Strive for Balance

I know I’m out of balance because I’m now a caregiver for my father (78) on top of being a boss and a parent and a mother.  What can I do to get things back in line?

Sheila in California, 50

Working caregivers everywhere need to strive for balance in their lives.  You have to try and eat right, exercise regularly, maintain a social life, be productive at work, and set aside the right amount of time for your family, all while being a caregiver.  I get dizzy just thinking about it, but you can do it.  It’s not hard to spot when a working caregiver is out of balance.  They might gain or lose weight, abuse alcohol or drugs, perform poorly on the job, and even neglect their own family.  Being conscious of this will help you avoid the dangerous pitfalls.

Sit back and think about what you like to do.  What makes you feel good?  Then go do it.  Maybe it’s buying a new suit, getting your haircut, going hiking or fishing in the wilderness. Many people like to go for a bike ride.  Whatever it is, you have to set aside time for yourself or you risk becoming so run down that you will not be able to be there for your elder loved one or your family and co-workers.

As a working caregiver, you have to focus on what keeps you physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally charged.  If you neglect even one of these four areas, you can become out of balance and begin to break down.  You can’t expect other people to take care of these needs for you.  Most people are trying hard just to meet their own needs.  So take a long, honest look at yourself and move forward.  Set realistic new goals and try to meet them.  You can do it.  Correct any problem areas starting today, and caregiving will become an easier challenge.

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