During COVID-19, millions of people across the world have to play a new role for the first time in their lives. Yes, it was the role of a caregiver and that too when they are already burdened with several other responsibilities such as raising a kid, handling workload at the office, and much more. Most of the time, they have to become an unpaid family caregiver, which also makes them stressed. So, if you are also a family caregiver who is struggling to navigate the pandemic to balance work and caregiving, here are the top five tips that can really help you.
Be realistic – Due to the pandemic, there are plenty of caregivers who are forced to work from home. They are compelled to meet the challenging demands of caregiving that ultimately drive them crazy and lead to exhaustion. So, first, be realistic about the things that you can do. Don’t take responsibilities that you can’t fulfill. Instead, make a list of tasks that you can manage to do along with proper handling of your professional workload. Once you have the list before you, talk with other family members to help you in caregiving or other household work.
Discuss with your employer – Balancing work and caregiving is not a cakewalk. So, be transparent with your employer. If you think your honesty may put you in a tight spot and may jeopardize your job, devise a plan to persuade him or her for offering flexibility. This may be flexible working hours or paid leaves. There are high chances that you will discover that you are not alone who is experiencing this challenging situation.
Devise a backup plan – Even if you have flexible working hours that allow you to perform your caregiving duties, do not delay in devising a backup plan. During a pandemic, things are unpredictable and soon can go out of your hands leading to frequent hospital visits and quarantine. So, keep a record of all the emergency contact numbers, health care records of your loved one, and bank information in one place. Get in touch with professional caregivers or friends who can step into your shoes in case of any emergency.
Don’t neglect self-care – According to some studies, more than 60% of caregivers find it difficult to take out time to indulge in self-care because of the dual responsibilities of office work and caregiving. Many even don’t find ample time to have their meals on time that not only affects their health but also causes emotional stress. So, don’t neglect self-care. If you can get even a few minutes of spare time, try to do things that can make you happy like a video call to your best friend, yoga practice, listening to music, etc.
Ask for help – Even the most resilient caregiver many find it tough to meet the challenges of caregiving during a pandemic that is raging across the world. So, don’t hesitate to ask for help from others. Try to figure out who can help you to make your caregiving journey less stressful. There may be respite services, an online caregiving community, or neighbors who can help you immensely. Remember, you will feel better when you have time to eat take healthy meals, and adequate rest.
You can provide quality care to your loved one when you are physically and mentally fit. Finding the best strategy to balance work and caregiving during COVID-19 is not easy for caregivers, but with the right guidance, it is not impossible to achieve. So, get in touch with an experienced caregiver or join an online community of caregivers to find the best solution.