OWW Blog

From licensed healthcare providers who are experts in their field

How to Fill Your "Bucket" to Increase Motivation, Energy + Decrease Irritability!

Aug 15, 2023

Written By: Laure Saint Georges Chaumet, Mental Health Therapist


First, what is a “bucket”?

When I say bucket, I mean your battery or emotional reserve to be able to face your life with energy, optimism, motivation, smiles, and hopefulness.

When our bucket is full, we feel at our best and able to handle life's challenges with grace. We are excited to spend time with friends and feel motivated to go out and backpack, ski, climb, and all the fun things!

When our bucket is empty, we are irritable and even the small things feel overwhelming. We feel drained and unable to muster the energy to see our friends or do the wonderful outdoor things we know we love.

Everyone fills and empties their bucket differently. So here is an exercise you can do to figure out how to fill your bucket! It may take some reflecting and trial and error but if you can narrow it down, you will be one step closer to understanding yourself and meeting your needs effectively.

EXERCISE: Here is a list of activities and tasks (use these as examples and feel free to add others). Go through them and place them in 1 of 4 categories:

Cleaning the kitchen

Watching a movie

Reading a book

Going for a walk

Visiting family

Making dinner

Going to the gym alone

Meeting friends at the gym

Spending all day at home with no plans

Going to work


Spending 1 on 1 time with a friend

Going to a group gathering




Working out


Doing the dishes


Doing my taxes :)

Grocery shopping


Bucket Filling

1. Enjoyable activity that increases my energy

2. Slightly annoying task that makes me feel relieved and motivated afterwards

Bucket Emptying

3. Enjoyable task that leaves me feeling depleted afterwards

4. Slightly annoying activity/task that always leaves me feeling depleted afterwards.


When you understand what empties or fills your bucket, make sure never to let your bucket get too empty each week (as much as you can control of course). For example, if group activities are fun but feel draining, make sure only to schedule 1 or 2 a week rather than filling your weekend with group activities. Or alternate weekends (one weekend with group activities and the next with plenty of alone time).

Finally, DO NOT COMPARE YOUR BUCKET WITH OTHERS! It is not helpful because we are all different. Instead, celebrate how your body and brain work for you!

Outdoor Women's Wellness 

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