Action Plans and Overwhelming Feelings Cover Photo

How Action Plans help you Cope with Overwhelming Feelings

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Publish Date:

May 30, 2023

When we experience an unexpected event, like a sudden job loss or major life change, it can lead to feelings of overwhelm.

No matter the situation, it can be difficult to cope with when we have not had the chance to adequately prepare for it. It can be hard to know how to respond, and this can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.

To help cope, create an Action Plan to provide clear steps to follow when we feel overwhelmed, to help regulate our experience, and stay calm.

What is an Action Plan?

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An Action Plan is a set of steps to help us know what to do when we have a difficult experience like feelings of overwhelm.

By making an Action Plan, the steps in the plan makes it easier for us to know and do what will help us regulate our experience to feel calm and okay again.

You may wonder, “How does an Action Plan differ from a simple breathing technique to feel calm again?”

Why make an Action Plan?

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Action Plans improve our overall well-being by helping us build long-term, intentional habits. While Action Plans may appear as if we are addressing the current situation, the restructured thought process supports how we handle similar situations in the future.

Having an Action Plan prepared ahead of time provides us with peace of mind that we will have a course of action to take when another experience arises.

This plan takes away any cognitive load that could be required of us when we are in the throes of the intense emotions that come with the experience.

For example, in the heat of the moment, it can be hard to think clearly and plan our next steps.

With your Action Plan already in place, we can take comfort in the fact that we have a safe and secure plan of action to fall back on. This can be especially reassuring when we are feeling overwhelmed.

So, having an Action Plan ready beforehand can give us the reassurance and security to handle any experience in an effective manner.

How to create an Action Plan

So, you are ready to create an Action Plan! Where do we begin? Creating a simple Action Plan can be completed in three steps:

  1. Identify your desired outcome;
  2. Define what you need to achieve the desired outcome; and
  3. Choose how often to review your Action Plan.

Not to worry if these steps seem intimidating. We organized the process into digestible chunks in our Healthie App to ensure the success of creating an Action Plan for the first time.

Let’s begin with the first step of identifying your desired outcome.

1. Identify your desired outcome

Identify desired outcome in Psystem’s Healthie App
Identify desired outcome in Psystem’s Healthie App

Identifying your desired outcome is the first step in creating an Action Plan. To get started, ask yourself what is the goal you want to achieve and how you want to feel in that situation.

This may sound really simple, but it’s amazing how often people can have a desire for improved wellness but don’t know what that would look like for them.

The goal or desired outcome can be anything from wanting to feel calmer while in the middle of an argument to wanting to better manage your emotions when feeling overwhelmed.

Once you have identified your desired outcome, it’s time to move on to the next step of the Action Plan — defining what you need to achieve your desired outcome.

2. Define what you need to achieve desired outcome

Adding habits to achieve desired outcome in Psystem’s Healthie App
Adding habits to achieve desired outcome in Psystem’s Healthie App

Defining what you need to achieve your desired outcome is the second step to creating an Action Plan.

If you think about the desired outcome, what changes in your life are needed to make that happen? From that, think about what is the most attainable and realistic change that you can start with?

This includes anything from making time for self-care to talking to one of our coaches for guidance and support.

Our Healthie App can help you in this process with keeping track of the actions and setting reminders to support your desired outcome.

Use the Healthie App to note how often to practice your actions and add reminders to better support your wellness journey.

The next step is to choose how often to review your Action Plan.

3. Review and revise your Action Plan

Reviewing your Action Plan on Psystem’s Healthie App
Reviewing your Action Plan on Psystem’s Healthie App

Reviewing and revising your Action Plan is the third and final step to creating an Action Plan. This ensures that the Action Plan is effective and up to date with our current needs.

We are often really good at starting and making changes and not so great at staying consistent and recovering if we hit a roadblock.

Something we encourage everyone to do is to build in moments that you can review how your Action Plan is going and identify solutions to overcome any challenges you’re encountering.

Our Healthie App makes it easy to review your Action Plan by allowing you to set reminders for yourself. This can be a weekly check-in with yourself to assess how the Action Plan is working for you and if any modifications need to be made.

With Healthie, you can also set goals, track and reflect on your progress, and connect with one of our coaches for additional support in weekly check-ins for example.


A new, completed Action Plan for your wellness journey on Psystem’s Healthie App
A new, completed Action Plan for your wellness journey on Psystem’s Healthie App

When creating an Action Plan, it is important to identify our desired outcome, define what we need to achieve it, and choose how often to review our Action Plan.

By following these steps, we can create an Action Plan that will help us better navigate feelings of overwhelm.

If you haven’t already, follow us on Instagram to get regular updates. We share more tips to improve your day, stories about managing chronic pain, Psystem’s app feature demos, and more!

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