You know how it is, moms. Your “to do” list is a mile long, and it doesn’t always include self-care activities like eating well and getting enough sleep. Getting enough fluids? You just figure you’ll remember to drink when you’re thirsty.
But over the course of a busy day, it’s easy to ignore or put off those thirst signals too long until you’re regularly not getting enough non-caffeinated fluids. I know, because I’ve been there: and I definitely feel a lot better when I make “staying hydrated” a priority. As we head into spring and summer, it’s more important than ever!
Here are some of the strategies I use to help me remember to drink fluids. I hope they help you!
1. Create a routine
As a mom, I thrive on routines. If drinking a full glass of water is part of my morning ritual, I’ll do it every time, but if it’s not, I might go the whole day without taking a sip. Try to create “re-hydrating” rituals centered around breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plan to drink eight ounces after a workout, or sip while you do the dishes. Whatever activity you do regularly, “peg” drinking fluids to it, and you’ll be much more likely to follow through.
2. Flavor it
Not everyone loves the flavor of plain water, and even water-lovers can get bored by the taste. Jazz up your beverage with a squirt of lemon or lime, or a sprig of mint. Or create a spritzer by adding a dash of lemonade or limeade to sparkling water. Even adding a bit of fruit juice to plain water can give it a flavor boost.
3. Keep it handy
Where do you spend a lot of time? At your desk, in your car, watching TV in the living room, or reading in bed? Keep a glass handy at each location, and make a point of filling it before you settle in. Sip while you work, wait, watch or read, and you’ll get hydrated without even knowing it.
4. Alternate your drinks
Addicted to your morning and mid-morning, and afternoon, and evening brew? Make a point of drinking a non-caffeinated beverage: water, juice, or herbal tea before or after every soda or coffee. You can “trick” yourself into consuming a lot more fluids when you alternate beverages.
5. Set a timer
Okay, even with all of the above efforts, you might forget H20. So, do what the rest of us do for everything from business meetings to parent-teacher conferences: create “drink water!” alerts on your smart phone! Set them with a special notification sound that stands out from the rest. Pretty soon, whenever you hear those church bells chime, you’ll suddenly be thirsty.