The Balancing Act: Caregiving and Everything Else
It is rare that a family caregiver’s life is not filled with responsibilities related to many different parts of their world. Most of us don’t have the luxury of only playing this one role in life, and while most people in general wear many different hats, the job of the family caregiver is particular weighty.
In addition to caring for your mom or dad, you might also be managing your job or career, raising a family, nurturing a marriage, and maintaining friendships, not to mention cultivating your spiritual life! Really, it can be exhausting, and it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day! In order to successfully navigate these deep waters, you need to put some strategies in place that will bring equilibrium to each day, allowing you to grow and bloom where you are planted.
If you’ve been doing this for a while now, you probably recognize that prayer and prioritization are two crucial practices to keeping everything in balance. Daily prayer time helps you focus and allows your Creator to guide your thoughts on how to define your priorities each day. One of the lasting impacts I have gained from COVID-19 is that of reorienting my priorities to center around the people who are important in my life rather than the tasks and responsibilities. Those relationships have come into sharp focus as a major area of precedence in my daily schedule.
One great technique to implement is to begin each week by examining every area of your life and choosing one or two tasks or activities in each that you will complete by the end of the week. You will have some activities that occur daily, and others that happen only occasionally. Take this time to ask yourself hard questions about what is really important, and then be honest as you rank your priorities. At week’s end, revisit your list and celebrate your accomplishments! Take a walk, eat a cookie, call a friend and brag. Do something to give yourself a high-five for your victory! If, however, some things didn’t happen as planned, don’t beat yourself up; instead, pray for insight, seek counsel from others, and try changing your plan for the next week. Keep in mind that the goal here is not perfection, but improvement through continuous practice. Ask any yoga practitioner, healthy balance doesn’t happen overnight, but with years of effort, trial and error.
Betsy and I hope you will join us this week here at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about how you manage to keep everything in balance.