Solutions for Stress for the Sandwich Generation

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If you are a part of the sandwich generation (like I am) here are some solutions for stress especially for you! Tweet This!

Are you in your thirties, forties, and fifties?  Are you caring for young children and caring for aging parents? Then you are a member of the sandwich generation!

The term ‘sandwich generation’ was coined to mean that a person is supporting two generations. The caretaker is often the “meat” that makes up the gist of the sandwich – the main ingredient.

As the caretaker, you are sandwiched in the middle of these two responsibilities, both of which can come with a great deal of stress.

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Double Shift, Double Duty, Double Responsibility

Being a caretaker to your children is a big responsibility. It can be stressful at times and that stress can show up in your body physically. Add being a caretaker to your elderly parent and that stress compounds.  You definitely need to think about solutions for stress and burn out.

Thanks to the longevity of the elder generation, more adult children stepping in and become part of the sandwich generation.

Some do it out of a sense of duty!  They were raised to believe it’s their responsibility to care for their aged parent.

Others do it out of love – they can’t imagine putting their parent into a nursing home.

Personally, I do it out of a sense of duty and out of love!

Whatever reason you step up to the plate, you need to know the responsibilities. You also need to know how to deal with the stress beforehand.  Knowledge and awareness can go a long way in making the situation smoother for everyone involved.

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Here are my best solutions for stress for the sandwich generation:

Solutions For Stress – Take a weekly luxurious bath.

When you have the responsibility of caring for a child and caring for a parent nothing might feel as indulgent as taking a luxurious bath.

 Taking a little time for yourself, even just an hour, to soak in a bath can help you process the stress that you experience every day. Lock the door, fill the tub with hot water, add some bubble bath or a bath bomb, and just soak!

You can transform your bathroom into an essential nurturing space in your home. Tweet This!

Nurturing spaces are places you truly love or that bring you pure joy. Some spaces might make you feel incredibly relaxed while others energize you or encourage your interest in something special.

Regardless of who you are, what interests you have, or the type of work you do, you deserve to create and relish nurturing spaces in your home.  In the living room, family room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

These are the kinds of self-help solutions for stress that every woman in the sandwich generation should master.

Transform your bathroom into a relaxing nurturing space

  1. Get a large glass decanter and fill it with an assortment of seashells (or anything else that would be relaxing or soothing for you).  I live within 5 minutes drive from a beach and the beach is supremely relaxing for me.
  2. The beach shells remind me of my last adventure at the beach, but you may prefer to use something that is more relevant for you.
  3. You could use a table lamp that harkens back to the time you went to a flea market in your favorite vacation spot.

Take advantage of relaxing aromatherapy with scented candles or potpourri and let luxurious bath oils, bubbles, or salts pamper and nurture you with every bath.

 Indulge in some gardening therapy.

Whether you grow fruit and vegetables for your family to eat or you just want to cultivate some bright, cherry flowers, gardening is one of the best remedies for stress.  ( I love growing spinach, it’s fast-growing, low-maintenance and super nutritious!)

 You can plant whatever you like and then spend a few hours a week watering, weeding, and taking care of the plant. There is something soothing about seeing a plant grow and thrive.

Gardening is a quiet, introspective activity. Tweet This!

More and more psychologists and physicians are prescribing gardening for stress therapy. Gardening allows you to enjoy an activity that’s nurturing and gives back whatever you put into it.

Gardening teaches patience that over-stressed, highly anxious, high-achieving ambitious women (myself included) don’t often seem to possess.

Beat Burnout with Gardening Therapy

If you’re facing burnout and stress from work or your personal life, gardening is one of the best remedies for stress.  It’s an activity that gets you outdoors and actually helps to lower your blood pressure.

Gardening can also give you a safe place to take out your frustrations. Mad at your co-worker?  Imagine that face on every shrub you prune. Need to work out some anger?  Pull weeds.

And if you really want to work out some emotions, get an ax and chop the dead branches into mulch. In these ways, you get something constructive out of negative emotions.

Even if your thumb isn’t very green, you can set up a Zen rock garden surrounded with easy care plants in small flower pots.

Gardening might just become addictive – and it’s a good addiction – one that can dramatically diminish your stress and provide tranquility as you cope with the demands of raising kids and taking care of your aging parent.

Get help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your responsibility, one of the best solutions for stress is to ask for help. Tweet This!

  1. Hire a babysitter to watch your children a few afternoons (or even just one afternoon) a week.
  2. Pay someone to clean your house once a week or even just once a month.
  3. Employ a senior care aid to help with an aging and ailing parent. There is nothing wrong with getting help when you are overwhelmed.

The benefit and value of getting help is that it allows you to make time for yourself!

Not having time to unwind and refresh is the leading cause of burnout among professional women who find themselves in the sandwich generation.  The emotional toll it takes can be difficult to deal with.

Make sure that you plan time for your children and your spouse so that they don’t end up feeling neglected.

Scheduling weekly luxurious baths, embracing gardening therapy, and getting help are three of my top solutions for stress for professional women in the sandwich generation.

Having simple, practical and effective solutions to your stress in place will help you stay balanced, happy, and fulfilled in your relationship with your children and in your relationship with your aging parents.stress-management-activities

I don’t want your education on easy, effective, enjoyable stress management strategies to end here, so I’ve created a FREE  guide to teach you how to put 50 of my TOP stress management activities to work in YOUR life!

Grab the FREE guide  here to start your life changing journey!

An Inspirational Quote For YOU!

I am a member of the ‘sandwich’ generation, that group that must simultaneously care for elderly parents and support children. Sandra Tsing Loh. Tweet This if this applies to you!

Just know that I am here for you and I would love to hear from you!

Use the comment box below to share your thoughts with me on these two questions:

  1. What is the most stressful factor for you as a member of the sandwich generation?
  2. What do you do to manage your stress as a member of the sandwich generation?
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  1. These are great tips. If you are the care giver you must take care of yourself. It may seem like no time or selfish but if you go down the sandwich collapses!

  2. These are fab tips! I think that finding time to take care of ourselves when we are taking care of our loved ones is one of the biggest challenges that women face.

  3. This is such a great post. I think that it is so important to remember to take time for yourself and find a way to relax and de-stress, and to also not be afraid to ask for help in some way.

  4. Darlene Berkel says:

    Haralee, Ellen, & Jennifer…Thanks for your comments. The caregiver is indeed the heart of the sandwich. Finding ( no MAKING) time to take care of ourselves is one of the biggest challenges that trigger sandwich generation stress. Of all the strategies I use, aromatherapy and gardening are my favorites. All it takes is 10-15 minutes to refresh and relax your body, mind and soul. Let’s make a commitment to JUST DO IT!

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