The Caregiver and Achieving Life Balance

Achieving life balance to help minimize stress and enjoy life sounds so good! For most of
us, though, it is a constant challenge, especially if we are also caring for others.

Think about this: If your car is pulling to one side or shaking at high speeds, you fix it, right? Yet, do we stop and think about how well our “wheel of life” is going down the road? Plus, we need to make sure our family’s wheels are also running smoothly. Most caregivers focus so much on everyone else that their own wheel is wobbly and may even be flat.

caregiver-wheelThis Caregiver Wheel of Life has eight spokes representing areas of our life: Physical, Spiritual, Emotional/Mental, Personal, Vocational, Social, Recreational and Financial.

If the center of the wheel is 0 and the outer edge is 10, how well are you doing in each area?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How bumpy is my ride?
  • Am I taking care of my own needs, including time for myelf?
  • Am I taking care of myself physically?
  • Do I spend quiet time in prayer or reflection?
  • How am I dealing with the difficult emotions associated with caregiving?
  • Am I worried about paying my bills?
  • Am I spending time with friends and family?

We need our wheel as well balanced as possible to effectively handle the daily stress of caregiving and ensure a smooth ride for us and our family.

Pick one area that is out of balance. Start with setting aside 15-20 minutes each day to start improving that area. You could go for a walk or spend quiet time in prayer/reflection or do something you enjoy. Once you commit to align all areas of your life, take baby steps each day to balance your wheel as you continue on the journey of caregiving.

Jan Schleicher
Director of Caregiver Support
Wellspring Lutheran Services – Fairview