3 Tips for Coping With Sandwich Generation Stress
You might be a member of the “Sandwich Generation” and not even know it. If you are in your 40s or 50s and raising children while also caring for a parent, there’s now a term for your situation. You’re “sandwiched” between the previous generation and the next.
Sandwich Generation stress is a rising problem, whether it’s financial stress or the pressure of having to “do it all” while raising your children or supporting a grown child and also caring for a parent or adult in your family.
It can be a lot to handle, so we’ve gathered three tips to help cope with Sandwich Generation stress:
1. Recognize Your Limitations
It’s important to recognize when you need help. There are limits on your time, mental health, and energy that you should be aware of. Asking for help can be extremely difficult, but receiving that help can also be difficult. There are barriers to this type of assistance such as not having the finances, the insurance support, or access to services.
Maybe you have a sibling who can add a few hours a week, or a neighbor or friend who can swing by to handle one or two items you usually handle. Sometimes it takes a village, and every little bit helps!
2. Consider Joining Forces
If your children are young, you might benefit from their grandparents being a source of childcare. Older children can also be a help; by spending time with their grandparents, both generations benefit. Familial bonds can be strengthened here and seniors who spend time with children tend to feel decreased loneliness.
Adults who have a task such as caring for a child or spending time with a child also feel like they have a purpose. Children who spend time with their grandparents have a better grasp of their family history and connectedness. It can cultivate long-term relationships with their relatives and improve their confidence in interacting with adults who aren’t their parents as well.
3. Self-Care Is Mandatory
Isolation and overwhelm is a major factor if you’re simultaneously caring for children and parents. Caregiver burnout, depression, a weaker immune system, and obesity are just a few possible ways your stress can manifest. Consider creating a “no excuses” workout every couple of days – even a 30 minute workout or a walk outside can do wonders for your stress levels and blood pressure, and can help mitigate the effects of stress on your body. Even a ten minute daily meditation or journaling session can help you stay mindful of your emotions and headspace.
Keep a few tricks up your sleeve too, whether it’s a break of deep breathing exercises or an activity that relaxes you in between tasks. Remember: you cannot pour from an empty cup.
If things get difficult no matter what, BridgeWater Assisted Living is here for you and your family! We offer financial assistance and all apartment homes are rent controlled. Our Community Benefits Advocates are available to assist to confirm your loved one’s eligibility, and in finding additional resources. Contact us today to see how we can lessen the load on your Sandwich Generation stress levels!