It is not uncommon for caregivers to stretch their time and efforts at work beyond what’s reasonable. One of the most commonly perceived drawbacks of being a caregiver for the elderly is the amount of work involved – there’s no more time for anything else. But maintaining a work-life balance is essential in the long run.
This post gives tips on how to find work-life balance as a senior caregiver.
Why is Maintaining Work-Life Balance Necessary?
Maintaining a work-life balance is necessary for several reasons, but the most important ones are to reduce stress and to lower the risk of burnout in the workplace. Stress and burnout are classic results of overworking. So what exactly happens if you suffer from these two problems?
What Stress Does?
Stress is a catalyst for many health problems, both physical and mental. For example, stress primarily contributes to heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes and lowers the immune system’s ability to fight stress. It is also a significant aspect of various mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is being physically and emotionally exhausted from working. But more than that, it also affects our sense of accomplishment, the feeling of listlessness, lack of motivation, and other aspects of our lives. Its symptoms include getting easily frustrated over the smallest things, struggling over minor tasks, not getting excited about work, and no longer desiring to put in any effort.
Burnout will affect your performance. And as a caregiver, that is terrible news for you and the person under your care. Finding a work-life balance is the key to overcoming stress and burnout due to overworking.
How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Caregiver for Seniors?
To be able to care for another person, you have to balance that with caring for yourself. Here’s how to avoid chronic stress and burnout by finding a work-life balance as a caregiver.
Be Honest with Your Employer
Suffering from chronic stress and burnout will inevitably impact your work. However, being honest with your employer about your condition shows that you still want to give 100% in the long run. Tell your employer that you are overworked and need a break to pull yourself together.
No one can go through constant work for extended periods and not eventually break down. Companies in the caregiving business won’t let their staff get overworked if they genuinely care about the welfare of seniors and their caregivers. The companies would recognize that overworking their team will deteriorate performance and hurt the company, the caregivers, and the seniors.
Avoid Merging Your Responsibilities
One sign of not having a balanced work-life balance is blending your responsibilities at home and work. Avoid merging your responsibilities – keep work at work and away from home. It may be challenging to keep your personal and professional lives as a caregiver, but it is necessary.
Caregivers often have to live on the job because they care for someone else full-time. But with the right organizational skills, you can pull it off. Keeping a calendar and a to-do list is often helpful in managing different responsibilities in life and work.
Set boundaries of when work should be on your mind, and other aspects of your life should be the priority. Practice time management; do work when it’s time for work, and don’t let it intrude into the other facets of your life.
Make Time for Yourself
Making time for yourself may sound selfish, but it is not if you look at the big picture. Unfortunately, caregivers may get caught in the mindset of “I have to put the needs of the people I care for first before I think of myself.” And that is an often noble mindset.
However, that mindset can also trap you in a constantly working routine that will inevitably lead to stress and burnout. And when stress and burnout take over, your performance will suffer along with the people in your care.
Making time for yourself is more sustainable for you and the people you care for in the long run. Relaxing and enjoying yourself every once in a while will set your bearings right and energize you to work again.
If you want to hit two birds with one stone, why not find an activity that you and the person under your care find relaxing? Of course, this activity should not defeat the purpose of YOU relaxing, but if you can take others along for the ride, that’s a plus.
Do you have hobbies and interests you want to pursue? It would help if you took the time to chase those interests. You are not your job; it’s good to have downtime now and then. Self-care is just as important as caring for another – make time for yourself.
Talk to People You Trust
Caregiving can be a frustrating and emotionally heavy profession. Talking about your frustrations and feelings can do wonders for you and your disposition towards your job. Although professionals are great options, speaking to someone you are comfortable with and ultimately trust is best.
Staying healthy requires paying attention to yourself, which is essentially self-care. Plus, practicing healthy habits will keep stress at bay, lowering the chance of burnout. Make staying healthy a priority. Include regular exercise and sleep in your busy schedule. Taking care of yourself is one way of keeping your work life from becoming your whole identity.
Relationships help build resilience and cope with stress. Prioritize your time with family and friends when opportunities present themselves. You don’t want to miss out on hanging out with your loved ones because all your focus is on work.
Infinite Love Homecare Houses the Best Caregiver Staff in Orange, California
Infinite Love Homecare knows the value of keeping caregivers at their peak serving condition. Therefore, we offer employment opportunities – visit our website for more info. In addition, we provide various services ranging from medication reminders, companionship, transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation, mobility assistance, specialized services, and more.
You can contact us by phone at (949)-529-4130 or the form on our Contact Us page. You can find us at City Tower 333 City Blvd. West Suite 1700, Orange, CA 92868.