Being a farmer has its perks, but let’s not forget the problems that come with it as well. I’m not going to be overly positive about this; farming is hard work and if you don’t take care of yourself properly, it can cause serious damage to your well-being.
Self-care is important for every farmer and it’s an awful assumption that women who farm don’t take care of themselves and have no need to, either. One of the biggest problems that we come across as farmers is awfully tired and aching feet (courtesy of harvest season, planting and soil tilling). I’ll tell you how you can take care of them at the end of the day so you’ll be ready to go back to your farm the very next day.
Get the Right Support
No, I’m not telling you to buy an overly expensive pair of shoes for farming purposes because your old boots will do just fine. However, I do suggest that you add good insoles to your shoes. These can provide adequate support that takes some of the pressure off your heels, resulting in less-severe aches.
Practice Stretching Exercises
You don’t have to practice a rigorous workout after hours in the garden, but stretching once you take off your boots is a must. Yoga poses help in calming the body and helping your muscles return back into position, making you feel well-rested. You don’t need to practice multiple asanas, just the ones that help remove pressure from your foot muscles. Poses like the Bound Angle Pose, Runner’s Stretch, Hero’s Pose and Downward Facing Dog will be effective at lessening the pain in your feet.
Take Some Breaks
I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but even farmers need a break. I’ve heard countless women tell me that they don’t take breaks when they’re on the farm. This is detrimental to your health in the long-term and you won’t be able to take proper care of your crops either, resulting in a bad yield you worked so hard for.
Therefore, you should make it a habit to take breaks often to help circulate blood through your feet. Keeping your feet in boots for multiple hours a day leads to loss of blood circulation. You can fix this by changing your posture and practicing some quick exercises while in the garden. Rotate your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise to loosen the muscles, and do some lunges to flex your hamstrings and thigh muscles.
Soak Your Feet
Save the best for last is what I always say; at the end of the day, nothing will feel as soothing as soaking your feet in a relaxing bath. Add Epsom salts, drops of your favorite essential oil to a warm footbath, and soak your feet. It acts as an anti-inflammatory that relieves muscle spasms and aches.
Finish off with a Massage
Once your feet are nice and clean, use some moisturizer or body oil to slowly massage your feet. Work out any tense muscles to relax them and massage along your toes to prevent bunions.
These are some of my favorite tips to relieve foot pain after a long day of farming. Try them out and tell me how it helps! Happy farming!