Coffee As Lover, Coffee As Enemy
Coffee gives your that happy buzz. Coffee is a psychoactive drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It affects dopamine reabsorption in the brain similar in effect to cocaine but milder.
Coffee makes you feel awake. Adenosine, a compound that signals to the brain that you are tired, is blocked from receptors and caffeine binds to the receptors instead signalling arousal.
Coffee gives you mental alertness. As the heart rate increases and adrenals are stimulated the fight or flight response is triggered and more oxygen rushes to the brain.
What's not to love!
COFFEE AS ENEMY
Coffee is enemy of gentle parenting. To parent well you need to be in your pre-frontal cortex (PFC). Coffee puts you in the lower fight/flight part of the brain and that activated limbic system is more likely to offer a quick reaction than a considered response. It is a double whammy because the ongoing sleep deprivation causes the emotional part of the limbic brain (the amygdala) to offer over emotional responses and actually inhibits connections to the PFC.
We want the PFC to be in charge, it manages our thoughts, emotions, memories, critical thinking, empathy and can weigh up all the different sources of information and come up with a balanced response.
Regular coffee intake is also the enemy of good health due to the detrimental physical effects on the body. The lack of sleep (adenosine cannot reach the brain to signal tiredness). The adrenal fatigue (adrenals are stimulated to release stress hormones). The compromised immunity (from acidity in the body).
So what can you do?
Be curious about the needs that are driving the cravings.
If it is to feel awake look at your relationship to rest, committing to falling asleep when your children do a few times a week will help. Consulting a good nutritionist or naturopath can support with more energy if you feel it may be linked to your diet or your absorption of the vitamins and minerals in your diet.
If it is to feel happier could you look for resources to help you to understand and address the needs behind your feelings? I have a Hand in Hand Listening Partnership (LP) but you can start a sharing circle with some other mothers or reach out for some counselling or psychotherapy. (I will share more about LP's in another post).
If its to get the buzz could you find ways to exercise your heart? I know after a run in the park I am bursting with energy and positivity as it equally gets more oxygen to the brain. I posted recently about dancing.
If you feel regularly low and tired consider going to your doctor for tests. Low B12, iron or hormonal imbalances and other issues can all cause these symptoms.
Self-care is a huge topic so please comment if you want me to expand on any of these ideas.
For more about my work go to buff.ly/2JHb1Sv and check out my course page. Self-care is a huge part of the course.
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