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In just a few short weeks, summer will officially be over. If you have young children, school schedules, sports practices and other extracurricular activities will kick you into gear. Even with this help, saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer can be difficult. How do you find the motivation to get back into a routine while also providing your loved one with excellent care?

Because caregiving depends on your mental and emotional health, it’s helpful to get yourself organized as early as possible. Adopting a few small changes each week can ease you into a routine and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s explore some of the best ways that you can stay motivated as you say goodbye to summer and hello to fall!

Compartmentalize Your Tasks

Multitasking might seem like the best solution when you have a lot to do, but by 6 o’clock, you’ll notice that you’ve given a lot of things a little attention. Instead, break down your responsibilities. Purchase a planner and write down the things you need to do each day. As you complete the task, check it off. This boosts your confidence because you feel accomplished, and it ensures that you actually complete tasks.

Optimize Your Space

Give your loved one’s space an update. Clean out old papers, donate clothes that haven’t been worn and reduce clutter. A clean, tidy space will help you feel more in control in your caregiving efforts. Also take the time to restock what you can, such as toilet paper, shampoo and bottles of water.

Organize Your Schedule

Remember the planner you were supposed to buy? Use different colors to organize your caregiving duties from your personal and professional tasks. Write down everything, whether it’s giving Mom a bath, taking Dad to the doctor or calling the insurance company. This way, you can organize your schedule and not overbook yourself. If you know that showering Mom is exhausting, leave the rest of the day open.

Take Care of Your Needs

Remember – you can’t take care of someone else if you don’t take care of yourself. Create time in your schedule for YOU. Even 10 minutes throughout the day can make a difference. Download a few games on your smartphone or put a motivational CD in your car for quick refreshers on the go. Practice breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness that you can do in a short time. Aside from managing stress, eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough rest and see your doctor.

Fall is a great month filled with great things! Don’t let the lackadaisical days of the summer make you hesitant for the structured days of fall! With a bit of planning and organization, you can be effective in all of your roles.