Life: Getting out of a rut

I’ve been battling a rut for a while.  Part of it is avoidance of all these big to do things that I have to do, but the rest of it I’m not quite sure about.  The biggest problem with this rut is that I have been feeling run down and constantly tired.  I would like to blame the weather, but I took care of that part of it and bought another air conditioner for my apartment.  I kept telling myself that I should start working out and start eating cleaner, but I just couldn’t really find the energy.  The lack of energy has been so bad that driving is scary.

Today, though it seems that the fog is abating a bit and I have some theories as to why I finally feel like I’m climbing out of this rut.

  1. Cut out the caffeine – I don’t usually have a daily caffeine habit.  I do enjoy coffee and tea, but usually it’s a splurge when I go out to a coffee shop to do work.  However, when I started a month of shift work with erratic hours, I started up a caffeine habit.  Mind you, I set a limit of one cup, but I tend to be sensitive to caffeine and continuing that one cup of coffee a day habit even after the erratic shift work was over was probably a bad idea.  Even though a tiny voice in the back of my head was saying that I should stop, I enjoyed the ritual of a morning coffee.  Last week, I read somewhere (sorry, I’m so terrible at remembering where I read things and linking up…something to work on) that daily caffeine could in fact prevent weight loss instead of promote it.  I would like to ditch a couple of pounds that I gained about six months ago, but I’m not actively trying to lose weight.  Reading that article reminded me what I knew all along about fatigue, adrenal function, and so on, so I ditched the coffee.  Sad, but necessary.  I used the rest of my cold brew as a hair rinse.  At least my hair smelled lovely.
  2. Drink more water – I’ve been lucky that the last couple of days I’ve been able to drink more water, but the reality is that most working days I’m lucky if I can remember to drink a cup or two of water.  I’ve gone whole shifts/days of work without drinking water.  I know this is really bad, but when you are running around all day, going to the bathroom is not on your list of to dos.  Naturally, it follows that you stop drinking water, too.  I’ve gotten in the habit of tucking a bottle of water into one of my giant pockets.  The trick now is to remember to actually drink that water.
  3. Sleep consistently well – Sleep has been problematic for me for most of my life.  I can hear just about everything in my sleep.  I also need about 9 hours of sleep to feel fantastic.  I wish I could be one of those people who feels awesome on 7 or 8 hours but frustratingly, I feel the best with 9 hours.  When I switched to eating a more paleo/primal diet, I started to sleep better, which was awesome.  Problem now is that if I get a couple of nights of good sleep, then the third or fourth night, I end up staying up too late.  There is probably a happy medium of being well functioning during the day and being able to sleep consistently well, but I still haven’t found it.  Something to work on.
  4. Get outside – Life has been busy and there is a whole lot of things that I am not doing that I need to be doing.  That being said, I’m basically hitting snooze a million times in the morning, dragging myself out of bed, and throwing on a bunch of black and rushing to work.  When I get home, some evenings I found myself cuddling with my laptop and sleeping because I was too tired to make dinner or do much of anything else.  I realize that no matter what I need to get outside once a day, twice would be preferable, but let’s start small.  Getting outside gets me the natural light exposure that I need and a much needed dose of outside air.  Being inside all day with not very well circulated air is probably contributing to my exhaustion.  Not to mention the lack of natural light is probably not helping my circadian rhythms either.
  5. Breathe – When things get busy, I have a tendency to get wound up and tense.  I start wanting to micromanage and control every detail about what’s going on.  I often don’t realize this until I’m well into doing it and I find myself walking around with a clenched jaw and stiff muscles.  One of my favorite teachers of all time told me on Friday, “Don’t just do something, stand there.”  At first, I was confused, but he was saying that sometimes you have to stop doing and just take a step back and take it all in.  “Don’t forget to enjoy this,” he said.  After that conversation I realized how much I was working myself up and making things more stressful for myself than they need to be.  So one at a time and breathe.

There are probably a million more things that I could change and do differently to feel better, but those are the things that come to mind that seem to have shifted over the last few days.  I was really floundering for a while trying to figure out why I was feeling so terrible.  Hopefully, things are a lot better from here on out.

How do you get yourself out of a rut?

Rants, thoughts, and other things

I am somewhere between bored and depressed.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of things to do, but sitting inside all day in front of a computer drives me batty.  I know, I’m supposed to take frequent breaks, get outside, and all that jazz.  I’m just frustrated and need to vent somewhere, so this is my rant for today.  I’m sure you’re jazzed that I’m writing a rant for my first post in a while.  (uh huh…don’t lie…you can leave now and I’ll still be your friend…I promise.)

Some thoughts…I need to drink more water.  This is the problem with me and water, though, drinking water makes me need to get up every half hour or so.  Remembering to drink water is another issue.  I know I need to drink more water, but it’s really a problem for me.  What’s worse is that for the next month-ish, I need to do a lot of studying and having to pee all the time is really not helping that endeavor.  (I wanted to spell that with a “u” and be all British.)  If I’m out studying, which is how I do my best studying, having to pee entails either believing that the stranger that I ask won’t steal my things (including my computer) while I’m in the bathroom or packing up and hauling everything to the restroom and potentially losing my table.  You see why I’m having a problem with water.  My ideal situation is to go out studying with a friend I won’t talk to and then being able to get up when I really do have to pee.  This however has not traditionally worked out so well.  Sigh.

Moving on…I’ve also been having issues with sleep.  (I’m sure you anticipated this when I started in about the water.)  I’m stressed and probably anxious so I’m up late messing around and not being productive.  Today is a case in point.  I went to sleep late last night and tried to force myself to get up early.  I felt isolated all day, so took a break to take a walk to grab some coffee thinking this would help me concentrate.  The coffee was mediocre and I fidgeted all day long without any real progress.  I’m also eating way too much chocolate.  I clearly need to stop.

Speaking of chocolate, I think I’m on an extended sugar binge that began with having a few non-paleo days back at the beginning of the month.  From the fruit and honey in yogurt all the way to my latest chocolate binge, I really need to stop.  I’m sure that all this sugar is really not helping me at all.

I’ve been having some digestive issues of late, which I’m not sure where it’s coming from.  Back in the day, I would eat some rice gruel for a while to calm things down, but I have no rice in my apartment.  So, that’s not going to happen.  Not to mention that at this point having been grain free for a few months, I’m just not really all that interested.

I also know that I’m in desperate need of more exercise.  My trainer went renegade and now trains people at home, which is all great and all except my apartment is not very large and the floor is terribly sensitive.  Sneeze at it and it’ll get a scratch or dent.  Gotta love cheap construction.  So, in the process, I also stopped going to the gym I was at because there really is no point.  I do have a standing date for afternoons at the park with a friend, which is good, but not enough.  I also seem to lack the interest in actually exercising.  Blah.

I don’t know who came up with this modern lifestyle of electronics, inside-ness, sitting all day, and productivity, but it stinks.  It’s terrible.  I hate it and it’s really not my style.  I know I should change my life and all that, but I’m just really annoyed at some of the hoops and ways that I have to get to where I’m trying to go.  What’s worse is that what I’m seeing makes me less and less inclined to want to join the professional tribe that I’m training for.  Big Sigh.  (Yes, I capitalized that “s.”)

I know what I need to do (for most of the things I’m ranting about), but with the boredom, the isolation from social interaction, and well, not really wanting to learn what I am supposed to be learning, I’m just having a hard time taking a big breath and starting over.  If I don’t start off my day right, things usually get worse and not better.   Thus, I think that tucking in early tonight is probably my best bet for breaking out of this funk.

If you got all the way down here, I thank you for your compassion and for “listening.”  I’m going to go and take a deep breath and try and calm down to sleep.  Hopefully, I can come back with something more interesting.  I did make a paleo pizza of sorts if you want to go and check that out.  That’s the best that I’ve got for you.

Night night.


Stress, Tired, and Other Random Thoughts

I’m pretty sure it’s all the stress and the lack of enough sleep lately, but I’m just tired and cranky and some of the fun of this new eating plan has worn off.  Now, don’t let this sway you from trying paleo or primal if you are considering it, I still recommend it.  I’m just documenting this part of my journey.

The first two, two and half weeks of paleo/primal eating were wonderful.  Going to the farmer’s market, cooking breakfast every morning, feeling satisfied and not overly full.  I’m one of those people that loves novelty.  And the novelty of paleo was exciting.

I was also on a pretty good schedule.  Daily walks, eating at set times.  It was all very lovely.  I was working on my sleep, but other than that things were feeling pretty good.

Now, with the onset of stress, things are feeling a bit off kilter.  I’m not drinking enough water or sleeping enough.  The focus is a bit off.  So we’re going to try again.  We’re going to try to get back on this bandwagon and even things out a bit.

First off, sleep.  Again, need better sleep habits and sleep hygiene.  Anyone have any good ideas on how to calm things down??  I think worried stress has me tossing and turning and not sleeping too well.

Next, water.  Drink lots of it.  I never was very good at drinking water and I think it’s more important than ever for me to drink water.  Not only because of how I’m eating, but also because it’s immensely hot and sticky out here lately and I probably need the hydration.

Third, get a hold of my stress.  This one is going to be tough.  I tend to be very sensitive to stress and so calming this one down is going to take some work.  I’m open to any ideas if people have any.  I think that getting the exercising bit back on track will help things immensely.  I’m also hoping that maybe I can get a short meditation in on a daily basis.  I think I need that.  Need the scheduled silence.

So how do people get themselves back on track when life and stress throws you for a loop??