June 15, 2022 @ 12:00am

Tips for handling the responsibility of being a “sandwich” parent

For caregivers who care for both their children and their parents, it can be easy for stress to build up. Michelle Goetting, Patient & Family Services Coordinator at Black River Memorial Hospital, offers five tips for managing it:

  1. Get back to the basics

Getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, nutritious food, drinking plenty of water, and moving your body every day can have a profound, positive impact on anyone's health.

  1. Unplug

Reducing screen time gives our brain and body time to recharge. It is easy to make ourselves so available to others at all times via phone, email, Zoom, social media, etc., and it’s not doing us any good in terms of reducing stress.

  1. Use your time off from work

Making sure to use your vacation time is just step one. Step two is actually using your time off as time off. Leave your work at work. Know that it’s OK to set boundaries and say no.

  1. Ask for help

Asking for help has developed a negative stigma as we’ve gone from being a “we” society to a “me” society. When we need help, it is OK to ask for it and realize that people usually like to help. That old saying “It takes a village” is absolutely true.

  1. Self-care

It’s counterproductive to try to care for others if you aren’t caring for yourself. If you’re enduring chronic stress and notice you’re not eating or sleeping well, your mood is off, you’re irritable, or you’re having health problems, check in with a professional.

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