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How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

We all have the best intentions of drinking water. We make it our new years resolution and our goal for the week. We will even splurge on fancy water bottles made of stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic.

But no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get enough water in. We feel sluggish, our skin isn’t glowing, and we are foggy headed. We often don’t remember to drink or are too busy chugging coffee or tea to worry about plain old water.

The funny thing is, we also all know the benefits of staying hydrated with water. Staying hydrated leads to more natural energy (no need for 4 cups of coffee a day!), decreased hunger, weight maintenance, better looking skin and hair, naturally detoxing, and even sharper thinking.

We all also know that our bodies are made of mostly water, it’s the best beverage to quench our thirst, and has no calories, no sugars, nor any preservatives. All-in-all, the math adds up and it’s a win-win.

But then why is it such a chore to drink enough water?

Simply put, water can be boring.

But, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way!

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Here are some tried and true tips to increase your hydration so that you can reap all the wonderful benefits water has to offer.

1. Set a Goal

This may sound redundant and you may even say to yourself “I’ve tried this whole goal thing before”. But this is different.

The key to setting this goal for yourself is to keep the actual water visible.

Start with a big container. This container can be a milk or juice container or a large pitcher. Keep it within eyesight, and keep it full of water. Whether that water container lives in your office, on your kitchen counter, or on your passenger seat in your car is up to you. But, the point is to have this as your reminder throughout the day.

Now comes the actual goal setting part.

Set a goal that each day that you will drink 1,2,3 or 10 of those water containers. Start small and work your way up. Use that large water container to refill your glasses and count how many times you fill that large container. This will give you an easy benchmark to see how well you are doing that day.

2. Add Flavor

Oftentimes water drinking can be such a chore because we are accustomed to flavoring.

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Creating infused waters is a great way to make a delicious beverage that still provides all the benefits of plain water! Adding berries, herbs (such as mint, rosemary, or basil), cucumber, citrus, or melon can be a great way to shake up boring water and make you feel super fancy.

Infused waters will keep all day and just continue to get more delicious as the day goes on! On top of reaping the benefits that plain water has to offer, infused waters will also provide extra boosts in antioxidants and vitamins/minerals depending on your infusion ingredients. It’s a win win!

You can find containers that are specifically made for infusing, or you can make your own with just a large pitcher. Whatever works for you is great; continue to experiment with different flavors and combinations to find that award winning infusion recipe that leads you to chugging water all day long.

3. Keep it Cold

A really cold, icy glass of water is usually more appealing than a lukewarm glass. Adding ice to your water will create a tempting thirst quenching beverage that screams “drink me now”!

Especially in the summertime when temperatures are reaching ungodly highs, water is the perfect cool-down beverage.

Finding a travel water container that keeps your glass really cold is key. There are even some water cups that will keep ice frozen all day long.

You can even take this up a notch and create fun ice cubes. Using a similar approach to the infusions, freezing berries or herbs into ice cubes is a great way to add a hint of flavor without going overboard.

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4. Use a Straw

Surprisingly, many people have much more success in drinking plenty of water when a straw is involved. By simply switching to drinking via straw, it is easier to finish your glass before you realize it’s gone.

In order to continue being environmentally conscious, grab either a reusable cup with a straw or just a reusable straw. And if you are worried about wrinkles, know that staying hydrated keeps your skin naturally plump and smooth. I don’t know about you, but I would rather chance having one or two wrinkles around my mouth while preventing other wrinkles all over.

5. Carry it With You

Keep your water nearby at all times. Bring it in the car, to work, to meetings, to the gym, to the mall, and everywhere in between. Think of your water bottle as an extension of your outfit (bonus points if it matches your clothes).

Having your water bottle around will eliminate any excuse not to drink. You will likely be surprised how often you are thirsty and go for your water bottle compared to how little you were drinking before it became part of your daily ensemble.

6. Use an App

Need to drink more water? There’s an app for that.

Countless companies have made apps that use creative ways for us to track our water intake. From apps that will donate a certain amount to charities when you drink water, to apps that encourage you to grow a beautiful rose bush based on your water intake, there’s an app answer for helping you stay hydrated.

Even if you are compelled by some friendly competition, there are apps where you can challenge your friends and colleagues to “water races”. There are great ways to get started with drinking more water and create the routine of H2O over anything else.

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7. Create Reminders

Most of us function via virtual calendar these days. By creating reminders to ding as reminder to drink water throughout the day we can save ourselves any brainpower of thinking about water, just sit back an wait for the reminder.

Set these reminders each hour and be specific! If you want to drink 8 ounces per hour, add that into the pinging message. And be sure to set yourself up so that you have the water around.

The more of a chore it is to stop and drink water, the less likely you will follow through. So prepare a bit ahead of time, keep your glass full and chug when your phone reminds you to.

Concluding Thoughts

So much of our day-to-day practices are habitual. If you are finding yourself not drinking water currently, it’s all about changing that habit. Soon enough water will be all you want to drink! Setting yourself up for success is key to creating new habits. Making the new behavior easy, do-able, and actually fit in your lifestyle will make it much more likely to continue long-term. Plus keeping in mind how much better you will feel when you are hydrated will keep you going.

Whenever you are creating a new habit, start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew no matter how tempting it is to go from zero to hundred in a day. When you are forming a new water habit, start with increasing your water intake by factors of 1 or 2. You will always have room to grow! Being realistic with where you are currently and taking steps to get to where you want to go long-term is exactly what will keep you hydrated and feeling great for years to come!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Julia Whelan

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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