Being a into the equation, and your plate can become overwhelmingly full. can be physically and emotionally taxing. Throw working a job or
Taking care of a can feel like a job. As a result, it is important for to think about how to best manage the various tasks in their lives.
Here is how you can learn to responsibilities with your while still maintaining a positive quality of life.
The first step in this process is to sit down and draft a list of everything that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis as a .
The list may include mundane weekly tasks, such as mowing the lawn, changing your bed sheets, and taking the garbage to the curb.
However, it may also include important tasks such as attending school events for your children and completing various work projects that require a bit more attention.
For some people, writing tasks on an actual calendar may be helpful. Other people may get satisfaction from a numbered list where they can physically scratch out tasks once they have completed them.
Some people need to add a visual pop to their lists so that activities can stand out. You can do this by using different colored pens, and markers for highlighting some of the most important tasks.
Remember, technology can be useful. Setting reminders, creating to-do lists, and creating calendar events on your phone or tablet are all conducive to and .
Remember to do what’s best for your . Playing a and your for a can take a lot out of you, so this system shouldn’t put more work on your plate than is necessary.
Tip: Take your time making these lists so that you do not leave anything out. Try and pick a quiet time when you are unlikely to be distracted. If your house is too chaotic, perhaps you can schedule a lunch date with yourself where you can work on this list.
Think critically about your list. Highlight the activities that will make the most amount of time. In addition, highlight the tasks that you find emotionally or physically draining.
Try asking yourself:
Is there a pattern with any of these activities?
Do certain tasks overlap in a certain area of my life?
Also, think about what brings you joy. Some activities on your list are likely more pleasurable than others.
Which of these activities bring happiness?
Is there any way to increase the time spent on joyful activities?
Not every has the same career goals. Career goals may look different depending on if you're a or not.
In addition, caring for a , or a particularly strenuous health condition can make it harder to consider your own career goals when there are a lot of or who suffers from , dementia occupying your time.
Try writing down where you would like to be in your professional career one to five years down the line.
For instance, do you need additional education to help you reach these goals? If so, do you have the time and money to pursue this additional training while fulfilling your ? Can you get the training and education you require in a more informal way?
Be creative as you look at ways to expand your skill set.
For , it is possible that can be getting in the way of achieving or long-term career goals.
Try evaluating your current balance. If your are getting in the way of achieving your career goals.
Consider whether it‘s possible to delegate to other , family friends, or moving forward.
Depending on your circumstances, it may make more sense to start a with other members of your family who can help take on some of the burdens off of your plate and perhaps provide you with some .
In other cases, the first step in asking for help may be going to your supervisor or someone in your HR Department at work. Try letting the HR department know about your current at home. This could help alleviate some stress, and ultimately provide you with a better balance moving forward.
It can be tough managing on your own. Share which you find overwhelming with . Try brainstorming ways in which they can step up and help you with some of these tasks to help you provide the best elder care possible.
Try designing a together around each-others schedules. This can highlight that can be divided equally. Some that can be shared may include:
Taking your to .
Picking up prescribed medications, groceries, or any other helpful supplies.
Making meals and feeding your .
Helping with and bathing your .
Discuss which days of the week they’d be available to take your older for .
For example, If you are married, It may be helpful for both you and your partner to write down your daily and monthly task lists. Once these are written down, you should exchange them with each other and bounce off ideas of how to simplify this list.
By going through this list together, you may see that one person is bearing a disproportionate share of the physical or emotional labor around the house. If this is the case, work to balance with monthly tasks so that you both do not burn out.
Make sure to have these conversations when you are calm. Do not let emotions get in the way of having productive discussions that can ultimately benefit your , , and . Often, this is easier said than done, since are often tired and when we are tired, we are often more emotional than usual.
Tip: During the brainstorming process, recognize that not everyone has the same skills. Some people may be equipped to help you pick up more of the load in making dinners, for example. But, other people may be better suited to use their credit cards to go pick up a pizza. Therefore, work on accepting help in different forms.
Tip: Think about who you trust and have a good relationship with within the organization and start your conversation with them. Having allies on your side makes the process easier.
Be prepared for this meeting. Have talking points that highlight what challenges you are experiencing and also have some actionable solutions to offer.
A great way to start this conversation is to start it from a place of strength.
First, highlight what you have been doing really well for your employer recently. After that, move into how you could be doing even more and better if you had certain types of assistance. Make this a win-win for both you and your employer.
Be open and transparent and try to avoid being defensive or over-explaining why you feel the way that you do. Your feelings are valid, and you do not need to justify them.
Brainstorm with your workplace what you can do to address some of the challenges you are experiencing.
For example, would it be beneficial to shift to a instead of a more traditional 9 to 5 workday?
Would it also be helpful to be allowed to work from home on certain days of the week?
If you do work from home more, what pieces of technology could your company offer to make this process smoother?
Could your supervisor shift your projects so that they have a longer deliverable deadline? For example, if your deadlines are set a month in advance, then you can plan around hiccups and challenges in your current schedule.
A schedule or abiding by a work-from-home schedule can be helpful.
However, keep in mind that it can definitely be a cultural shift for many since there isn‘t necessarily the same opportunity to interact with colleagues regularly. Therefore, it is important for you and your employer to brainstorm ways for you to maintain a connection to your remotely.
Take your time and assess what is working and what could still use some tweaking. Coming up with an action plan is a great first step, but it is only a first step to with your . Additional work may be done to make this work.
Set up checkpoints and assess what is and isn’t working. Make sure that your checkpoints are not set too far out and that they are reasonable.
Establish checkpoints, for example, at both the three- and six-month marks. See if the changes that you have implemented have made your balance better and have improved your .
Are you happier?
Are you feeling less stressed?
What should these checkpoints include? Here are some questions to consider:
Ask your supervisor if you are still meeting or exceeding workplace expectations for someone in your role?
Ask your supervisor at a six-month review, if you are up for a future promotion and what they think your future role in the company could be?
Ask yourself, are you eating and sleeping better? Do you have fewer ?
Do you feel like you have the ability to make more time for and self-improvement?
Is the health of the that you are providing care for being affected? If so, how so?
Is it time to consider , a , or a for your ?
Do you think respite care or services for your may improve your overall ?
Are you performing
for yourself that generate feelings of joy and relaxation?
These checkpoints are not meant to be ultimate judges of success or failure. Instead, they are reminders to think about what is working and what could use more work. Remember that emotional stress can have a tangible impact on both your and physical health. It can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. Unfortunately, it can also leave you susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
As a , you need to ensure that you are looking out for your own first in order to fulfill your for your moving forward.
Whether you’re providing for an , family friend, or close relative; speak with a to receive recommendations on how to manage any stress or feelings of burnout that may arise.
A may also be able to provide to or professionals who regularly meet with such as yourself.
A Public Health Professional who focuses on aging care, specifically falls reduction, preventing delirium, and addressing barriers in the healthcare system.
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