Caregiving Rule #2: Do the task at hand!

By Susanne White. Posted on Mon Jul 20 2015

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the extraordinary amount of things we must do as caregivers on a daily basis. Phone calls, medications, doctors appointments, food, bathing, insurance questions and finances are just some of things onthat monster to do list! (For info on getting help in home check out

If we let our glass half empty self begin a conversation in our heads about how we are never going to get it done, nothing is going to go right and we are going to fail, we can get pulled into a black hole of stress and anxiety.

I have learned that once I start singing the song of doom and gloom and allow the wave of hopelessness and helplessness wash over me I can get frozen and stuck and absolutely nothing gets done.

So I follow advise that was given to me to help me avoid feeling so anxious. I was told to "Do the task at hand!" In other words, tackle one thing on the to do list at a time and the list will get done.

I begin this process by writing down exactly what must get done today. That list is never as bad as I think it is once I see it on paper. Then I begin to knock off the tasks one at a time.

I concentrate on that task only and try not to worry about anything else. Once I get that first one done it gets scratched off the list and I move on to doing the next task at hand.

It's amazing how much I can get done and how much calmer I become.

Most importantly, at the end of the day I give myself a big pat on the back for doing a great job and reassure myself that anything I didn't get to today will be handled tomorrow in the same steady, purposeful way. By taking one day and one task at a time and giving myself credit for a job well done my life becomes more manageable. (For other tips on how to give yourself a break go to


About the author: Susanne White

Susanne White is a former music industry executive.

She graduated from Cabrini College, PA with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology and received her PhD in Life Studies from the College of the Seat of Her Pants.

She was blessed with the opportunity to care for her parents and ventured out on a journey that would change her life. She blogs about this journey on her site and shares her experience, strength and hope with others so that they too may survive caregiving with grace and empowerment.

Follow her on Twitter @caregivewarrior