The Sandwich Generation
Most people have to go through a sandwich generation phase. This period of time between 30, 40 and 50 years can be exhausting if you balance the demands of work, children and aging parents. If you look at the complexity of the increasingly remote, technologically demanding modern workplace, it can be almost impossible to find a true work-life balance.
The challenges of the sandwich generation
Approximately one in seven middle-aged adults states that they actively support both a parent and a child. Even when it’s not about finances, the physical and emotional toll of nurturing generations before and after you can be immense.
A parent/child in the sandwich generation must consider both the health and education of their children as well as signs such as restricted mobility, pain and general exhaustion, which indicate that their parents may also need help. Combine these family matters with the fact that workplace stress increases and a sandwich person can feel hopelessly drained and out of control.
Finding work-life balance
If you feel sandwiches are squeezed, here are some tips and tricks to help you balance your workload, take care of everyone you need, and still find some time to recover, when everything is said and done.
Seeking opportunities to combine work and family life
Although it doesn’t work for everyone, sometimes you can actually combine work and family care. For example, if you can work remotely, you may be able to shorten the commute time. You may even be certified as a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse and combine caring for an older parent with work. On the other side of the coin, many parents with children with chronic illnesses are also becoming licensed care providers to implement more advanced care for their relatives.
Setting up a morning routine
While you may not be able to roll out of bed every day after 10 am after sleep, it does not mean that you cannot use the time you have each morning. Instead of dragging yourself through the movements as you prepare for work, prepare the kids for school, and make calls from mom and dad locally, look for ways to establish a healthy morning routine.
This can start with you. You may stand up in front of others. If so, set a predictable pattern that you can use to wake up slowly and productively. Include things like:
Showers with music on.
Meditate and/or pray.
make a bulletproof coffee.
Read something exciting or encouraging.
Whatever your own routine, it is worth setting one up so that you are on the right track in the morning. Once you’ve done that, you can start extending your routines to your kids and parents so everyone can start their day on the right foot.
Feed yourself well
You may not have the luxury of spending a few hours cooking regular dinners or eating in a five-star restaurant, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking care of yourself. Try to establish healthy eating habits. Make lists of healthy foods that you can use to fill your home.
If you try to fill up your body properly, this naturally increases your health and well-being, even if your day feels too full to think about yourself.
Another quick and easy way to reduce your workload is to delegate the work. While you may feel like you’re the only one who can do what you do, there are often small tasks that can be passed on to someone else, or sometimes even automated.
Think about what you do each day for work, and then look for small ways to reduce the time required without sacrificing the quality of the work itself.
Sneak in Exercise
In addition to eating, look for small ways to move. Sure, if you take care of everyone’s needs, you feel like you don’t have time, but there are ways to get around it.
For example, if you have a dog, take the initiative to walk the dog, move, and calm your mind for fifteen minutes every day. Another option might be to look for something that is short but still effective, such as downloading a 7-minute training app.
Focus on quality of sleep
You may feel that you can never get enough sleep, and that’s probably true. However, you should still try to use the sleep you can get. Make sure you:
Sleeping in an area dedicated to sleeping and only
Use things like lavender essential oil to improve your sleep quality.
Sleep in a dark room.
Avoid the blue light before going to bed.
Of course, if you strive to improve the quality of your sleep, it will help you control life more easily.
With children at school, on-call services, parents who need help, and work that always needs your attention, it’s easy to be constantly tied to your devices – which is why it’s important to do this on purpose on occasion pull the power plug. This is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Of course, you may not be able to turn your phone off and leave it there for 12 hours. What if there is an emergency? But that doesn’t mean that you should completely abandon the hiding mentality.
On the contrary, the constant attention your electronics require from you requires you to look for small ways to sometimes turn off your notifications. Whether you’re taking a shower, walking the dog, having dinner, or something else, remember to press the Do Not Disturb button for an hour or two from time to time to rest your brain a bit.
Finding work-life balance
Regardless of whether you use existing activities or are looking for new ways to delegate tasks, it is certainly possible to restore at least a low level of work-life balance in your life. This can feel particularly challenging if you’re in the sandwich generation. However, the effort to find this work-life balance is not only worth the work. It is absolutely necessary to survive in the long term.
This guest post was written by Magnolia Potter
Magnolia Potter is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She loves to write on a variety of topics, from technology to lifestyle. If she doesn’t write, she can travel far or read a good book.