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Balancing life — taking care of you

Spring is the perfect time of year to focus on finding balance in your daily life. Cleaning out the clutter and focusing on you helps you better care for those around you.

Work/life balance for caregivers

Many caregivers are juggling careers and children as well as taking care of a parent or spouse. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important for the health and wellbeing of the caregiver and those around them.

Organization is half the battle

It may seem daunting at first but creating an organizational system and having a plan in place for everyday situations as well as emergency situations will help keep life running smoothly and give peace of mind when it doesn’t.1

Know your options

There are tools available to help navigate the balance between having a career and being a caregiver. Asking Human Resources if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a start. An EAP can offer counseling, legal and financial referrals, or connect employees with non-profits that can provide aid. Knowing the options and tools available can ease the stress of being a caregiver.2

Do what’s right for you

Making the decision to either continue working or transition to caring for a loved one full time can be extremely stressful. No two caregiver situations are alike, and there are many factors that determine the best solution. Making the decision that is right for your individual situation is important for your health and the health of your loved ones.3

April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress is a part of everyday life, and how we handle it can impact our health both physically and mentally. Identifying stressors and finding positive ways to tackle stress is the key to a healthy, balanced life.

Paying with our health

A survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that money was the top source of stress, followed by employment, family responsibilities and health concerns. Those experiencing extreme money-related stress were more likely to manage their stress through sedentary or unhealthy behaviors. One in five Americans said they have no emotional support, and 21% of those who feel they have no emotional support made no lifestyle changes because they are too stressed.4

Tips to manage stress

It’s important to find healthy ways to process stressful situations. Try a few of these strategies to help you cope when you’re feeling stressed:5

  • Take a time-out. Removing yourself from the situation for a few minutes helps you to focus on the situation more objectively.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Healthy eating helps fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function well.
  • Get enough sleep. Additional sleep and rest can help lessen the effects of stress on the body.
  • Talk to someone. Tell your friends and family about your feelings of being stressed and overwhelmed; tell them what you need them to do to help.

World Health Day: April 7th, 2016 — Beat diabetes

Stress can take a physical toll on the body and can alter blood glucose levels, which can be dangerous for those with diabetes.6

Simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and weight and regular exercise can help manage stress levels and can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.7 Keeping a balanced life and managing stress will foster a healthy body and mindset.

Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.

Resources

  1. Strategies for Getting (and Staying) Organized While Caregiving; https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/strategies-for-getting-and-staying-organized-while-caregiving-164830.htm; Accessed March 2016
  2. The Working Caregiver: Issues Faced with Working and Caregiving; https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Caregiving-Issues-and-work-95637.htm; Accessed March 2016
  3. Tips for Family Caregivers Who Are Considering Leaving Their Job; https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Things-to-consider-before-leaving-your-job-185948.htm; Accessed March 2016
  4. Paying with Our Health Survey; https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2014/stress-report.pdf; Accessed March 2016
  5. Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress; http://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress; Accessed March 2016
  6. How Stress Affects Diabetes; http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/mental-health/stress.html; Accessed March 2016
  7. World Health Day 2016: Beat diabetes; http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2016/event/en/; Accessed March 2016