Every day I wake up with different amounts of energy. The range varies, and often reflects my activity level in prior days.

For many years I functioned in a deficit range, despite illness and exhaustion. I thought it was normal to push myself beyond capacity. I’d done it for such a long time, and I was good at it. Why not keep going?

I didn’t listen to my body as it “talked” back to me through symptoms.

The truth is that just because we’ve been behaving in certain ways for years, doesn’t mean the behavior makes sense. But it’s so hard to change our habits. Others are used to us acting in certain ways, and we like meeting their expectations. They are used to seeing us with our “normal” energy.  Sometimes our self-expectations are the most difficult to manage! When we think about deviating from our usual ways of being, we can feel very uncomfortable.

One little trick I use to help myself gauge my stamina is to check in with my body a few times during the day. I like to think in terms of “energy coins,” like a stipend that I have been given, and one that I must spend wisely. In my mind, when my energy bank is full, it has ten coins. As I go about my day, I pay out to the world, slowly or quickly, depending on my circumstances.

If I wake up with, or drift down to, about five coins, I reassess my plans and make appropriate adjustments. Four coins, and I know I’m headed for at least a day in bed. I’ve found, though, that when I engage in some of the activities I’ve talked about in my previous posts, I can actually help refill my energy bank.

Please feel free to give this method a try! Let me know what happens.