Time Management Tips for Balancing Care for Loved Ones
Too often it seems life throws more at us than we can handle. Balancing between careers and home life it can be difficult to accomplish everything that needs to be done each day. And while it may not be deemed a chore, caring for an older loved one can take a toll on everyone involved.
That being said, don’t forget to take your own needs into consideration. It isn’t selfish to want to take time for yourself once in a while. In fact, one of the most important things to consider when looking after an elderly family member is being able to take care of your own health first. The better you feel, the more efficient you’ll be when it comes to juggling the tasks at hand.
Writing a list is a good place to start. Making a note of each thing that needs to be completed, no matter how miniscule, will help you map out your day and ensure nothing is forgotten. Decide which tasks are the most important and tackle them first. Multi-tasking can be beneficial, but be aware of your level of efficiency when doing so.
Don’t be afraid to pencil in a little “me time” on your schedule as well. Spending an hour or so each day to push everything else aside will allow you to relax and better focus on what still needs to be done when you’re back from your mini-vacation.
Pushing yourself too hard to constantly meet the needs of your aging relatives will take a toll on your health. Stress can cause major health problems at any age, including heart disease and depression. Do your best to try and truly relax. Read a book, take a nap or work in the garden. Quite often the best way to care for your loved one is allowing your own body to unwind and recover.
Being responsible for another doesn’t have to be challenging. Managing your time efficiently and looking after your own well-being will greatly alleviate the sense of feeling overwhelmed. Take small steps each day to focus on what’s important—you may even find enjoyment in the process and discover new ways to interact with your charge while checking off that hefty to-do list.