I know you are probably thinking, “water and self-care? How do the two combine?” In reality, drinking water is one of the key components to practicing good self-care. Water is an important element needed to take care of your body, your brain, and to overall being a healthier and happier you.
Part of self-care is taking care of your physical health as well as your mental health. Being in optimal shape means that your body is not working as hard to function. It also means that your body is better prepared to handle any stress that you may experience.
Self-care are the things that you do for you that help you to cope with your stress and make you happy. By making a commitment to improving your self-care, you are making a commitment to loving yourself. Drinking water means that you care about both your mental and physical health.
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How Much Water Should I Drink?
It is commonly believed that you should drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water daily. There is not one specific recommendation of how much water you should be drinking daily. It all depends on your activity level, your health, as well as your height and weight.
If you are a person who is very active and losing a lot of fluids throughout the day, then your recommended water intake is higher than a less active person. Other factors to consider are whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for 8-10 glasses of water per day.
If you are curious about exact recommendations, one suggested way to calculate your water intake is to multiple your weight by 2/3. This is your recommended ounces of water you should drink daily. It is also suggested that you drink an additional 12 ounces of water for each 30 minutes that you work out.
Just thinking about drinking that amount of water in ounces can be overwhelming! You do not have to become a pro water drinking overnight. Making small changes to your daily routine can lead to significant changes over time.
What are the Benefits of Drinking Water?
If you are not a water drinker in the first place, drinking 2/3 of your body weight in water, may seem like a lot of water to take in. Once you develop a new habit of drinking water your body will start to feel better. Your body no longer has to filter out sugary or other unhealthy drinks that you are taking in. Drinking water has many different health benefits for your body.
Some of the physical health benefits of drinking water include:
- Water helps you physically perform at your best. If you are dehydrated then any physical activity becomes more difficult to perform.
- Dehydration can cause increase in headaches.
- Drinking more water can help to aid in weight loss.
- Water keeps your body efficiently functioning. Helping to strengthen your immune system.
- Staying appropriately hydrated helps you to have great looking skin and hair.
- Water helps your kidneys to better flush out toxins.
- Drinking water helps to prevent bad breath.
In addition to physical health benefits, drinking water also helps to improve your mental health.
Some of the mental health benefits of drinking water include:
- Dehydration can negatively impact your mood.
- Not drinking enough water affects your ability to retain memory.
- Decreased brain performance is related to dehydration.
- Not drinking enough water can cause you to feel exhausted.
- People also report increased feelings of anxiety when they do not drink enough water.
But I don’t Like Water!
Let’s face it, water can be boring. Media often markets sugary beverages to include: sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and alcohol. Many of us have become accustomed to getting our liquid intake from everything but plain water. Non water drinks can be addictive and something that our body looks forward to having.
When you decide to drink more water, it is normal for you to experience cravings for caffeine and/or sugar. It is important to note that as your body adjusts to drinking more water, your cravings will start to decrease.
You may experience a period of increased irritability, fatigue, and cravings. These are all normal detox symptoms. If you are able to get through the detox phase, you definitely do not want to go back to being dependent on caffeine and sugar.
Just remember momma, your will to change is more powerful than your cravings. To make the transition to drinking more water easier, there are some helpful tips that you can incorporate into your routine.
Help Me Increase My Water Intake!
The first tip is to make water fun.
Fruit infused waters are easy and fun to do. There are many different infusion pitchers on the market. These pitchers allow you to infuse fresh fruit and herbs into your water. The longer the fruit is infused, the tastier the water.
Some examples include:
- Strawberries with mint.
- Strawberry, basil, and mint
- Citrus and mint
- Strawberry lemon and mint
- Orange and lime
- Kiwi and orange
There are many different combinations that you can try. Infused waters are a healthy way to drink water, but you also get the benefits of antioxidants and vitamin C from the infused fruits. Try using unsweetened tea in place of water for an additional flavor kick.
You do not have drink all of your water.
Fresh fruits and veggies are a good source of water. If you feel like you can’t drink another ounce of water, snack on your favorite fruit or veggie to help you reach your goals. One apple can contain as much as ½ cup of water.
Eating fruits and veggies helps you to replace unhealthy snack choices while also helping you to consume more water.
Try carbonated waters.
Soda drinkers can start by replacing a soda with a carbonated water. This can make the transition a little easier, especially if you are missing the carbonation in sodas. Don’t get me wrong, the transition from soda to water is a huge adjustment.
Small, progressive changes now, can lead to larger gains down the road. Start off by replacing one soda a day with a carbonated water. Slowly increase this number and soon you will not miss the sodas.
Stop buying unhealthy drinks for your home.
By limiting your options in your house, you are forcing yourself to make healthier choices. As a bonus, your family will also be forced to make healthier choices.
Some replacement options for our more determined mommas include:
These beverages allow you to get your water intake without adding sugar.
Set you water goals.
By doing so, this allows you to have something to work towards and a task to look forward to completing. If you say “I’m going to drink more water,” without setting specific goals or making changes, then it is less likely that you will be successful.
If that means buying special water bottle that you take with you throughout the day to help you to remember to drink your water. Then do it! You can also pre measure your water into a container so that you know how far you have to go to reach your goals.
Make small changes.
If you are starting from not drinking any water, make small changes so that you do not overwhelm yourself. The end goal is to be successful. If it takes you a little longer to reach this goal, it is ok. As long as you are working to achieve your goals, you will start to notice positive benefits.
Making a commitment to self-care, includes making a commitment to being an overall better you.
If your body is not able to function at its best physically, then you are going to start to see impacts mentally. The more your body has to work to take care of itself is negatively correlated with your mental health.
Drinking more water is directly related to positive physical health and mental health. In the end, you are able to be proud of yourself. You have set and accomplished a goal and this has positive impacts on your self-esteem.
This also helps you to feel more connected with yourself and to love yourself. Which equals less stress. You are making a commitment to doing something for you. It helps you to be able to see your worth and that you are important too. You are not just in the role of being someone’s momma, someone’s wife, or a professional.
This allows you to take pride in your growth and your commitment to do something just for you. It also has positive impacts on your other roles because being a happier you means being a happier wife, momma, and professional.
Just remember momma, this is a process. It takes time and commitment. Set a daily water schedule, so that you can ensure you are drinking the right amount of water.
Once your body gets used to drinking water, you will feel like a much better you. You will not want to go back to the unpleasant effects of caffeine crash, or cravings, and dependence.
Join our group, Confessions of Professional Moms, and learn other ways to implement self-care.