There are no more powerful tools in my toolbox than the ones that help me discern the things that fill me up from the things that take energy away from me. This might sound simple, but it requires awareness and diligence. It also means I must prioritize my life’s energy balance ahead of anyone else’s. As much as we talk about self-love and self-care, it still can feel a bit selfish to put the concepts into practice.

And yet I have learned that there is no other choice than to prioritize self-care for me. That’s because I know by now that neglecting my energy balance contributes to events in my life that I regret, and, to put it simply, I have no more time for regrets. On the other hand, I know that taking good care of myself leads to better self-control and experiences that I cherish.

These are my eight ways to prevent a personal energy crisis:

1) Reclaim the morning through meditation. When you start your day with a focus on your breath, body, and spirit, you build from that place of awareness all day.

2) Notice everything. The clothes you pick for the day, the breakfast foods you choose, whether you listen to the radio in the car or drive in silence. How does your mood change based on your choices? All of these choices help you learn about what makes you happy.

3) Populate your day deliberately. Do you have the energy to be uber-productive, or will you need to be more moderate in your undertakings today? If you have no choice because of deadlines, how will you get through your day without feeling discouraged or irritable? We may be led to believe that life is an emergency, but it’s not! Understanding how to take care of yourself will give you a better sense of how much you can reasonably and responsibly take on.

4) Choose whether to have a social day or whether to take a step back. Not every day is a day to tackle the hard conversations, make the big decisions, or even make small talk. If you’re not in the mood for company, don’t force it.

5) Seek out an activity that lifts your spirit. Sometimes a simple treat can turn a bad day into an okay one and an okay day into a great one. Try:

  • buying flowers for yourself or a loved one
  • playing that awesome new song you just heard again and again
  • treating yourself to a special warm or cold drink (for me it’s a matcha latte with almond milk and a dash of honey)

6) Get outdoors. There is nothing that revives my spirit like being outside. No matter what time of year, where I am, or what I am doing, I get myself out in the fresh air. When I feel the temperature of my life rising, instead of subscribing to the intensity, I step out to cool down. A short or long walk or even a few breaths outside can give me a fresh perspective.

7) Offer gratitude to everything and for everything. Seeking out a feeling of gratitude can be the healing tool you need. That’s not to say it’s easy. I know that in the midst of crisis, trying to find a silver lining can feel like a cold slap in the face. “How can I give thanks for an experience that caused me pain?” is a question I often get from my clients. I understand, because that same thought has come up for me during difficult times. However, the very act of cultivating the opposite thought in the midst of a painful situation can be amazingly powerful. Saying thank you brings power back to you. You are actively making a decision to think in another way, and this simple act can launch you into powerful healing places.

8) Call upon the people who lift you up. There are magical people in our lives who remind us of what we love about ourselves and give us a powerful sense of community. Know who those people are for you, and reach out to them when you need them. Text or call them if they are far away or set up a visit, but do it soon. Simply arranging this time will make you feel better instantly.