Color & Control:

Publisher’s Message

Finding Balance in a Wobbly World

Work deadlines are piling up and you have a big client presentation due next week. The kids need to be taken to after school activities and the nanny has gone home sick. As if that isn’t enough you receive a call from your mother to say that your father has fallen again and hit his head. He’s on the way to the hospital by ambulance. 

Sound familiar? If you are the adult son or daughter of aging parents, you’ve likely had or will have times like this. Life as a caregiver can be a bit of a tightrope with conflicting responsibilities and the need to juggle lots of things at the same time. 

More than 28% of Canadians are combining work and caregiving these days. That’s 5.2 million of us between the ages of 19 to 70. Helping and supporting someone leads to some wonderfully fulfilling moments but, chances are, it also leads to times of considerable stress as well. Experts suggest that since the onset of the pandemic, 69% of caregivers said their mental health has deteriorated.

Research also shows that if you’re a caregiver who is struggling to balance caring with working, you are not alone. In fact, most work full time (women 74%, men 88%) and many claim that they have been forced to decline promotions or travel, reduce their work hours or quit their jobs entirely due to caregiving responsibilities which has impacted their financial situation. (Annual earnings are under $40,000 for 43% of caregivers).

Here are some practical tips from the folks who studied the longevity of people living in the world’s Blue Zones. Hopefully they’ll help you think about your own well-being for a few minutes a day in order to build up the resilience to manage day-to-day stressers at home and work:

• Head outside and soak up 15 minutes of sunlight and fresh air

• Get together with friends to have fun, complain and lend each other support 

• Plan a happy hour or a time for a daily downshift

• Make friends with someone older or younger than you

• Call your grandparents or an elder you trust and respect for an uplifting chat

• And, last but not least… Don’t take life too seriously and laugh regularly. Remember, in the game of life, humor is the ace up your sleeve that can help you regain your footing and find balance in a wobbly world.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall,
Editor in Chief

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