Taking Time to Reflect

Taking Time to Reflect
Kate Brown, Calf & Heifer Specialist, Purina Animal Nutrition (507) 951-2951

As we see 2016 coming to a close and the beginning of 2017 quickly approaching, it’s time to reflect on the past while looking to what the future can bring.  As I look back on 2016 personally there were some very dark times.  Like the 12 days my nephew spent in the hospital including days in the ICU with sickness followed by a family member being diagnosed with cancer, and a year of low markets that created financial strain on producers.  I will not disagree with anyone that there will always be hard times. There were moments in 2016 where I wondered what could possibly happen next.  Then I sat back and did a positive reflection.  When my nephew was in the hospital it showed us how close our family is and how we can all come together, while also being thankful to have a great medical facility at our back door.  With a positive cancer diagnosis, we had to focus on the fact that it was caught early and was quickly treated. While it may have caused some corn to be planted in interesting ways, all the crops were put in and we had a great growing season.  The markets can put a lot of stress on producers; that’s when it is my job to show why we do thing things we do and we do not want to use something just because it is cheap, rather we want to use products that we know will work and preform the way we want them too.

With 2016 almost behind us I ask everyone to take time and reflect and find the positive.  A speaker that I listened to this year told us that, “you are the sum of the 5 people you are exposed to the most.”  This doesn’t mean the 5 people that you live with, instead think of the 5 personalities that you are around the most.  This can be through work, social media, and people you talk to daily. If you spend lots of time listening to people complain and be negative you often will do that too; the opposite can happen if you expose yourself to positive personalities, you will find it easier to be more positive. 

To help everyone stay positive I have included parts of an article that I found on the web.  Not all points may be directly relevant to you but most are.   For the full versions see

  1. Quit being a victim. It is easier to assume the role of a victim during tough times than taking responsibilities for yourself. But doing so will only prolong your suffering and put off people who may be able to help you out
  2. Take stock with meditation. Meditate on what really happened and your response to the crisis. Learn to see the crisis for what it really is.
  3. Focus on the positives. No matter how dire a situation may be, there are always some positives you can find in it. It is our unwillingness to look at them that blind us to the brighter sides.
  4. Give thanks. Having listed the positives you can think of, give thanks for the current situation as well as the things that you already have. For one, things could be a lot worse!
  5. Reach out to others. Helping others who are less fortunate than you also helps you to put things in perspective. While also remembering that it is ok to reach out to others for help and receive help.
  6. Get enough sleep. During stressful time, we’re likely to skip on sleep, either voluntarily or not. But in reality, you will need more quality sleep during stressful times than ever so that you can remain energetic, clear-headed and focused to figure out your next steps.
  7. Limit bad news intake. Being constantly fed with gloomy news is enough to make even a dog panic for no reason. Hearing bad news once is enough, not ten times of the same news in different versions from every gadget that you own.
  8. Join forces with others. When bad things happen, it is easy to become close-minded. But chances are, you are not alone during difficult times. There are likely to be many people who feel the same way as you do even though they may not voice out loud.
  9. Get close to nature. Finnish researchers found that spending time in your favorite outdoor area and woodlands are more relaxing – while I realize most of you reading this spend plenty of time outside, try to set aside time to truly relax and enjoy your time outside.
  10. Re-evaluate the meaning of your life. Tough times present hard but valuable lessons that force us to re-evaluate the meanings we have been attaching to our lives. Ask yourself: “Do the meanings and goals I’ve been living by before the crisis really worthwhile? Through this crisis, what are the things that I’ve found to be really important? And what are those that are not as precious as what I once thought to be?”

As I go into 2017 I am going to continue to try to be a positive person that others want to be around!  I hope you can take a few of these ideas and put them into action in your own way.  I hope 2017 is a happy and healthy year for you all!

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