Read a book, listen to soft music, take a long hot bubble bath. Do whatever it takes. Your body will thank you for the additional rest, trust me!

 

homesteading stressNo Free Time and Having Too Much On Your Plate

These 2 stresses go hand in hand. If you have way too much piled on your plate you can’t possibly have any free time. No time to relax and enjoy life is a common cause of homesteading stress that affects a lot of homesteaders. So how do we fix that? Make time for the things you enjoy.

Make yourself stopping times each day. Nothing is that pressing every day that you can’t move it until tomorrow. Sure sometimes things come up, but most of the time we simply take on too much. Start prioritizing things. Do important things as you can and make time later for the other chores. You can read more about prioritizing things in this post. Making a homesteading plan is easy when you have clear priorities.

 

Physical Inabilities Or A Lack Of Knowledgehomesteading stress

Not being physically able to do something that needs to be done or not knowing how to do it is challenging. Both can cause severe homesteading stress. Homesteading with disabilities is challenging so you have to modify how you do things. Be smart. For example, someone in a wheelchair could garden with raised beds that are high enough for them to easily reach while in the wheelchair. Think about what your physical inabilities are and come up with ways to work with them.

A lack of knowledge, on the other hand, is an easy fix. In our high-speed internet filled world, we can learn anything. The best part, we don’t even have to leave our own home for most of it. There are so many resources out there for homesteaders. There are books everywhere you go, from Kindle on Amazon to e-books galore. You can learn almost anything nowadays on YouTube. There are tons of YouTube channels on homesteading. So get on the superhighway of information and start learning.

 

A Final Thought

There is a common consensus within homesteaders everywhere, homesteading stress is real and it can be disheartening. Take the steps ahead of time to arm yourself with the best knowledge and resources and tackle those challenges and stresses head-on. The tips above should get you on to a great start. How do you handle homesteading stress? Do you have suggestions to share? Please let me know in the comment box below!

 

Homesteading is stressful. However, with these simple tips, you can alleviate some of the homesteading stress in your life starting today!

 

 

10 Comments

  1. What a great list! We went through our fair share of this over the past few years. As beginners, it was so difficult to figure out what our limitations were, but over the last two years, we’ve come to understand them and work on them. With time, I learned how to really prioritize and when to let go of things. The biggest change that came for me was in having lists to work on and prioritizing, along with having a schedule/plan for things (WITH the understanding that plans can fall through).

    1. Author

      Making lists and setting priorities always helps when homesteading! Sounds like you have a great plan for success on your homestead! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. It can be very stressful…so many animals depending on you for their food and water, lack of funds is definitely an issue, and sometimes you just want to take a break….but it isn’t easy to find a farm sitter!

    Congrats on being featured on the Simple Homestead Hop!

    1. Author

      You are absolutely right! You don’t understand challenges until you start homesteading!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.