When you’re a family caregiver it might seem as if balance is something you’ll never see again. But there are some things you can do to help achieve as much balance as possible.
Look for Ways to Delegate.
You really don’t have to do everything yourself. It might feel as if that’s how things end up more often than not as a caregiver, but that doesn’t have to be the way it goes. Look for the smallest tasks that you can assign to someone else, whether that’s a temporary or a permanent assignment. If the budget allows, make sure that you’re thinking a little bigger. Having a housekeeper come in once a week means that you can devote that time and energy you might have spent cleaning on something else.
Write Everything Down.
The human brain works in some strange ways. When you’ve got a mental to do list, you might feel as if your brain is constantly nagging at you. Getting all of that out of your brain frees you up to actually think. Start keeping a notepad nearby so that you can jot thoughts down as they occur to you. Writing those nagging tasks down can even help you to remember them better, which is another plus to writing everything down.
Look at Whether Perfectionism Is Holding You Back.
Many caregivers don’t even realize that they’re striving to be as perfect as they can possibly be. While that’s admirable, it really isn’t possible or sustainable. There’s no way to be perfect, but you can drive yourself up a wall trying to get there. Give yourself the space to be human and to know that you’re doing what you can with the resources that you have available. Leave perfectionism far behind.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up.
There are going to be days in which everything goes perfectly. There are going to be other days in which you wonder why you’re even a caregiver at all. That’s life, unfortunately. If you beat yourself up for the not so good days then you’re not going to be ready for the awesome days. Talk to yourself as you would your best friend. Support yourself and give yourself a pep talk when you need one. Just because one situation or one day didn’t go so well, that doesn’t mean you’re a terrible caregiver.
Balance looks different for every family caregiver, so don’t worry about whether you’re doing it right. What feels balanced for another caregiver might not be what works for you. Give yourself permission to find your own path.