Managing Your Wellness When Caring for Teens and Elderly Parents
As part of the sandwich generation, that midlife period where we have kids still at home and elderly parents to care for, it’s important to manage your own well being just as well as you care for others.
The challenges of caring for two generations under one roof can be daunting. After all, within the course of an hour you could be dealing with a rebellious teenager and in the next minute the irritability of your father.
Additionally, costs can mount. As teens begin to drive, play in various sports or extracurricular activities, the demand for money rises as well. Elderly parents bring their own set of needs, ranging from chauffeuring to specialty items like chair lifts and electric scooters.
Helping your family is important. Helping yourself is just as important. Manage your health to manage your stress with the following tips:
Proper nutrition can go a long way to keeping you in balance mentally and physically. Reduce salty and fatty foods and focus on increasing vegetables and whole grains.
It’s amazing how 30 minute walks each day can brighten up your mood. 30 minutes is easy to accomplish, even with a busy schedule. Just walk for 15 minutes, then turn around and head home.
Take Spa Breaks
Be sure to take breaks and pamper yourself. Schedule a massage. Get a pedicure. Have someone care for you for awhile.
Recognize your Breaking Points
Be sure to monitor your moods and learn to spot signs that you’re mentally exhausted. Learn ways to relieve tension before it manifests into an unhealthy feeling. Breathing exercises can be a great technique to learn.
Being a part of the sandwich generation might seem like new phenomena, but it isn’t. Only in recent history have families been separated into separate households or even towns. For much of history, families lived within the same household and the elderly cared for the young and vice versa as the middle generation harvested or hunted.
And remember, this is part of your midlife journey. This is an opportunity to enjoy time with young and old family members, creating memories that will be cherished by everyone. Be sure to take care of yourself so you can truly enjoy this experience.