Life is stressful, and it’s important to learn ways to manage it. However, it’s no secret that farming is a particularly stressful career, as a lot of factors are out of your control – such as weather.

Carole Soule, from Soule Coaching and Miles Smith Farm, led a discussion at the New Hampshire Farm, Forest & Garden Expo about managing stress on the farm.

Soule introduced herself by stating, “I spent the first 40 years of my life being driven by stress and not having enough time to do anything. And then I learned how I could deal with my stress, make more money and still get everything done that I needed to get done – and have time for myself.”

She learned how to manage stress by living through it, and she takes the time to spread that awareness to others.

It’s important to realize that “time management is more than just having something in a calendar.” Just because you have your whole week planned out in your planner or have a long to-do list doesn’t mean you have your time managed properly. Yes, you are on the right path to getting your life more in control, but there’s still more work to do.

How to farm without stress

Carole Soule from Miles Smith Farm and Soule Coaching and John Porter, a UNH Cooperative Extension professor/specialist. Photo by Kelsi Devolve

One important aspect of learning time management is realizing you are not controlled by time. Specifically, Soule said, “So often, we think that time is making us do something,” meaning we are a victim of time itself. Instead, you need to learn to be in control of your own time. Pay attention to what you want to do, not what others expect you to do.

Additionally, Soule doesn’t think that we as humans congratulate ourselves enough. A task is completed and we move onto the next because we don’t think we have enough time to sit and think about what we accomplished. It’s important to respect yourself and recognize your limits.

She mentioned how a lot of farmers will go out of business because they try to do too much – they don’t know their limits until they pass them.

Learning to live a life with less stress is not an easy task, but it’s one that we should try to strive toward for our own well-being. If you don’t know where to begin, just try to be in the now and worry about the things that you can control.

For more advice on time management, visit or contact Soule at

by Kelsi Devolve