Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Keeping our bodies and minds happy through the holidays, and EVERYDAY, means getting in the H2O! Here’s why and how:
You may have heard that water is important to keep our skin and immune systems healthy, and to prevent dehydration headaches, fatigue and muscle cramps and soreness.
Did you know that there is a CONNECTION between DEHYDRATION and STRESS? It’s true! First, dehydration elevates your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. And our bodies’ natural stress responses can lead to dehydration. WHAAAA?! There's a cycle we want to avoid!
This time of year can also present special challenges to staying hydrated. The addition of holiday events and activities to your already full daily routine can deplete your body’s fluid levels faster than usual.
Cold weather can decrease your drive for thirst compared to warm weather, and you may find yourself sweating less in workouts, but neither is an indicator that you are sufficiently hydrated. You still need those fluids!
The GOOD NEWS is that you can hydrate your body with more than just water! Yes, pumpkin spice lattes, hot chocolate and herbal tea all “count” as fluid in! (Caffeine is only a diuretic if you’re body isn’t used to having it.)
Have you ever heard the weight loss “tip” that "you’re probably not hungry, you’re thirsty?" If so, please know that that is diet culture trying to get you to eat less, and, in fact, IT'S NORMAL, OK, AND IMPORTANT TO FEEL AND RESPOND TO HUNGER.
But when you notice hunger, this is a great opportunity to CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF and see if you’re ALSO THIRSTY . . . out of a place of self care. Instead of loading up on fluids to “curb” your hunger, GIVE YOURSELF FLUIDS BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOUR BODY NEEDS AND WANTS!
Noticing if you’re hungry, thirsty, stressed, tired or sore (or all the above!) will allow you to give yourself what you need - whether that’s a glass of water, a cup of warm tea or a nap. Taking care of yourself is refreshing to the mind and body and the best holiday gift to you.
B O N U S: Just another reminder that the holidays can be a time of sadness, disappointment and loneliness for some folks. Check in with them and invite them to share a cup of tea and some time with you.