Caregivers: Know Thyself
We work with 100%. That’s all we have. It’s the most we can give. It can’t be stretched—be it a 24-hour day or our energy.
If we understand what’s required of us and are pretty good at organizing, we can thoughtfully work out and adopt a routine–a balance–that integrates with the other parts of our life.
But what do we do when, as often happens over time, part of the equation changes? If it requires more of us, do we give more? Then do we give less to the remaining part of our life?
Simply put: we learned in high school math, how to balance an equation. Can we make that happen in our life?
Being caregivers for aging parents requires adjustments on our part as their needs change. When our responsibilities mount and more time is required, ideally we make commensurate changes in other parts of our life to consciously balance things.
Yet imbalance can sneak up on us without our realizing it. And the unbalanced equation, if ignored, leads to burn out, stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed because we’re trying to handle everything as before. Once we realize our problem and its cause, we can act to de-stress and rebalance our life.
The first key is to recognize the problem. The second is to think about how we best de-stress ourselves. The third key is to carve out time and discipline ourselves to include de-stress time in our over-busy life.
Additional de-stressors include getting help and support from others. (See “Related” below.)
On a personal level, for a while I am going to post on Saturdays only. Being away from NY for a long period of time has changed the equation for me and I need to carve out more time for new responsibilities. I also realize I need to follow my own advice. While this is the last Tuesday post for a while, I and my Sr. Advisors will be back every Saturday night. See you then.
Changing often: “Of Current Interest.” Timely links to research and information from top universities, plus some fun stuff to help parents age well.