Though E. doesn’t start her summer vacation until this Wednesday, mine has already started, for the most part (though, coincidentally, I’m writing this from work). For the last week or so, I’ve been home most days, and while I haven’t quite felt the weight of responsibility lift off of my shoulders just yet (we do still have graduation for our students to get through this Wednesday), I’m starting to feel everything wind down.
I have noticed something though, something that has me turning a somewhat worried eye toward the official start of summer and the start of forest school. My energy level, my attitude, and my general feeling of wellness has been on edge since I’ve been home more. Now, some of this, I know, I can chalk up to a pretty bad bout of PMS. This is usually a rough time for me, but this past week had been worse than usual. Other reasons for this shift in well-being can likely be attributed to M.’s consistently early wake up time and general high level of demand (he’s three and I also suspect is highly sensitive), as well as my seeming inability to get to bed a reasonable time. Midnight probably isn’t a good bedtime for a parent who’s child wakes up at 5:30. I’ve also realized that I’ve been at home, mostly solo, with one or both of my children for several days in a row. If I’m honest, it’s not something I’m used to and readjusting to this arrangement, something I’ll be seeing a lot of over the summer, has been difficult so far.
So, this leaves me with two choices – just sort of come into summer with no real plan of how to cope with more difficult moments, or take some time to decide what will really help me. My natural inclination is to stumble about a bit now, forget this was ever an issue, and then be surprised another month down the road when the same issues arise once more. But of course, that’s not terribly wise and so that leaves me here, wondering aloud just a bit, what I might actually do to help myself.
For one, I might put myself to bed a wee bit earlier. This can be hard to coordinate, but I firmly believe that it’s necessary to help me through the following day with a sound mind and spirit.
For two, I believe I need to be more mindful about what I eat for lunch. While I am the master at a good, wholesome breakfast, lunch time is often an epic culinary failure, at least when it comes to nutrition or appropriate portions. I will admit to often using food for comfort rather than just food, but more and more am I realizing that I’m messing up my afternoons by not properly fueling myself for the rest of the day.
For three, I need to drink more water. My water intake is, frankly, pathetic, especially for someone who owns as many fun and fancy water bottles as I do. This really ought to be at the top of my list of things I need to do to help myself out.
And four, besides eating (which I do far too much of), I need to find alternative ways to help myself relax and “spoil” myself over the course of the day or after the children are in bed. I have a wonderful array of teas and facial masks, and access to lovely bath soaks, wines, and a tremendous soaking tub. While I would prefer ice cream, if I’m honest, I know that more than once in a while that’s not really going to help me and that the above alternatives would be great treats as well as at least a bit more healthful.
There are many great things I know we will do over the course of the summer, and that my whole family is really in for a treat, but none of it will be as sweet if I go through low-energy, miserable stretches, which I am prone to. I am keen to prevent this as much as possible, and that as long as I’m in good working order, our family forest school will be as well.
If you happen to know of good remedies for boosting energy or relieving PMS symptoms, please leave whatever info you have below. I’d love to try something new!