Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Energy Project, Day 1

Something I've always struggled with is my daily schedule. I can't seem to consistently get to bed at a decent hour, like when I'm actually sleepy -- I seem to stay up past my natural tiredness point and then go to bed once it's passed, only to lay there trying not to toss and turn while all the things I thought I wasn't worried about start playing through my head. Then, of course, when morning comes and my kids come into my room, all perky and wide-eyed awake, I groan and send them away to play quietly while I try to wake up.

There's something wrong with this picture.

On top of my bedtime and morning-time problems, my energy level throughout the day is really quite pathetic. So far, I've been relying on coffee to bring it up to what I consider "normal," but the caffeine boost is becoming inadequate. And, I have a nagging feeling that there must be a healthier way for me to feel energized and motivated. But what is it?

I recently received a mailer full of doctors' testimonies touting the benefits of chlorella, a whole-food green algae in pill form which promises to cleanse out toxins while providing needed nutrients and fibre, thus increasing energy levels and youthfulness and even skin radiance. I have to admit, I'm curious. Could this algae be the solution to my coffee problem? Could it bring balance to my body and clarity to my overly caffeinated brain? Because let me tell you, when the caffeine levels drop around supper time and I'm feeling hungry to boot, my brain enters a super-foggy state of indecision and grouchiness, and I'm completely and totally physically exhausted until the kids are in bed.

(Because, of course, everyone knows that if you drink coffee after 4pm, you won't get to sleep at night, so I stop drinking it then. But does everyone also know that if I stop drinking coffee at any point, I lose all rational abilities and the will to walk around without napping?)

Even now, I've had four cups of coffee (a modest amount for some, an exorbitant amount for others), and it's not enough. I feel that fuzzy feeling coming on, but it's after 4:30 pm and I need to decide what to make for supper. The collective energy level in my house is about to increase, and I have no reserves left to meet the challenge. So do I brew some more coffee? Or do I place an order for little green pills?

I believe there's a better plan for my life. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's about time I find out.

And, because this whole energy-level/proper-sleeping-habits thing has been such a habitual struggle for me, I plan to keep myself accountable to change by writing about it every day.

Let me just say, for the record, "Ack!"

Here are my goals:

I will figure out how to have a healthy, consistent bedtime, WHEN I'M TIRED. (Maybe a nice, peaceful unwinding routine will help. Something tells me the tv will NOT be a part of this.)

I will learn how to wake up in the morning like a normal adult.

I will find a healthy way to have energy throughout my day without relying so heavily on caffeine. (Will this include a diet change, a trip to a naturopath, or green algae? I'm as interested to find out as you are.)

There are many other related goals I could add to this list, like formulating a daily schedule, weekly meal plans, and all those other things organized, energetic people do, but I'm not into self-torture. I think three baby steps are a good first start, don't you?

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