Drink Up for Your Mental Health
By: Sara Smith, BSW
On average, over 50% of a person’s body weight is made up of water. When we are dehydrated, there may be noticeable physical AND cognitive effects from the lack of water. If you are not drinking enough water, you may experience problems with your ability to function normally at work, home, and in relationships. It can also cause issues with your mental health and stress level. Did you know that dehydration has been linked to headaches, confusion, and fatigue? It has also been shown to impair mood, concentration, and brain function. There can be noticeable changes in your body if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water, so these negative side effects can occur when mild dehydration kicks in.
Water needs vary from person to person. You may have heard The Rule of 8 - drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Though that may work for some people, others may need more, while others can get by with less. Here are some tips that may help you remember to drink more water:
- Keep a water bottle at your desk or work station. Any time you get up, check to see if you need more water.
- Set a goal for yourself for how many times you want to fill your water bottle each day.
- Keep a Post-it Note on your computer reminding you to drink water.
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before each meal.
- Download an app to help you remember to drink more water, such as:
- Daily Water
- Drink Nanny
- Hydro Diary
While it can be hard to tell if you need to drink more water, what is important is that you are in tune with what your body is telling you. If you are struggling with physical or cognitive changes that are not normal for you, drinking more water may be part of the answer. What is important is to know that water affects physical AND mental health.
Behavioral Health Partners is brought to you by Well-U, offering eligible individuals mental health services for stress, anxiety, and depression. Our team of mental health professionals can accurately assess your symptoms and make recommendations for treatment. To schedule an intake appointment, give us a call at (585) 276-6900.
Keith Stein |