Are you a fully paid member of the sandwich generation? Defined as a generation who care for their elderly parents whilst simultaneously looking after their own children, “SanGens” can often feel overwhelmed in their daily lives and suffer from stress, anxiety, and, in some cases, depression.
If you are currently juggling the challenging task of caring for your senior parents and your own children, then you should know that it can get better.
With a few carefully selected self-care techniques and a commitment to change, you will not only survive this difficult time but actively thrive. Read on for the ultimate sandwich generation survival guide.
Get enough sleep
Never underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep when you have a lot on your plate. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of good-quality sleep each night and don’t feel embarrassed to take a nap in the afternoon if your schedule allows it.
If you struggle to switch off at the end of the day, then you may want to try meditation or some breathing exercises which are designed to promote sleep.
Stay hydrated and eat well
When you are rushing between looking after your parents and picking your kids up from school, it can be all too easy to forget to sit down and eat a meal or drink a glass of water.
However, if you want to be able to care for your loved ones without collapsing with exhaustion, you need to ensure you are powering your body in the right way.
Avoid grabbing fast food and unhealthy snacks and instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, protein-rich foods, and good carbs. Also, make sure you are staying hydrated.
Maintain a positive outlook
Although this can be hard, especially at times when you are struggling to cope, maintaining a positive outlook on life can help to protect your mental health.
For times when you are finding it hard to see the positive side of life, it can be a good idea to make a list of everything that you are thankful for such as your home, your job, or the love of your family.
Seek external help
If you don’t think are able to give your aging parents the care and support that they need on a daily basis, it may be time to think about their long-term care options.
There are a number of excellent care homes to choose from, such as Signature care homes, which offer a wide selection of services such as nursing care, residential care, personal care, and dementia care.
Alternatively, if you feel like you need a short break from your role as a caregiver to your elderly parents, then respite care is a good choice.
Accept the help of others
If you are the type of person who hates asking for help and prefers to soldier on alone, then now is the time to break this bad habit.
When you are a part of the sandwich generation, you need to be willing to accept the help of others around you, otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk of unhealthy levels of stress and even complete burnout.