What’s the key to living a healthy and happy life? The answer may be different depending on who you ask but there is one element that is required for everyone – balance.
How do people typically spread their time?
- Their work
- Their families
However, it’s not unusual for the first two on the list to crowd out the third.
Each group is important but finding a way to keep things in balance will help you realize more success in each area of your life, instead of feeling that you’re failing at one or more of them.
Easier said than done? Definitely. But it can be accomplished with a little planning and preparation.
Your senior living career
As a caregiver in senior living, your days are filled with taking care of others. It can become easy to slip into the habit of neglecting your own needs. Helping those who are vulnerable and rely on you is critical work but it can also be demanding.
You may find yourself continuing in the caregiver role when you return home as well. If you have children or a partner, they may turn to you for help or to provide what they need. You may also find yourself caring for older parents or other family members.
One of the harmful traits that caregivers often share is that they tend to neglect their own health – both physical and emotional. But you still need the basics – a healthy diet, the right amount of sleep, exercise and strong relationships.
Tips for bringing balance to your senior living career, family and your life
The following suggestions can help you achieve stability and a sense of balance – or at least work towards the goal.
- Recognize the stress of your job
Providing caregiving services is hard work but also rewarding. Striving to meet two objectives can make a big difference.
The first is to work for organizations that recognize the importance of balance and who support the efforts of their staff to achieve it.
The second is to leave your job behind at the end of the day. Having a real break will help you be a better caregiver.
- Talk to your family to help you achieve balance
Do others seem to rely on you to carry the weight of the family’s daily life? If so, it’s important to have a discussion about sharing the workload. But be careful that you are not sending the unintended message that you don’t really need help.
Find ways to get everyone to pitch in and spread the tasks and responsibilities. Remember, even younger children can help.
- Commit to taking care of yourself
Work out, eat right, get enough sleep and surround yourself with positive and supportive people. These steps will go a long way to promoting balance and placing a priority on taking care of your own needs.
It’s also OK to pamper yourself a little. Taking a long bath, a walk or arranging to sleep in on a morning you have off can do wonders for your outlook.
- Take a break
It doesn’t have to be a two-week vacation but make sure you do take your days off and enjoy the break. You might need to catch up on other responsibilities or run errands, but try to fit some time in that is relaxing.
Think about activities you enjoy and schedule them. It could be going to the gym, having lunch with friends or reading a good book before you go to sleep every night.
- Assess your priorities
Instead of frantically approaching each day to get everything done and then feeling bad when you come up short, be realistic and set priorities. What is the most important task that needs to be completed? What can be rescheduled for later or let go all together?
You need to find a balance between what you can offer at work and at home. You may have to learn to accept that you can’t be everything to everyone and be OK with doing the best you can.
- Accept that sometimes you’ll be out of balance
Life is unpredictable and there are times when one area will demand more of your attention, disrupting your attempts at balance. Several staff members may be out sick, you have an ill child, or an older parent needing more care and attention are a few examples.
It’s easier to put forth your best efforts to live a balanced life while understanding that it won’t always be possible. What’s important is to be kind to yourself and know that you will try again tomorrow.
Joining the team at Sinceri Senior Living
Joining the team at Sinceri Senior Living” headline changed to read: “Sinceri Senior Living specializes in independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing, fostering deep bonds between those who live and work in our communities – just like families.
We extend our commitment in creating this welcoming environment to our employees who form strong relationships with the residents and their coworkers. In fact, many of our team members think of the community they work in as their second home because of such strong connections.
The caregiver’s role is to first make our residents feel safe and secure. We strive to ensure everyone we hire is generous, compassionate and as committed as we are to provide excellent service at every opportunity.
We understand the stress that caregivers can experience and the challenge in trying to stay one step ahead of what a resident or family member might need or desire. We fully support their efforts as it truly takes a team to provide quality senior care.
If you’re interested in becoming a care partner with Sinceri Senior Living as we strive together to exceed expectations, we hope you’ll be in touch.
We also invite you to download our complimentary guide, Simple Self-Care for Caregivers and CNAs: 6 Ways to Take Care of Yourself so You can Care for Others, which includes helpful tips and steps you might try.