Caring for children or an aging parent can be a rewarding experience and an extension of your love. It can also be physically and emotionally draining at times. If you are a member of the "sandwich" generation, with the responsibility of both children and parents, the daily demands can reach a level of burnout if you do not take care of yourself first.
It is so easy to be pulled into the spiral of your job, caregiving, household chores, shopping and a myriad of other tasks that you are the last on the list of priorities. In an attempt to be a good parent or son/daughter, you forget about the most important person of all... you!
Here is a list to help you successfully get through each day with better health, peace and comfort:
- Take time to talk to friends, even if only on the phone, on a regular basis. You need support too
- Fuel your body with nutritious food. Your energy level depends on it.
- Fit in regular exercise, something you enjoy. It's okay if you only can fit in 15 minutes at a time. It still works!
- Sleep is your rejuvenator, so make it a priority. Turn off the TV at night and turn in earlier
- Ask for help. Tap into local resources for assistance, especially with eldercare. Call your local Office for the Aging for guidance.
- Set realistic expectations. Your house does not have to be spotless and every meal gourmet. Decide what is really, really important and relax with the rest.
- Rather than use alcohol or drugs to calm you, learn a relaxing technique, such as meditation or breath work.
- Laugh. Watch funny movies, YouTube videos or read comics. Laughing gets the endorphins flowing.
- Join a support group. Being around other people who totally understand your frustrations and who can share ideas and solutions that worked for them is priceless
- If you have a spouse or partner, remember to take time to nurture that relationship and communicate your feelings to prevent isolating yourself from them.
When you look back on this time, you will know that you provided nurturing, love and support for the most important people in your life. Be sure you are keeping the most pivotal one at peek performance. You are too valuable to take less care of yourself than you would of those you love. If after following all of these steps, you are still stressing out, call for a complimentary consultation for my stress program.