i have more to say about this topic, so i’ll just put it into a few posts. perhaps one every week or so. i need to take a little bit of time to figure out how to get back to feeling a little bit more rested and centered.
as i mentioned yesterday, i’m a little tired. i just ditched my planned run [bad decision, see below] and spent the last hour sprawled out on the couch, unable to get up and put away the dishes or even think about making dinner [another rather lame decision – also see below].
sometimes i feel like my brain has only two modes these days: WORK/TO-DO and MOM. the gears never seem to stop turning, even when i’m trying to relax. i am thankful that i actually can focus well at work, as i have a fair amount to juggle right now [and the finite nature of fellowship is starting to come to light!]. but i still have a hard time concentrating on other things. i’m not thrilled about it, but i finally understand the meaning of what some refer to as ‘brain fog’.
it might be hormones — high prolactin! suppressed gonadotropins! i have no doubt that these things have an impact. but in addition, perhaps i’m just a little bit stuck. i feel ready to set some personal goals again and to start doing fun/social things for me, and i actually think i have at least a little bit of time. now instead, i seem to be limited in energy, clarity, and focus.
[it’s probably a new-mom faux pas to admit it, but what i’d really like is just one day off from work . . . WITH daycare. sadly, i used up all of my vacation time on maternity leave!]
self-care goals: part 1
so it’s a bit back-to-basics, but i think part of the problem is just basic lack of self-care right now. in order to function a little better i need to:
✔ fit in exercise on a regular basis. in the past month, i’ve been far less active than usual. part of this was a little burnout after the half-marathon, i think. some of it was my back injury [which is now totally better!]. but then . . . i just kind of got used to not being active, and just skipped working out on any evening that it wasn’t totally ‘convenient’ – which, as you might imagine, is most nights.
i know this does not hold true for everyone, but breastfeeding seems to be a major metabolic effort for me. so, i don’t really need workouts right now to burn calories. however, i miss the energy boost and mental clarity that seems to go hand in hand with exercise for me. i just feel like a better version of myself when i am physically active on a regular basis. and so: i need to get back to my normal pattern.
goal: something 4-5 days/week, even if it’s just a 3-mle run or 25-minute strength workout. eventually i would LOVE to go back to doing this in the am. but this may have to wait until i stop pumping . . .
✔ get enough sleep. ideally, for me this is 8 hours. this is a declaration: from this point on, i am not staying up late just to be able to pump more. the ‘no formula!’ ship has sailed at this point anyway, so WHAT am i doing worrying about supplementing 4 vs 6 oz!? i am sure that sleep deprivation hasn’t helped my milk supply, so it’s possible that i’ve been shooting myself in the foot doing this anyway.
goal: i am going to aim for a 9:30pm bedtime — at least until annabel’s habit of waking up for good in the ‘5s’ is definitely in the past.
✔ eat well – focusing on real food. i.e.: not cereal, or crackers, or chocolate. i need a lot of calories for breastfeeding, and it has astounded me how much i have needed to eat over the past several months just to maintain my weight. but because of this, i have fallen into some terrible habits of just shoving anything that tastes good into my mouth at any given time. this needs to change for 3 reasons:
— i will not be breastfeeding forever. in fact, since i am planning on ending my time with the pump in january, my needs will be lower pretty soon. if i continue to consume sugar at the rate that i have been, i am sure i would not appreciate the result.
— i wouldn’t want annabel [or any baby] to eat the way i have been. kind of a double-standard to be SO obsessed with breast milk and homemade babyfood and then existing on carbs ‘n’ cheese, no? i absolutely need to be setting a better example, and pretty soon i hope to be preparing food for both of us at once, anyway.
— i cannot be helping my energy level on my current diet. in fact, i often feel like i am running on empty lately — which is what sends me to the sugar snacky-type foods. definitely a vicious cycle.
goal: more substantial MEALS, more whole foods, less reliance on processed convenience foods, and less sugar. i need to do this in a way that will not take up more cooking/prep time. i am already convinced my you all that i need a slow cooker 🙂 any other tips are welcome . . .