5 Signs Your Life is Out of Balance and How to Fix it

Mar 28, 2016

5 Signs Your Life is Out of Balance and How to Fix it

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Sometimes life seems like a balancing act. It’s difficult to manage work, personal life, and every other aspect of life. This balance becomes even more difficult to achieve when a lot of personal time and energy are going into someone other than yourself. Unfortunately, the caring and compassionate aspects of caregivers tend to make them more susceptible to things like caregiver burnout and an imbalanced life.

5 Signs Your Life is Out of Balance

Certain changes in a caregiver’s personality, relationships, and health are dead giveaways that his or her life is out of balance, and imbalance can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. Here are five warning signs of imbalance in a caregiver:

  1. A Negative Attitude: When life is a little whacky, people can get stressed or frustrated causing a negative shift in attitude. A negative attitude can quickly become an issue because it will negatively affect a caregiver’s personal and romantic relationships.
  2. Sleep Troubles: If a caregiver finds that they are not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, it may be a sign that things aren’t well. These two extremes usually bring with them a sense of constant lethargy.
  3. Constant Frustration: Caregivers are typically extremely patient people. After all, they deal with very complicated and delicate situations on a regular basis. A major sign an individual’s life may be out of balance is if a caregiver starts becoming easily frustrated or angered by situations that are normally tolerable.
  4. Bad Eating Habits: For some this may mean eating too much, for others it may mean not eating enough. Individuals that binge eat typically find themselves eating far too many sweets and fatty foods, leading to health issues such as weight gain. On the opposite end of the spectrum, those who don’t eat enough can find themselves deprived of the vitamins and nutrients they need to live a healthy life.
  5. Lack of Exercise or Physical Activity: Exercise doesn’t just help the body feel good, it helps the mind as well. Exercise and physical activity cause the body to produce endorphins, which act as a natural painkiller and help relieve stress. If a caregiver is not getting enough physical activity in one form or another, it may be a sign his or her life is out of balance.

Tips for Finding Balance

If a caregiver finds himself or herself suffering from any (or all) of these signs of imbalance – don’t worry! These simple steps will help any individual achieve balance in life.

  • Create a Schedule: Planning for the day, week or even month can help make things less hectic. Of course, as a caregiver, it is also important to plan for the unexpected, which will undoubtedly happen at some point. Otherwise, a caregiver should always schedule ahead for everything possible in an effort to lessen any chance of becoming overwhelmed.
  • Talk to Someone: If a caregiver is frustrated, sad, or worried, it is important that they talk to someone about how they are feeling. Some people find comfort in speaking to family and friends that know their situation, while others prefer to speak with professionals. Either way, venting to someone can help caregivers feel less alone in their situation.
  • Prioritize: Everything must have a recognizable value and level of importance. For example, most people would list relationships and friendships as a high-level priority, while a low-level priority might be unnecessary activities. Weeding out unnecessary things will help a caregiver put things in perspective.
  • Plan Free Time Out of the House: Caregivers should plan time out of the house every week, so they can unwind without worrying about the individual they are caring for. Planning ahead for this is crucial so that the caregiver knows and trusts that their beloved caree is in good hands while they are de-stressing.
  • Pick up a Hobby: Whether a caregiver wants to pick up a new hobby or rekindle a passion for an old one, to ensure balance they should be partaking in a little me-time every day. For example, a caregiver that loves tending to their garden should be sure to arrange about an hour per day to care for it. No matter what a caregiver’s interests are, it’s important that they have a little time each day just for themselves.

Everyone’s life may seem out of balance at one point or another. What’s most important is to recognize the warning signs, and learn how to bring balance back into their lives so they can continue living the happy and healthy life of a caregiver.

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Frequently Asked Questions

My mother has Alzheimer's disease, and lately she's been wandering out of the house. What can I do to stop her wandering?

Wandering can bring forth loads of anxiety in any caregiver, but thankfully, there are many things you can do to put a stop to the wandering, or at least decrease it. The first thing you should do is secure your house. Replace locks and doorknobs with ones that are more difficult to open. Put up an alarm system so that if the door were to open, you will be alerted immediately.

At times it’s difficult to prevent this completely, especially with some very persistent individuals. But, there are things you can do to keep the situation from becoming hazardous even if an individual wanders. For example, always make sure the individual has some sort of identification on them. You could also put up a fence as long as it’s a reasonable option.

If you find that the issue of wandering is out of your hands and may result in your loved one getting hurt, it may be time to consider other options. This may include hiring outside help in the form of an in-home health aid or moving your senior to a senior living community that specializes in memory care.

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I take care of my father at home, he was diagnosed with Dementia, but it seems to be worsening, what should I do?

Seek the help of a physician. If Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia, is caught in the early stages, there is a lot of preventative care and treatments that physicians may offer your father to maintain, and even increase, quality of life. Make notes of any of the common Alzheimer's signs or symptoms your father might show.

If you find that taking care of your father is becoming too burdensome on you, consider having other family members help or hire outside help. There are in-home health aides, as well as adult day care centers that have staff specially trained for seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer's.

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