This chapter marks a turning point for our discussion. Prior to this point we were busy describing generic tools and methods for solving problems of different types. The information presented was general in nature, and offered so as to provide you with knowledge of a variety of different tools, methods and procedures that might prove useful to you for addressing particular kinds of problems and issues. The idea was that you would learn about these different methods and procedures and then use that knowledge to select a subset of methods that will be best suited to addressing your specific issues.
It's difficult to figure out how to apply new knowledge you've learned from a book, however. It is far easier to have a guide help you to select appropriate combinations of methods that make sense for your problem then it is to try and design a useful combination of methods yourself. While we cannot offer you individualized assistance, we are able to help you along somewhat by providing this chapter of sample self-help plans for addressing specific sorts of common problems. Each sample plan we provide looks at the complex nature of a particular problem and then offers advice on which methods might be most useful for addressing the different components of that problem.
Note our emphasis of the word "might" in the previous sentence, please. These are sample plans only. They are not customized to your unique needs. They do not represent the sole and only way to approach the problem. They do not exhaust the ways to appropriately approach the problem. Most importantly, they are not substitutes for professional medical or mental health advice. If your doctor gives you advice that contradicts information in one of these plans, you should follow your doctors' advice, and not the information from the plan.
We provide these sample plans solely to provide you with a launching off point – a starting place which you can and should customize so as to create a truly personalized self-help plan. Use your judgment! You need to judge each sample plan for its suitability to your needs and adjust it so that it becomes more appropriate to your needs before it will be of use to you.
Remember that it is vital and important to attend to all your basic needs while in the process of defining problems, developing your customized plan and then implementing that plan. Keep a regular schedule. Eat sensible foods. Get the sleep you need. Work while you're at work and let it go when you leave. Communicate and spend time with friends and family. Be involved in your favorite types of recreation and other relaxing, fun and regenerative activities. Attend to your spiritual practice, if you have one. In general, keep your foundation strong so that it provides you with the support you need to make progress and solve problems.