There are times when we just don’t feel up to being our best selves or putting in effort toward our pursuits. It could be for myriad reasons—being knocked down again and again, having our heart broken by a loved one, or running endlessly and finally burning out.

When we’re in that pit, it’s natural to want to stay there. It feels safer. We may even want others to join our pity party. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; in fact, respecting your feelings and giving yourself grace is important.

But it’s only the first step. Unless you have ways to pick yourself back up again, you’ll likely dig your pit even deeper by adding to life’s blows with your blows of shame, blame, and self-victimization.

Here are 5 things you can do to reengage with life

These keys will help you to open yourself up again to the magic of life despite what it brings you:

Key #1: Maintain a routine

Make sure you have a routine that meets your physical needs. Sound sleep, good food, and adequate movement are the very basics of energy. Which of these are you not prioritizing? What one new habit will have the greatest impact on your overall energy and wellbeing, helping you reengage with life? And how will you make sure you do it every day?

Key #2: Refrain from negativity

We’re wired to focus on the negative, and when we’re down, we don’t have the energy to notice the positives in our lives. When you find yourself saying “nothing ever works for me,” or “why does this always happen to me?” pluck that thought out as if it were a weed. In time, you’ll have the energy to plant positive thoughts and be grateful for what is working.

Key #3: Prioritize your workload

Life has a way of gathering moss as it rolls. We end up with too much on our plate which can feel especially overwhelming when we’re down. Assess your life and see where you can trim off the excess. What can you drop, defer, or delegate? What can you do just enough of, and what can you stop caring so much about?

Key #4: Create pockets of control

The feeling of agency—”I can do what I set out to do” —is the greatest mood and confidence booster there is. Where in your day do you have the most control? It could be your mornings, evenings, or your lunch hour. Depending on how long you have, plan something, however small, that gives you a sense of achievement. Then do it!

Key #5: Intentionally bring in joy

Joy is the song of your soul that fills your heart and lightens your spirit. And it’s usually in the smallest of things: fresh flowers on your desk, the sweet smell of your little baby, a special photograph, a walk in the park, or your favorite coffee from your favorite shop. Find yours and intentionally include as many in your day as possible.

Remember, when we’re in that dark place, it’s easy to forget that life is short and magical. Use these five keys to reengage with life and stay connected in this wild and precious journey!

A version of this article originally appeared on Psychology Today.

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