Caring for our aging parents isn’t easy. Acting as a caregiver can result in unwanted stress and can put a strain on your relationships and career. Though striking that balance isn’t easy, today we’re going to share some tips on how to find a routine that works for you.
1. Prioritize and Organize
There is a “six-step process” that can help you take control of your work-life balance:
- Assess your situation
- Learn about your available resources
- Weigh your options
- Implement your plan
- Look out for changing circumstances
- Modify your plan as needed
Between work, family, and aging parents, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Before you continue, take a moment to fully appreciate what needs to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Do your parents have regular doctor’s appointments? Do your children have after-school activities that you need to take them to? Write down these errands and activities, either on a notepad or on your computer.
2. Speak With Your Employer
While we all want to show our dedication to our job, sometimes work’s demands can affect our ability to check in with our aging parents. If you find yourself in this situation, talk with your employer and try to come up with a manageable solution. Before starting the discussion, have your responsibilities and contributions laid out in order to guide the discussion towards practical solutions.
3. Reach Out to Family and Friends
Nobody says you have to care for your aging parents all on your own. Reach out to your personal network for help with your parents. If you have siblings or other close relatives, ask them to take turns taking your parents to doctor’s appointments or on errands. If you’re uncomfortable asking for this type of help, offer something in return: maybe treat them to a home-cooked meal or offer to house sit for an upcoming vacation.
4. Make Time for Yourself
There are many ways to go about maintaining your work life balance, but perhaps the most important is remembering to take care of yourself, too. Don’t neglect your own health; as much as you want to be there for your loved one, signs of exhaustion, colds, or other potential sickness will limit your ability to take proper care of them. Exercise is a natural stress reliever.