Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #8
Dehydration and Mental Health
I’m cranky. I’m sad. I’m angry. I can’t focus. I’m overwhelmed. Everything sets me on edge. I’m shaky. I just want to collapse in a heap and cry.
It didn’t need to be this bad.
It’s just a glass of water. Starting the day with one makes a difference in my morning. Especially when it’s hot or I’m running ragged. I recently wrote a post for Defying Shadows on the importance of water and hydration for mental health. There’s no officially set amount of water you should drink per day, and there are many factors that affect how much water your body needs to stay optimally hydrated. Air temperature, body type, level of activity…
But it’s very easy to get dehydrated.
In my research on dehydration and mental health for my Defying Shadows post, I was reminded of how quickly many of us are affected by even slightly less than optimal hydration.
Making sure I drink enough water is a small but meaningful healthy mental health habit. Why would I neglect it and put my brain at greater risk of going sideways? It’s just plain foolish.
How difficult is it to drink some water first thing in the morning?
I keep a water bottle by my bed, so I can take a drink if I wake up in the night with a dry mouth, and so I can take a big drink first thing when I wake up. I also take my bedtime pill with a glass of water before I go to bed. And by glass I mean, a colorful 14-ounce plastic one. So, um, sometimes I do need to get up in the night, but it’s especially helpful if I haven’t been doing so great at keeping up with enough water through the later part of my day.
It’s not difficult for me to go to the sink and run a glass of water. And it’s also easy to take a water bottle with me when I leave the house. We’re blessed here in the US where most of us have 24/7 access to safe drinking water.
So, let’s make the effort to make use of it and take one more step in giving our brains the best possible chance to function as well as they can.
To read more on dehydration and mental health and the importance of water to how our brains work, hop on over and check out my post on Defying Shadows.
For too many people, a glass of water is not something small. A source for safe, clean water is a big deal. The water that flushes our toilets is cleaner than the only water some communities have access to for bathing, cooking, and drinking. Sometimes even less-than-sanitary water is not something easy, but requires long walks to a water source and then lugging water back home. If you would like to help provide clean water in Africa and South America, check out World Hope International’s Clean Water & Sanitation program.