Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happiness Project, Month 1

Saturday is my 39th birthday and it seemed like the perfect time to start my own year-long happiness project. I love the idea of trying to get my life in order before I turn 40. I don't know whether it will work or how I will manage to maintain momentum but I am hoping that the monthly focus will help me to feel like each month is something new.

This month, my focus is going to be energy. As a mother of 2, one of whom is a very sensitive three and a half and the other being 11 1/2 months old and not even beginning to approach sleeping through the night (although that I plan to tackle in July), having gone back to work full-time and trying to manage being a type-A, energy is something in short supply. While I have been good about embracing exercise (I just finished my "Couch to 5K" programme and will run my first race on Saturday!!!), most of the other aspects of being healthy and energetic are being sadly neglected. I am tired of feeling so tired and I find being so weary all the time makes me grouchy, anxious and prone to despair. This is not working for me. I can't remember things, I suffer from headaches and I actually worry about driving as I don't think I should really be on the road with so little focus. Over the last few weeks, I have been brainstorming how to improve this and I have come up with the following goals:

1. take Sunday as a true day of rest
2. no computer time within half an hour of bed (I have been having a really hard time getting to sleep)
3. drink large amounts of water daily (I have been terrible about this)
4. really encourage Pk to be in her own bed

1. Sunday as a day of rest - I heard this fantastic podcast the other day from Northpoint Church in Atlanta in their series "Life Apps". It was on rest and it really helped me to see the impact of the pace of my life right now. As the preacher said (sorry, I don't remember his name), if you get 6.9 hours of sleep per night (I generally get less than that), you are missing 7 hours a week, 365 hours a year, which is the equivalent of 15 days. I can't handle that. I can't entirely solve that right now since Baby bean isn't great at night but I can certainly try and make Sunday a day to recharge. I will try to nap with Baby Bean on Sunday afternoon unless there is a reason not to and I will try to keep everything on Sunday as calm, easy and restorative as possible. I want to keep the computer off (a huge time-waster for me) and try to keep commitments to a minimum.

2. No computer time within half hour of bed - I know that the light from a computer screen can stimulate the brain and often leads to thinking instead of drifting off. I have a terrible habit of just checking everything one more time before bed, which often ends up being 40 minutes on the computer. That is 40 minutes I can't afford to lose.

3. Drinking water - I know that my dragging/slightly headachy feeling I get mid-way through the afternoon is often due to dehydration. I don't drink enough water and especially since I am still nursing, that is just stupid. It's such an easy thing to fix!

4. Get Pippa in her own bed - for a long time, she had settled in her "big girl" bed and all was well. Then, I went back to work and she became really needy. When she is with Baby Bean and I, none of us get a decent sleep and it means that I have even less range of motion during the night (and I very often wake up feeling stiff and sore from trying to squeeze between the kids). If I can get her back into her own bed, we will all sleep better and, I hope, get up more refreshed.

Let's hope this works. To be honest, I don't know how I will keep going at this pace much longer. I don't want to be tired and grouchy all the time and I think that I will find it easier to feel happier if I can improve on my energy level.

What are you doing to feel more energetic?

1 comment:

  1. I am falling asleep in The Bun's bed at tuck-tin time, is what I'm doing! This is also one of the reasons that I keep having problems working in exercise - I am simply unwilling to give up sleep for it, as I am close to non-functional without enough sleep. I could work in two runs a week, but the third was a problem.