Many of us are caring for a loved one or know someone who is. While caregiving is a rewarding role, it can also be a challenging one, especially when you also have full time or part time work responsibilities. Juggling the demands of caregiving and work is a delicate balancing act, and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and even burned out.
If you are in this situation, it is important to know that you are not alone. Thankfully, with some planning and support, there are many ways to successfully manage both roles. Here are 7 tips to help caregivers reduce their daily stress:
Prioritize Your Time for Caregiving. As a caregiver, you may find that there are times that your loved ones’ needs take priority over your paid job. If this is the case, it’s essential to be organized. Make a schedule that includes your caregiving responsibilities, work hours, and any other important tasks at the beginning of every week. You may even want to order your responsibilities by priority to help you visualize your tasks and ensure that you’re meeting all of your caregiving obligations.
Communicate with Your Employer About Your Caregiving Needs. It’s important to communicate with your employer about your caregiving responsibilities at home, especially when you’re struggling to balance them with your job. Don’t hesitate to have a discussion, as there may be work arrangements available to you, such as a hybrid role or flexible hours. Many employers are willing to work with caregivers to find solutions that work for everyone.
Take Advantage of Caregiver Support Programs. Support is out there. Many organizations offer benefits that can help you manage your caregiving responsibilities. Some of these benefits include employee assistance programs, counseling services, or paid time off for caregiving. Take advantage of these benefits to get the support you need and reduce stress in your busy life.
Connect with Other Caregivers. Caregiving can feel isolating, and it can be helpful to seek out support from others who are going through similar experiences. Look for support groups or online communities for caregivers, or consider working with a caregiver coach or counselor who can help you manage your stress and find balance. You may be surprised to find that there are many other people who can sympathize with your situation and provide great advice based on their own experiences.
Take Care of Yourself. It’s important to prioritize your own health and well-being. It can become a habit as a caregiver to put your own needs last. This can significantly hamper your ability to take care of someone else. You can’t do your best work when you aren’t feeling well. Some ways to prioritize your own well-being include making time for exercise, healthy eating, and self-care activities like meditation or yoga. When you take care of yourself, it will help you better manage the demands of caregiving and your paid job.
Consider Hiring Respite Care. You may want to consider hiring respite care providers who can take on some of your caregiving responsibilities while you’re at work. Hiring help can be expensive, but if you are able to, it may be worth the investment to help reduce your stress and improve your quality of life.
Look Into Time-Saving Services. As a caregiver, your time is valuable and you want to spend it caring for your loved one. You may want to investigate services that help cut down on the amount of errands. Look into getting things like meal kits or medications delivered to cut down your time at the grocery store and pharmacy. Services like PersonalRX can save you even more time by eliminating the need to sort your loved one’s medication with our pre-dosed packs. Delivery services like these can give you back valuable time and ease your stress.
Juggling caregiving responsibilities with a paid job can be challenging, but with some planning, support, and self-care, it is possible to find balance. With these tips, you can better manage your caregiving responsibilities while also meeting your work obligations. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help and prioritize your own needs – this will ultimately help you feel happier and healthier, which in turn will help you to be a better caregiver and employee.