How to Achieve the Best Work-Life Balance as a Personal Caregiver
September 19 2018
Tips to Help Find the Right Balance for You
Most people find it difficult to achieve a good work-life balance, but it can be especially hard when you care for others. One important thing to remember is that you cannot take care of others if you don’t first take care of yourself. Finding the right balance between all the things you do in life not only reduces stress, but it can also increase your focus, enhance your concentration as well as improve your overall health. Following these tips will help you to achieve a better work-life balance.
As a personal caregiver, you are constantly giving yourself to others. If you don’t spend some time recuperating, you won’t have anything left to give! This is why it is so vital to take a little “me time.” It can be so tempting to run that last errand when you have a little time, but don’t forget to do something for yourself. Take some time each day or each week to do something that makes you happy, such as reading a book, binging a favorite TV show, baking, jogging or knitting. Good self-care also means practicing good sleep habits and eating healthy.
Taking care of others can be stressful and emotional. Learning to present in the moment, allowing yourself to recognize how you are feeling, can help you to manage the emotional chaos of daily life. By practicing mindfulness, you will find that you are more productive at work, but also more present for friends and family at home. If you are new to the practice of mindfulness, there are many apps you can download that will guide you through the learning process. There are also several articles online to help you learn about mindfulness.
Manage Your Time
There are only so many hours in the day and you may find yourself wondering most days, how did the time pass so quickly? To help manage your time better both at work and at home, create a weekly calendar for yourself. Map out your priorities at work and home at the beginning of each week. Don’t forget to include activities such as personal time, exercise and family time. It’s important to include at least one activity a day that you look forward to that will bring you happiness. By writing it down, you are more likely to accomplish these activities. How much time you spend on each is up to you!
Prioritize and Delegate Tasks Each Day
You may be a superhero to many, but remember that you are still human. It may seem like there are days where it is you against the world or that you have to get as much done as possible. Reduce your stress by prioritizing your tasks at the beginning of each day. If you have too much to do but it still needs to get done, don’t be afraid to ask for help or to delegate tasks to coworkers or family members.
Learn to Say No
One key in reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed is learning to respectfully say no. By taking on too much, you will either wear yourself out getting it all done right, or you won’t do your best work. Whether it’s taking on extra work on the job or spearheading a fundraiser for the PTA, it’s important to know your limitations and to not feel guilty or have a false sense of obligation. Take time for what is meaningful to you. You won’t get that time back.
Limit Email Access
If you are constantly checking email throughout the day, it doesn’t leave time for much of anything else. Set yourself a number of times to check email throughout the day an stick to it! Also set yourself boundaries for checking work emails at home so work doesn’t eat into your personal time.
Let It Go
Don’t bring work home with you. It is important to create a division between your work life and your home life, otherwise work stress will eat into your personal life, perhaps even causing stress in your relationships at home.
Take Advantage of Your Options
If you have the option, take advantage of flex hours or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over the hours you work, then the less stress you are likely to feel.
Develop Stronger Relationships with Family and Friends
Once you have learned to better manage your time when it comes to work, chores and errands, begin to think about how to put those skills to use for spending time with the ones you love most. Schedule a weekly family night to play games or watch a movie, do a monthly dinner with friends to help keep you connected. By sticking to a plan of regular outings and activities, you will stay more connected with your loved ones and put you on a path to a healthy work-life balance.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Don’t forget that a good belly laugh can do wonders for the soul! It’s okay to take some time off from being a provider and just enjoy life. You are responsible for what goes on in your life. Make sure that you are doing some things that you enjoy.
By practicing these steps, you should be able to find the right work-life balance for you. Achieving that balance will help keep you happy, healthy and motivated. You’ll be able to enjoy your time off even more and you will also be more productive at work.