I love water. I think it’s the Pisces in me that is quite content to sit on the shore or sea wall and listen to the rhythm of the waves as they break on the sand. I’m equally happy to stand on the pier for hours on end with a fishing rod in my hand watching the swell as it rises and falls against the wooden struts and on days like today when stress and depression really take hold I am more than content to walk along the canal bank enjoying the calm, still water of the cut. No waves, often no ripples. Just reflections, reeds and rushes for company.
I am lucky enough to live near a canal and it is one of my favourite places to walk especially when I need some peace and quiet. At this time of year there are not many boats on the water and it is lovely just to sit and enjoy the scenery and think about the heritage and traditions associated with the canal network. It’s fascinating and I never tire of imagining what it would be like to live on a narrow boat and live my life at 4mph and not 400mph. It’s tempting.
This is Day 3 of “doing things differently-Part 1” and, on the basis that I am an all or nothing woman, as well as drinking more water I have excluded alcohol and chocolate from my daily diet. My plan to achieve better health must be working because I have had a pounding headache all afternoon which I conclude is a side-effect of my self-imposed de-tox.
Apparently a headache is a sign that my body is eliminating toxins that have bombarded my body over the past 12 months or so and indicates that I am flushing poison away with every glass of water. It feels and sounds gruesome and with 1/2 a bottle of Pinot Grigio nicely chilled in the fridge, the temptation to rid myself of this headache by hair of the dog is overwhelming.
But I am determined to continue. I’m assured that the headache will ease and I will feel more energetic and revived in a couple of days. And if nothing else, I feel better in myself that I have more control over my emotional eating. That’s a big plus.
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be
easy, I’m telling you that it’s going to be worth it.”
Here we go then-having decided to improve my mental and physical health and fitness what am I going to do differently to ensure a good start?
My first challenge will be to drink more water. This should be the easiest and cheapest way of improving my health immediately. I have never been great at drinking water and have suffered from symptoms of dehydration over the years not least overeating having mistaken thirst for hunger. There is no excuse. We have water machines at work supplying both still and sparkling water at the touch of a button. We were even given our own water bottle a couple of years ago to encourage people to drink more. Moreover, water on tap is perfectly drinkable and if filtered, there is no need to spend a fortune on the bottled stuff.
So how much water should we be drinking? 8 glasses a day? 2 litres a day? Whilst looking for guidance on the net, I found a water calculator which advises you how much water to drink based on your body weight-a neat tool but I’m not confessing here how much I should be drinking!
In addition to the well-known physical advantages of being properly hydrated there are mental health benefits to. Early signs of dehydration include fatigue, poor concentration, and fogginess. Further dehydration may lead to depressive symptoms including moodiness, apathy and sleep disturbances, anxiety, tension and overeating. I’m hoping that by drinking more water my symptoms will abate.
So from today I’m going to do myself a big favour and start drinking more water. Hopefully not only will my physical health benefit but my mental health will too.