Dr Bill Howatt of Howatt HR in the Tactics for Maintaining Mental Fitness during the COVID-19 Pandemic webinar series says mindful hydration is the act of being fully present and aware of the sensations while drinking water. It requires you to slow down and intentionally focus on each sip of water. It can be used multiple times throughout the day or in moments you need to pause.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment. You have an awareness of all of your senses through an open and supportive lens. It is paying attention to our thoughts without judgment with the intention of kindness.
Are you drinking enough water? Males need approximately 3 liters and females need about 2.5 liters of water per day. The amount is individually based on a person’s body weight and temperature, the amount of exercise, the physical environment and many demographic variables. If you are feeling thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.
A good way to measure and monitor hydration levels is through the color of your urine. The darker the urine the more dehydrated you are and the lighter the urine the more hydrated you are. Take a look at the scale below.
What is mindful hydration?
Mindful hydration is something that can be done in 90 seconds. Take 30 seconds to review the steps and prepare yourself. To mindfully drink water takes only 60 seconds. The goal is to start with One Moment per day, and add one mindful drinking moment to your day for 10 days until you get to Ten Moments per day.
Benefits of Hydration: Improved gut health, sleep quality, decreased stress, reduce risk of migraines, mood and cognitive functioning, increase blood flow, energy level, concentration, and lower levels of depression.
Benefits of Mindfulness: Sleep quality, decreased stress, reduce risk of migraines, mood and cognitive functioning, reduced risk of mental health issues, increased innovation, increased compassion, reduced physical pain, and increase in internal locus of control.
There are several mindfulness tools available. Look for tools supported by research. Find one that fits best for you, it may not necessarily be the one that shows up first in Google, and any one tool isn’t the golden bullet that solves all your problems but a micro skill to help you pause and regroup.
Let’s try the mindful hydration tool below to get you started:
- Create Intention
- Find a safe place without distraction and you are 100% safe. This shouldn’t be done while driving or while performing a hazardous task.
- Grab a bottle or glass of water (this is your “anchor”), sit and be comfortable.
- Clear your mind.
- Take a deep breath and exhale slowly emptying your lungs. Do this three times. For the last deep breath put your hand on your wat
er bottle or glass (your “anchor”).
- Clear your Mind
- After your third breath, look at the water. What do you see? Purity, clarity, calmness?
- If your focus shifts throughout the process that is ok, this takes a little practice.
- Continue to Practice
- Slowly bring the water to your mouth and take a mouthful.
- Focus on the water and the notice the space it fills in your mouth.
- Swallow the water slowly.
- Notice the slow, clear, peaceful water falling down your throat with each drink.
- Between each mouthful, take a deep breath and exhale.
- Focus on the water.
- When you mind jumps around, simply refocus on this simple activity and notice the water – nothing more.
For additional information, read Mindful Hydration Can Reduce Stress & Boost Productivity by Howatt HR Consulting.