No escaping it; stress comes with the territory of owning and operating a farm. Sometimes stress can be more than just an inconvenience or bothersome, unfortunately, it can also be downright paralyzing and deliberating.

Founder and CEO of CT Wellness Co., Cheya Thousand, recently spoke at the Alltech ONE Conference about how to manage stress and overcome burnout. Thousand teaches the importance of managing stress and leveraging self-care tactics to thrive at work and in life.

Thousand encourages us to rethink how we begin our days, by first turning our attention to our own needs. She shares that often most of us wake up and go straight to our phones and start scrolling.

“I believe self-care isn’t selfish,” Thousand says. “It is preventable. And it is preventative care for our everyday lives.”

Thousand encourages us to cut out the negative connotation that society has put on self-care and begin to permit ourselves to make ourselves a priority. While there is no cookie-cutter formula to self-care, she says people crave permission to rest and replenish.

Self-care is anything you do to take care of yourself and stay physically, mentally and emotionally well,” Thousand says.

The thing about burnout is it is real and has no strict definition.

“It is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress,” she explains.


The eight dimensions of wellness are comprised of eight different areas of our lives, which include:

Environmental                Financial                           Social                                Occupational    

Spiritual                            Emotional                        Intellectual                      Physical outlets

Thousand encourages us to think about each of these areas to help create healthy habits in these areas which can help us prioritize self-care.

“Prioritizing self-care to reduce stress helps you overcome burnout,” she says.

Self-care can add fulfillment back into our lives in multiple ways. Thousand says it wasn’t until she experienced burnout on three different occasions throughout her career that she knew something had to change.

“I was barely getting by on fumes. And a very last time I was working 70 hours a week,” she shares.

Exhausted from working all the time, Thousand says she was stressed out, highly irritable and unmotivated. Her recommendation is getting an alignment with your true self is the first step to any real self-care plan.

How do you know if you are truly burned out? Thousand says burnout can show up in different ways, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Increased irritability
  • Physical pain

Thousand also says is critical to hold space for yourself.

“It is all about living an intentional life, on purpose in all the areas of your life and how you show up for yourself daily,” she explains

Building a life outside of work can change our outlook and provide the alignment that many people are needing. “It all started with value alignment,”

Thousand shares. “What do you value? If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything.”

The Three A’s

According to Thousand, wishing and hoping for a different outcome isn’t helpful when really all it does is add further stress.

She says the three A’s of personal power can help us not only walk through stress, but to overcome it, too.

The Three A’s include:

ACCEPT – the situation for what it is.  Admitting the existence of truth allows you to see things more clearly.

ACKNOWLEDGE– The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll see the truth.

ASSESS– the situation. This is how we show up and work through stressful or unfamiliar situations to find solutions and different outcomes.

These outlets allow you to not only recognize, but also keep your cups full to prevent stress and burnout. Thousand encourages us to devote one hour a day to personal wellness that can serve as self-care and help with the alignment needed by many.