There are beautiful, helpful, affirming tools out there to help us along the way. These are some that have made the biggest difference to me.

I’ve undertaken some serious therapy in my life, and it has helped me immeasurably. But there came a point at which I realized that many of the things that haunted me, the grudges I nursed, the anger I held, valid as they all may have been, had become habits or ingrained patterns of thought. And those can be changed – physiologically changed. The two tools that were most helpful with this, and that I still turn to, are Loving What Is by Byron Katie, and The Feeling Good Handbook, by David Burns.

Sometimes, the reasons we’re not at our best are physical. The Mood Cure by Julia Ross is about amino acid therapy for depression, fatigue, brain fog and anxiety. Her recommendations are backed by experience and research, and there are assessments in the book that help you determine what’s going on with you, and which amino acids could help. You’ll have to put in a little effort to figure it out, but she’s there to guide you, and the payoff is huge.

It isn’t always easy for a perfectionist to relax, and adult coloring books are a great shortcut to a meditative state of mind – as long as you’re not using one that triggers your perfectionism. For me, that means I have to stay away from coloring images, because then I’ll start thinking about how it should look and I won’t be relaxed anymore. It also means I have to stay away from anything too detailed, for the same reason. I’ve found that large patterns or simple mandalas are my best bet. And these, because Sharpies.