Providing care for a family member is a selfless act, but it can also be tiring. It’s easy to overwork yourself and not take breaks as you try to give your loved one the care they need.
Unfortunately, achieving a sustainable work life balance can be difficult, and a failure to do so often leads to caregiver burnout. Once you’re burnt out, you won’t have the energy to give your loved one the attention they require for living comfortably.
Caregiver burnout can also lead you to experience feelings of anger, restlessness, isolation, and anxiety. It can even lead to insomnia and a weakened immune system.
To live a fulfilling and productive life as a family caregiver, it’s essential that we achieve a healthy work-life balance. Let’s look at a few tips on how to achieve this.
The level of care a loved one requires can vary. Some caregivers may only need to perform the occasional check in, while others have to be with their loved one 24/7.
We all have different capacities for performing caregiving duties, and it’s vital that we recognize what these capacities are. If we’re not aware of our limitations, we’ll quickly burn out and not be able to help our loved ones, as well as ourselves.
Pay attention to your physical and mental well-being as you take care of your loved one. You’re not balancing work and life well if you feel tired, restless, or isolated.
Once you recognize your limitations, it’s time to decide if you need help, and how much.
At Golden Care, we offer flexible in-home care options, whether it be full time or something less frequent. Setting up a schedule to bring in professional help will reduce the possibility of burnout and give you the chance to engage in a life outside of caregiving.
A lack of planning our caregiving duties can lead to us not having time for ourselves. If we stick to a schedule, we’re more likely to be productive and make time for self-care.
When we make our caregiving schedule, the most important thing is that we’re realistic about what we can accomplish in a day. Unrealistic expectations will only lead to us feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when we don’t accomplish what we set out for.
Time block your day for essentials such as personal care, medication reminders, and meal preparation. Make sure you account for breaks throughout the day and time for unexpected slow-downs. It’s important to be flexible and not get frustrated if things go away from your plan. Anything can happen in caregiving.
Also, make sure you’re carving out enough time for self-care and recovery after a long day.
Self care is a major component of the “life” part of a healthy work-life balance. If we can engage in things that rejuvenate and relax us, we’ll be able to return to our caregiving duties with more energy and attentiveness.
Once you’ve set aside time in your day for taking care of yourself, think about what brings you ease. It may be spending time outside, reading a book, listening to music, or taking a hot bath to help you recharge. Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to take time to do what you enjoy. It’ll only help both you and your loved one in the long run.
While self-care implies finding time for activities you enjoy, it also means finding time to take care of yourself in other ways.
Exercising whenever you can, proper nutrition, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night will go a long way in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Your body will thank you and provide the energy required to take on caregiving duties and participate in activities outside of work.
It’s also easy to isolate yourself from friends and other family members when caregiving takes up so much time.
Try to schedule time for social engagements. A fulfilling life is one that has room for those we love. While it may seem impossible to find that time, try your best to have a social outlet.
The most direct way to achieve work-life balance as a family caregiver is in-home care. At Golden Care, we’ll match you and your loved one with the perfect fit from our pool of professionals.
In-home care will offer relief from caregiving duties while your loved one continues to get quality care in the comfort of their home. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.