How can I avoid caregiver burnout?
Psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, explains how setting manageable priorities is a key strategy for caregivers, and what it really means to find ways to "cut corners."
RAMANI DURVASULA: One thing that I always say to people is find a way to cut corners. [MUSIC PLAYING]
One of the things we've talked about is this idea of being a good enough caregiver, rather than the super caregiver.
And that really may mean that sometimes you cut corners. You order dinner out. You purchase the birthday cake.
You have someone else pick the kids up from school. Sometimes, cutting those corners and not feeling that you have to be perfect which
is very much a head game-- but if you can let that down and let that go, sometimes that can be a way of saying, OK, I can handle this.
Another thing I really strongly suggest to people is that you not try to create a to-do list that's
100 items long or have 50 priorities that day, because you are guaranteeing that you will fail. So a real key, then, becomes that you
have this rule of three, which is three key priorities that you must get through that day. Those could be work deadlines.
They may be related to your children. They may be related to an older parent that you're taking care of. You must get those done.
And once those are done, probably everything else will fall into place. Or maybe not-- that you will find ways to cut corners,
for example, to get dinner on the table, so you get the deadline done. But I do think it's about keeping those priorities manageable, finding ways
to cut corners, and more than anything, allowing yourself to realize that good enough is more than enough.
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