Why does Meal Planning Seem Overwhelming?

Meal Planning- For some people, this can be a new concept, it may be scary, overwhelming, as well as not having any idea where to start. I can totally relate to those feelings. As can many others. When you are dealing with life after trauma, a simple task as to what to make for dinner can be a tear-worthy moment.

Sitting in the chair, thinking of all the things that you need to accomplish in the house. Leads to overwhelming thoughts and anxiety for some. It can lead to a complete shutdown accompanied by tears. Thoughts and feelings racing through your mind about how horrible a mother, wife, or woman you are because you can do something as simple as to think of something for dinner. Sound relatable?

That was my life.

You feel so drained just going into your day that you have nothing left to offer by the evening. Take-Out it is. So when I took that first step in healing my trauma, we worked on me just being able to get through a day without having multiple complete meltdowns. At the time I couldn’t even think about dealing with my trauma, I just wanted to not cry so much, over what I felt like was nothing.

Tips to Help Make That Happen.

  1. Make a list- this may seem like an obvious thing to do, but in reality, it wasn’t at the time.
  2. Prioritize your list- categorize what things have to be done ASAP, then into what can be done next week next month, and so on.
  3. Start your day by doing something for you first- Fill up that cup. This may take a lot of effort but even if you can get up 5 mins before you normally do and listen to quick morning meditation. Or maybe doing a 5-minute yoga stretch before walking out of the bedroom.
  4. In between each task do something small for yourself- This again doesn’t have to be big extravagant things. Sit and catch up on your show, have a shower, paint your nails, do some deep breathing. Whatever feels good to you at that time.
  5. End the day doing something for yourself- Just like the morning! This is a good time to Journal put down on paper your thoughts and feelings about the day, list things you are grateful for, and things you like about yourself.

Isn’t this about meal planning?

YES!– Ok, Lets now talk about meal planning. I couldn’t give you another thing to add to your list if you are already feeling overwhelmed. Now I’m not going to talk about all the money-saving tips and tricks. We are going, to begin with, the basics.

  1. Get a Planner- Either for the week, bi-weekly, or Monthly your choice.
  2. Figure out a Theme for each day of the week- So for example. Sunday- BBQ, Monday- Vegetarian, Tuesday- Tacos, etc. This helps you get variety so you not eating the same thing over and over.
  3. Keep a Recipe Book- this can either be electronic or written out, whatever you prefer. I like to categorize mine into those themes, that way I can go choose recipes and add them to my list.
  4. Breakfast, lunch, Snacks- Some people like to wing these parts, I know that I always make extra at dinner so we can have them for our lunches. I like to buy an assortment of a few different snacks. Veggies, fruit, granola, crackers, etc. You can also Plan these out Exactly as we did in step 2.
  5. Make a list- Again with the lists! Walk around and see everything you already have for the recipe that you don’t need to buy and put the rest on your grocery list.
  6. Daily Task- You can follow your meals exactly, or you can switch them up as the days go, as you know you already have everything you need for the recipe. When you know what you are doing for those meals you can plan ahead. Prep what you need too!

So, Why the List and Why the Meal Plan?

Again, I was taught this very early in my journey. However, try to remember things life after trauma can be hard. It can really be overwhelming to someone who hasn’t experienced the trauma. Just like how the thought of so many things that you still have to do can be overwhelming. So can trying to remember all of those things. Think of it as like a Glass Jar. It’s filled to the top, but you need to add something else that is important. Well, we may have to remove some of those other items just to get this one in.

When I teach a meditation class, I often like to start by having people start by writing a list of all the things that have pressing on their minds that they need to remember to do. This allows the mind to relax and focus on the task at hand. Or, I will do a simple guided visual meditation allowing to put all their stress, worries, fears, even their to-do’s in a safe place mentally. Allowing them to return when they need to address those issues.

Does this still seem overwhelming?

We get it. It wasn’t something that happened overnight with either Kari or I. However, This is now something that we help coach people through. How to take what seems like the impossible and help you make it possible. Allowing you to Thrive in your life. Feel Free to contact us about upcoming programs, or if you would like to book a one-on-one with us.

Note: We are not Therapists, Registered Counsellors, Psychologists, and or Medical doctors. We are survivors ourselves, who offer support groups and services that help complement traditional therapies and medications. At no time are we providing a diagnosis or making medical recommendations. It is always recommended you speak with a Health Care Professional before making any changes.

If you are in immediate danger please contact your nearest Crisis Center and or dial 911 immediately.


I am Jenna, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Mindfulness Meditation Coach by day, and a Meditator, DIY Queen by night. Superhero mother of 4 boys (2 of which are my dog and husband). I love a good board game and some essential oils.

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