Feeling stuck and overwhelmed? It can be hard to move forward when you are overwhelmed. An action plan will get you “unstuck” so you can start on your journey to better health.
It is difficult to make progress when you are overwhelmed.
It is easy to get overwhelmed when you have food sensitivity. You want to make changes to feel better, but there is no straightforward solution, just a bunch of conflicting suggestions. Being overwhelmed puts us into the Fight, Flight or Freeze stress response. Here are some examples of how Fight, Flight or Freeze can make progress difficult:
- Fight: you constantly think about your symptoms and jump from one possible treatment to the next.
- Flight: you ignore the problem and do not make any changes.
- Freeze: you think about your symptoms and the many possible treatments but feel stuck and unable to make any changes. You are a “deer in the headlights.”
An action plan will help you move forward.
As a registered dietitian, I help clients expand their diet and feel better about eating. The most important part of my service is to listen to clients and help them make an action plan. Through this process, they decide what changes they would like to make and the order they will make them. I encourage clients to make one change at a time, if possible, so they know which changes are helpful (or possibly increase symptoms). For example, if they feel better after starting a new supplement and diet at the same time, they will not know which one was helpful. Clients have reported tremendous benefit from having an action plan, mainly because they feel less overwhelmed. If they are jumping from one treatment to the next, an action plan will help them focus on one treatment at a time. If they are too overwhelmed to make any changes, an action plan gives them small, realistic steps to follow. An action plan can also help clients that constantly think about their symptoms and possible treatments. When they notice that they are worrying about this, they can remind themselves that they are working their way through an action plan. An important part of the action plan is to withhold judgement about a treatment, until a certain date (e.g., trying a new supplement for two weeks before deciding if it is helpful). This can help clients let go of constantly thinking about their symptoms and possible treatments. In most cases, this also reduces internet research (see The Dangers of Internet Research).
The goal of the action plan is to learn more about yourself.
Each stage of the action plan is a small experiment. By working through the action plan, one experiment at a time, you will learn a learn a lot about yourself, such as what things make you feel better or worse. In my experience, clients make progress by finding several small, helpful changes that add up to a big difference. These changes are different for everyone and are found through experimentation. An action plan is a step-by-step roadmap to make the experimentation process much easier.
Like the idea of an action plan, but not sure where to start? I can help you create an action plan to expand your diet and support you through the process.