Surviving the sandwich generation

(NC)- According to Statistics Canada, about 27 per cent of Canadians aged 45 to 64 with unmarried children in the home are also caring for a senior. This so-called Sandwich Generation is caught between the competing demands of raising children and caring for aging relatives. In addition, more than 80 per cent of this generation is also working outside the home.

Being both breadwinner and caregiver to multiple generations can take its toll. Sandwiched workers are more likely than the average employee to feel generally stressed. The strain of these kinds of situations may lead to more serious health problems such as chronic general anxiety and/or major depression.

To help manage the family juggling act, Dr. Richard Earle, Managing Director of the Canadian Institute of Stress, has compiled a list of his top tips and strategies:

1. Assess your pattern of energy investment: Sit down and draw a diagram of where you spend your time and energy. Once you see your life mapped out on paper, you may quickly see where you need to readjust your priorities.

2. Lower the ideal: Make your expectations more realistic – you may decide to downgrade or drop one of the ballsou’re juggling. Remember it’s okay to say no and even to cancel plans or commitments if you find you’re just too stretched.

3. Take stock of your priorities: Work to increase your energy investment in areas you feel are truly important. Some activities may be taking up more time than they should be.

4. Take time for yourself: Too often, caregivers put themselves at the bottom of the priority list, which can put your physical and mental health in jeopardy and leave you too ill to care for others.

5. Know when to seek professional help. If you’re experiencing emotions of anxiety and helplessness that are lasting and cause significant distress, this may be a sign of more serious conditions like depression or anxiety. Speak to your doctor about treatments that can help get you feeling like yourself again. Or visit for more information.

– News Canada