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Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life Tips
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Stuck in the Middle: The Sandwich Generation Squeeze

If you're feeling the generational squeeze, you're not alone. The dual responsibilities of taking care of bothchildren and parents can leave "sandwichers" stressed out, anxious and resentful. Though your family obligations might be impossible to change, how you deal with daily challenges is not. The following tips will ease your pressure and help you cope with life in the sandwich generation.

  • Look after yourself first. Many sandwichers put themselves at the bottom of the priority list. Doing this can jeopardize your physical and mental health and leave you too ill or stressed to help other family members. Indulge in your favorite pastime-whether writing poetry, car mechanics, hiking or yoga-and weave it into your daily or weekly routine.
  • Create a plan of action. Sit down with the entire family and discuss the future frankly. Hammer out a long-term plan that clearly lays out each family member's responsibilities. If educational and elder care costs are causing you financial stress, try drawing up a detailed budget to ease your anxiety. A "living will"-outlining your parents' medical, financial and healthcare wishes-is also something to consider while your parents are still in relatively good health. Thorough planning can go a long way to reduce worry for everyone involved.
  • Accept that you'll have good days and bad. Frustration, stress and guilt are well known to the sandwich generation. So too are optimism, joy and love. Waves of both are natural. If you're overwhelmed by negative feelings, though, don't bottle it up. Talk to a close friend, spouse, join an elder care support group or consult your WarrenShepell EAP to help you cope.
  • Ask for help. It's easy to lose sight of your situation and become resentful or a martyr. Remember that there are others around you that can cover some of the work and bear some of the load. Hold a family meeting and create a schedule that assigns tasks to older children, your partner and your parents. Get everyone to participate as much as they're able to and reduce some of your burdens.
  • Include your elderly parents in decision making and respect their need for independence. Let your parents do what they are able to for as long as they can. It's important to help them maintain their dignity, especially when their health and abilities begin to deteriorate. Reinforce your love and support for them every day.
  • Finally, use the resources available to you. Look into child care and elder care options available in your area including day programs for the elderly. A Family Matters™ Consultant can perform a personalized search to locate child, parenting and elder care programs and services in your community.

Need more information on parenting? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with a child to elder care resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for the child to elder care resource and referral service at 1 866.468.9461 or 1.800.387.4765.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

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© 2005 WarrenShepell