Why am I giving up coffee and alcohol?
We’re all feeling the same at this time of year, right? Run down, tired, sick of making freaking school lunches and getting up early to get to band practice, or running around to tennis and gym and jujitsu. It’s not just me, is it?
Add to that that I’ve been feeling a bit anxious lately (and from the comments I got on that one, I know a whole lot of you have been as well). I haven’t been getting quality sleep and have generally been feeling ratty and a bit – hmmm, just not awesomely awesome.
So I decided I needed to recalibrate, to reset my body a bit and feel a bit clearer, calmer and more in control.
The answer to what was bugging me was pretty clear to me. I needed to give up coffee and alcohol – two of my two favourite food groups. I did this for two weeks.
Unless you are. She reads my blog. Hi Mum.
The point is that I felt I was on a never-ending roller coaster ride of drinking coffee to wake up in the morning, then coffee after lunch to keep perky through the afternoon/dinner rush, then having a glass of wine to calm down while cooking spaghetti freaking bolognese for the third time this week. Then another to help me go to sleep. Then my sleep would be shit because of the wine. So I’d wake up tired. Boo hoo. Poor me.
I actually found the whole thing super easy to start with. Husby was away for work most of that week so I needed to be sharp at all times. I found myself more energetic, calmer and more patient with the kids. I ate more sugar than I usually do (I generally try not to eat any added sugar but I’m not all Sarah Wilson about it) because I felt like I needed some sort of treat/crutch to get through.
My sleep was deeper and I woke half an hour earlier (thanks to my kids) but feeling rested. I also tried to get to bed at a decent hour each night and read a book, rather than kicking on and faffing about.
Mood boosting foods
I also researched mood boosting foods to give myself the best chance at success. After researching various sources, I came up with this list of foods I need more of in my diet:
- dark chocolate
- Greek yoghurt
- cheery tomatoes
- grass fed lamb
- organic blue potatoes
- Swiss chard (as a source of magnesium)
I’ve done well getting more dark chocolate, Greek yoghurt, eggs and honey into my diet. Not so much on the lower half of that list. But, hey, it’s a start.
I also read somewhere that anxiety sufferers should not suppress their anger. They should express it as soon as it arises so it doesn’t fester and turn inwards. I have warned Husby he should brace himself.
This week was harder, which surprised me. Wednesday was a tough, stressful, long, hot day and I really wanted a beer at the end of it, but I didn’t because I knew I’d be disappointed with myself for not following through.
I’ve been tired in the mornings and wishing I could have a coffee but in reality what I should be doing is getting another 30-60 minutes sleep each night and then I’d be fine.
I am still noticing I am more even tempered and energetic with my kids, which makes me happy.
Husby says I am talking about booze a lot. We are planning our holiday to North Stradbroke Island and, a week out, I’m talking about which gin we should buy and what cocktails we might want to make. I don’t really miss coffee all that much. Brisbane is very hot.
The one down side is that I’m tired. Anxiety still hits me late at night and so I read and read and read, rather than lying there waiting for sleep to claim me. So I’m up late. I resolve to try to go to sleep when I’m tired rather than waiting till I can’t keep my eyes open.
Exercise is going well though. I am more motivated and actually enjoying myself again. Big major happy win: tick!
The wash up
Overall, I think the detox was a worthwhile exercise. I feel like I have reset my body; I’m more even tempered and energetic. I still need to sleep more, but I have just downloaded some bedtime meditation apps on my phone, so hopefully that will help. I had my first coffee yesterday and have to say I didn’t feel one way or another about it. I am thinking of doing without the daily coffee injection I am used to and keeping it for a sometimes thing. As for wine, I would like to think I will also put that in the ‘special occasion’ category. Or at least only a couple of times a week, rather than most nights.
It can be a slippery slope when you treat your uppers with downers and your downers with uppers. And I think my family appreciate the new, more balanced me. Long may she last! And, you know, what could possibly go wrong with this plan over the Christmas period?
Have you done any kind of detox? How did you find it? Or is there something in your life you feel like you depend a little too heavily on at times?