Enjoying puddles in the street after welcome rain.
Enjoying puddles in the street after welcome rain.

Rain brings relief to all living beings

WHEN even a moderate amount of rain falls during a protracted dry spell, people go crazy.

I have literally witnessed folks dancing in the streets after welcome falls on the weekend.

It's like you can hear a collective sigh of relief from plants, animals and humans alike.

The stress of having no water, of seeing the normally green rolling hills of the Northern Ruvers turn brown, and the water restriction levels starting to rise, has made many very irritable.

And it's not like the modest rainfall totals recorded at the weekend will make much of a difference.

Nor is it going to put many, or any, of the bushfires burning in the region out

But it was just great to witness another weather pattern at the weekend other than dry, hot and windy.

There have been many studies done that link the continuing drought to disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Drought among our rural producers causes financial hardship from increased debt on farms and the flow on impact on towns and businesses that rely on the primary producers for their own livelihood.

Drought can also negatively impact family relationships.

It is known that stress and worry can increase irritability.

And drought can lead to isolation and increased workload as fewer workers in the rural sector take on more work, partners move off the farm for additional income or for school needs, and families can no longer to go out or have a holiday.

Accessing counselling services in regional areas like ours can also become a problem.

Limited availability of mental health services to rural communities increases reliance on general practitioners to be at the frontline of watching out for signs of mental health stress due to drought.

I'd also put the ongoing exposure to bushfires high on the list of causes of anxiety.



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