My own energy varies from day to day, but with good amounts of consistent rest, well planned, I’m thankful to live a full and creative life.

For many years, though, I functioned in a deficit range, leading to illness and exhaustion. I believed then that 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.

A great method that I use to help myself gauge my stamina is to check in with my body 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 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. It’s hard making those adjustments and even after all these years, I can still sometimes feel guilty about letting others down. But the sooner I make those changes, the sooner I recover. Make it a habit, like taking medicine, to closely watch your energy. If your energy bank is low, take the appropriate action. You have my permission!