Welcome. This is the fifth article in a series on stress which aims to give you simple ideas for managing stress. Each article contains an idea to manage stress, a short explanation why it is helpful in managing stress and an exercise based on the idea. Then it is up to you to try it out over the week. To get the most out of this series, write down how each exercise is working for you in managing your stress.
Idea 1 – Cultivating Gratitude Stress Reducing Ideas – Idea 1 – Cultivating Gratitude
Idea 2 – Becoming Mindful Stress Reducing Ideas – Idea 2 – Becoming Mindful
Idea 3 – Altruistic Acts Stress Reducing Ideas – Idea 3 – Altruistic Acts
Idea 4 – Socialising Stress Reducing Ideas – Idea 4 – Socialising
This week’s idea is Hydration
It may seem obvious to hydrate, as we need water to survive. However, when we are stressed we may chose to drink less hydrating drinks and eat less hydrating foods. As otherwise healthy adults our bodies can stay hydrated with varying daily intakes of water. However, we may be better able to manage our stress if we stay well hydrated throughout the day. Hydration has also been associated with improved physical performance, energy levels and concentration, which can help us in stressful situations. Other health benefits include treating headaches and kidney stones, relieving constipation, aiding weigh loss and improving the look of our skin.
We stay hydrated from drinking a range of drinks including water and from many fruits and vegetables in our diet. When we are stressed we might be too busy to drink the recommended daily 6-8 glasses of water or maybe we don’t have access to hydrating drinks or foods throughout our day. It might be that we would prefer to chose caffeinated, alcoholic or high sugar drinks, which are all dehydrating when drunk in higher volumes. Although we may use these drinks to cope with stress, if drunk excessively they can increase stress and lead to further problems such as dependency and a variety of health conditions. When we are busy we may chose to eat processed or convenience foods high in salt and fat, which require more of our body’s water. Also we are likely to sweat more when stressed, which uses extra water that we need to replenish.
So, when we are stressed it may be helpful to think about our water intake and make extra efforts to keep our bodies well hydrated.
Exercise in Hydration
You may already have some ideas of how to increase your water intake throughout the day. Please try your own ideas or here is a simple suggestion for you.
Start your day with a glass of water or cup of hot water. Maybe you want to drink it in bed or at breakfast. For those of us who love a cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, that is fine. Why not try drinking a glass of water along with your cuppa. Let’s start the day the way we mean to continue. Try it for a week and decide if you want it to be part of your morning routine. If you don’t like water, why not try to flavour your water with lemon, cucumber or mint or try herbal teas.
If you have enjoyed reading this article please like and share. I will introduce you to another stress managing idea next week. Until then have a good one.
Thank you to Luke Bennett Photography for this week’s feature image.