I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that, at this point in my life, I’m rather depleted–of energy, optimism, and creativity. Why? For the same reasons you are. Too many commitments. Too many horror stories on the news. Too many things I can’t control that, nonetheless, kick into my life with the destructive force of a bucking bronco.

But, hey, that’s life. We all have those weeks, or months, or even years, don’t we? I’ll confess, I’ve been known to wallow in these low points . When I do, my blog mate, Katherine, will say, “Jamie, don’t be a bitter Betty.” I might grouse when she chirps those words, but I know she’s right. Bitterness, frustration, pouting…none of that helps.

Here’s what does (or, at least, what does for me):

Finish the task. Whatever it is that must get done, do it. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t let being overwhelmed make it seem impossible to accomplish. Just start and then chip away, day by day, until that item is checked off the list.

Take a walk. A long walk. Don’t distract yourself with music or your phone. Simply enjoy the scenery, sounds, and scents. Feel the air going in and out of your lungs. Let your mind wander and see where it leads. Chances are you’ll return home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Indulge in a great meal. For those of you who like wine, add that, too. Eating one of your favorite foods, even if you have to break the diet to do so, is good for the soul (and the tummy). You deserve it. You only live once, and you shouldn’t have to go through the year denying yourself everything all the time.

Ask for hugs. Depending on your personal situation, you can ask for extra hugs from your partner, your kids, your friends, or family members. It doesn’t matter where they come from, hugs release happiness chemicals and will literally make you feel better.

Read a great book. When I say great, I mean that by whatever definition that you choose. Escapist fiction? Self-help? A memoir? The genre doesn’t matter, but don’t settle for a good book. Find one that grabs you so hard in those sample pages that you cannot put it down. That’s the only kind of book that will take you out of your life for several hours and deposit you back to reality feeling better.

Okay, that’s my list. How about you? Share your tips for juicing your soul.

XO-Jamie