In The Middle- The Sandwich Generation

No, I’m not talking about a middle child, or the yummy center of an Oreo. I’m referring to being in the middle – the Sandwich Generation. You know who you are. Middle aged people that have children they are raising, while caring for an elderly parent.

The Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project found that 47 percent of those who are currently raising children also have a parent requiring care who is over 65 years old. And women are almost twice as likely to be the one handling the caregiving, while working a full- time job! I have been in that situation and I can tell you first hand it is extremely stressful.

overwhelmed woman

So, who is taking care of the Sandwich Generation?

Typically, no one is caring for this over stressed group, be it male or female. Self- care is essential for this group of caregivers.  By taking a few steps to help yourself you will be able to offer the best care to your loved ones.

If you are in that sandwich generation situation here are some suggestions:

  1. Eat Healthy Foods

Junk food is not your friend, especially during times of stress. Who doesn’t crave carbs, sugar and caffeine when they are stressed? Not good choices. Eating healthy food (no alcohol), will lead to an increase in mental clarity and physical stamina. This will help you deal with the demands of being torn in several directions.

  1. Schedule Quiet Time

Find time for yourself where you don’t have to think about your demands and you can reduce anxiety. Meditation, yoga, going for a walk, taking a hot bath, or even reading a good book can all be helpful in alleviating stress.

  1. Sleep When You Can

There is nothing to feel guilty about if you can take a nap in the middle of the day. More than likely you are worn out and tired. When you are tired your body is telling you something- I need sleep. So, when you have the opportunity seize it!

  1. Laugh Hard and Often!

I’m sure you have heard laughter is the best medicine. I think it is very true. When you can, get together with those who make you laugh or watch comedies that you find funny. This is not a time to be around those that drag you down, people who are always complaining. You know the type. Honestly, I have made a point to stay away from those who alter my mood in the wrong direction. It has really helped me stay more positive and happy.

  1. Get Counseling If Need

If you feel like you need to talk with someone, your doctor more than likely willl be able to refer you to a therapist. You should never feel embarrassed to seek out help though counseling. There are trained professionals who can provide coping ideas to help you deal with the situation you are currently experiencing.

  1. Ask For Help

If a friend or family member has told you “let me know if I can help you”, take them up on it and tell them how they can help.  The more help you can get with either your children or parent the more you are going to feel like your life is manageable. If you don’t have friends or family that can help, turn to a company like Align It All who can assist with daily tasks to take some of the demands off your plate.

Being a person in the middle – the sandwich generation, caring for children and elderly parent(s), can be a very stressful situation. By taking care of yourself you will better care for those who need you. You can find more tips at Care.com for managing sandwich generation stress.

the sandwich generation

Align It All is a Personal Assistant, Errand and Concierge Service in the greater Washtenaw County Michigan area, helping people get tasks done so they have the time to do the things they need to do and live a more stress-free life.

Alignitall.com, 734-417-3824, dianeb@alignitall.com