Saturday, January 2, 2016

Considering 2015

2015 was a transitional year for me.  I started the year incredibly sleep deprived and feeling like I was just barely hanging on, and I'm finishing the year feeling healthy, strong, and reasonably on top of things.

So, what changed?

1.  A friend recommended The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight and I implemented it.  Within a short period my youngest (then 15 months old) was sleeping through the night and after some catching up, I felt so much better!

2.  I finally went completely gluten-free.  Since March of 2013 the only gluten I ate was whole wheat (mostly sourdough) breads and such and that helped with my hip pain and inflammation quite a bit.  But while my husband was doing a Whole 30 in March, I decided to cut out all gluten too and I noticed a huge improvement in my inflammation level and energy.

3.  I worked through Mystie's absolutely excellent Simplified Organization course.  The combination of mindset changes and routines that I set up through that course have made our lives run so much more smoothly and with so much less stress and confusion.  It was so worthwhile!  If you are struggling with balancing the todo's with the people in front of you, or figuring out how to establish good routines, or managing all the stuff and activity that is part of our busy modern lives, I recommend taking a look at this course.  Really, it has changed my life, and I am looking forward to teaching these skills to my children too.  I'm planning on working through Work the Plan this year to refine and improve my routines.

4.  My husband and I started working together to give ourselves some regular time off.  Each month we get to have one day off (we leave after breakfast and come home by dinner) and once a year we get to go to a conference or retreat.  This has been huge for me.  My introverted self has needed this space and time away to think and plan and recharge, and having it has made a world of difference.

5.  My husband helped me make the connection between a drop in energy and the time of year, and I finally got a therapy light.  Come November I was starting to feel really tired in the early afternoon and having trouble making it through the middle of the day.  I remembered feeling this way every year, but attributed it to doing too much in the beginning of the school year and wearing myself out.  And while there's probably an element of truth in this, I think a light would have been a big help.  As it is, I've had it for about a month and the only day where I felt any of that middle of the day fatigue and the desire to curl up in a little ball with a pillow over my head was the day when I didn't sit by the light for 15-20 minutes that morning.


  1. sounds a lot like my experience!!

    really glad you have found some things to help you.

    The last few years I have felt like a total wreck by Christmas/new year (last Christmas I didn't even go to visit my in-laws, the rest of the family went and I stayed home alone for a week because I was so unwell and stressed, and in Jan 2014 I was so stressed I got viral meningitis...) but I have learned some helpful lessons and this year has been much much better...

    a. I go to bed early (9pm)

    b. I too take one day a month off (I am a Secular Carmelite and I go for a day a month to my meeting, 10am - 6pm, helps me a lot, and being away from home is good as well..!)

    c. I've been gluten free for about 3 yrs now as well; made a big difference as well for me

    d. I started taking high strength vitamin D pills (I take 50micrograms daily) and that has helped me so much with feeling psychologically wrecked and fatigued during the winter months. In fact this winter I haven't felt like that at all, and usually I feel mentally suffocated by the winter darkness (it's dark by 3pm at the moment), and last year we were looking in to light therapy as well, but this year I've been ok.

    thanks for the Sleep Lady book. I have book marked it. I am happily cosleeping with the baby at the moment, but the time will come (as it did with the other two) when I can no longer sleep well with them in the bed next to that book will come in handy!

    thanks for sharing

    best wishes!

    1. Yikes, dark at 3pm, wow. That would be quite an adjustment. And sleep is so critical too, you're right. I'm glad the Vitamin D is helping you so much. I have tried that (although I don't think it was at that dosage) and I felt like it helped a little, but not as much as the light. And I'm finding sitting in front of the light more pleasant and easier to remember.

      We cosleep with our little ones too, but I have really struggled with the transition from cosleeping to independent sleeping with all of my babies, as well as getting them to stop nursing constantly all night long. Sleep and potty training have been the absolute hardest part of raising a baby/toddler for me.

      Thanks for your comment, Antonia!