Ah, the witching hour. That window of time in the evening when us parents…
We all know how important drinking plenty of water is to our health and general wellbeing, but why is it always the first thing to go when the day gets busy? This used to happen to me all the time. I’d get to the late afternoon and feel totally parched, and realise I hadn’t drunk any water that day. Cue headaches and lots of evening guzzling, followed by interrupted sleep from getting up several times to use the loo!
You guys know I’m all about making life as easy as possible; if we can create habits around some of the more boring or easily neglected aspects of life, the easier it all seems (and the better we feel).
So, I had to consciously make drinking water a habit in my day. It took time, and while I’m not perfect and definitely don’t hit the ideal amount every single day, it’s a more constant, ingrained thing that has improved my overall wellbeing.
If you follow my socials, you will have seen our exciting new product release: the Steph Pase Planners Water Bottles. I have been bursting to show you these, because they have been literally years in the making. I wanted them to be perfect – high quality, aesthetic, functional, durable – because the idea is that they go everywhere with you. I hope you love them as much as I do! Plus, every bottle comes with a water tracker challenge, which I have equipped with a little incentive to help you get the most from your bottle. See point No.1 below for more on that!
Now, here are my top tips for getting more water into your day:
1. Have a plan and track your intake:
Good intentions are a start but they are easily forgotten when work/kids/tasks/a great TV series steal your attention. Start by plotting a plan of attack: how much you need to drink, how to split it into intervals, times to drink that fit into your day. Then, have a visual reminder to keep you on track: the SPP planners and weekly planner magnets have habit trackers on them, or you can create your own and stick it somewhere you will see it. Or, for an extra-special incentive, the SPP bottles come with a water tracker challenge that allows you to set your goals, visually track your progress, join a community for support from like minds, post on socials and have a chance to win $1,000!
2. Set reminders on your phone or watch:
Annoying, yes, to have the thing pinging any more than it already does, but a phone/fitness watch reminder can help give you a tap on the shoulder until the habit becomes ingrained.
3. Pair it with an already established habit:
I find this so helpful when starting a new habit. Add a glass of water with something you already do daily (brushing your teeth, taking your supps, eating a meal, having a shower, going to the bathroom) and it becomes less burdensome to remember.
4. Take a bottle with you everywhere:
This one’s a no-brainer. Make your water bottle part of the essentials for leaving the house along with your phone, wallet and keys. (Especially important if you have kids: all parents know the pain of hearing ‘Mum, I’m thirsty’ when there’s no drink in sight!)
5. Add flavour:
If it’s the sheer boringness of water that stops you, that’s easily fixed too. Add fresh fruit, herbs, a squeeze of citrus, or herbal tea infusions (a quick google will bring up plenty of options).
Now, to get the kids involved.
6. Make it appealing:
Help them feel part of the process by choosing their own special cup/straw/bottle. Make it look more exciting by freezing some fruity combos in ice cube trays and popping one in their drink.
7. Make it visual:
Keep a tracker where they can see it and have them tick off their consumption over the day.
8. Make it readily available:
Ensure they have a cup or bottle handy all the time, and know how and where to help themselves to water throughout the day, both at school and home.
9. Incorporate a challenge:
Rewards are super motivating for kids (us too, let’s be honest), so turn it into a challenge where X glasses of water a day = fun thing at the end of the week.
10. Do it together:
Incorporate your new water habits with theirs, such as a glass when brushing teeth in the morning or every time they go to the toilet (though not so much in the evening to reduce the likelihood of frequent waking or bedwetting).
11. Have the ‘pee talk’:
Kids are obsessed with bodily functions, so this one should make them giggle. Talk to them about urine colour — dark = dehydrated, light = hydrated — and make it a daily mission for them to lighten their pee!
I hope this helps you and your family get more water into your lives! Remember, this isn’t about instant perfection, it’s about small, manageable changes that you can make over time.
HOW MUCH WATER?
This varies person to person, and can also change daily, depending on the temperature, food eaten and activity levels. As a general rule, men need about 10 cups of fluids every day and women need about 8 cups (add another cup a day if you are pregnant or breastfeeding). Babies need 0.7–0.8 litres of fluid a day from breast milk or formula, while children need between 4 cups (for one-year-olds) and 6–8 cups a day (for teenagers). In Australia, one cup is equivalent to 250ml. (Source: HealthDirect.gov.au)
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