Welcome to A Practical Guide to Wellness Accountability Challenge! Over the past few weeks, you’ve heard me start talking about daily accountability that honors mind, body and soul. By taking care of ourselves – truly seeking wellness in mind, body and soul each day – we set the foundation to live vibrantly and full of joy.
I’ve been on my own health journey. I won’t get into it all here, but know that I’ve faced food sensitivities, chronic migraines, chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, adrenal dysfunction, chronic back pain, weight gain, hormone issues, endometriosis, depression, anxiety, trauma…it’s a fun list. I’m sharing that to say that I know how it feels to wake up and not feel like getting out of bed. I know how it feels to not know how you’re going to make yourself get dressed and get through the day. Some days you do, and some days you don’t.
I also know what it’s like to be over-scheduled, burnt out, stressed out, trying to please everyone, fit in every activity, fill my weekends with shopping and road trips, completely distracted and overwhelmed by the busyness of life.
At different times in my life, I’ve been both places. Sometimes those places have overlapped, and while I struggled with health issues, I kept showing up for everyone else – or for the distractions. I do love a good distraction. 😉
As I was in those places, I couldn’t figure out how to show up for myself, and honestly, I didn’t want to. I’ll talk more about that later, but the turning point for me was therapy. Once I found some healing, I was able to start taking those small steps. Those small steps added up to HUGE results for me.
I’m not fully healed, but I’m on my way. My mind, body and soul are learning to work in harmony and I’m finding balance. That balance is showing up in all areas of my life – from my health, to my relationships, to my work, and in my spiritual life. This series is designed to help you find a place to start.
Our journeys are going to look different – we all have different goals and different needs, but we can all use this framework to help us create forward movement in our lives. Momentum begets momentum. Small changes add up to huge results. I hope at the end of all of this, you find yourself, because there, you will find joy. Joy that no one can take away from you – no matter the circumstances.
Each objective in the series will last for 21 days. As you know, this is the time it takes to create a habit. So, we’ll start with the first objective, work on it for 21 days, and then start working on the next objective. Those small changes will begin to add up in no time.
The key to this is showing up for yourself every day. You’ve got to make the effort and do the work consistently to create the habit. I’ve got the accountability built in for you – we’re going to do this as a group. When other people know you’re committed to showing up for yourself, it makes you far more likely to do so. In my Facebook Group and on Instagram (@beautifulbalanced.life), you’ll find the daily accountability post. Leave a comment to let the group know you’re taking part in the challenge, and every day, come leave a comment to let us know how you did for the day. I’ll be there to offer encouragement and support. This series will cover all aspects of mind, body and soul for a true approach to wellness. It all starts with deciding to show up for yourself in one small way every day.
Let’s get started!
Objective #1: Drink More Water
Timeframe: 21 Days
Yes, I know. You’re thinking, “Seriously?!? She’s telling me to drink more water? That’s all she’s got for me?” Hang with me here. Getting plenty of clean, fresh water is the absolute basis for good health, and a lot of us don’t get as much water as our bodies need each day. While 8 glasses a day is a good general rule, it doesn’t always hold up, and many people don’t know how much a “glass” even is!
- Every cell and every organ needs water to function properly.
- Water aids digestion (read: among other things, you need adequate water intake to stay regular. Keeping it real here, folks).
- Your kidneys need adequate water to function properly and remove waste.
- Without enough water, your skin becomes vulnerable to acne and other skin disorders, can become dry and cracked, and is also more susceptible to aging (wrinkles!).
- Blood is at least 83% percent water, therefore, if water is in short supply, blood can become thicker and increase blood pressure.
- Lack of water, or dehydration, can lead to changes in brain structure and function, and can even lead to poor cognitive function.
- Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes, shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Not to mention the fact that shriveled cells aren’t going to function properly in general, which could lead to other health issues.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your body healthy and functioning properly at the most basic level. If you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle, are (or working towards becoming more) active, want to look younger and have glowing skin, or really just want keep your brain, cells and other organs working, then you need to drink water. And lots of it.
Did you know that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Yep, thirst is the body’s way of screaming at you to drink some water already.
Let’s talk numbers! Your weight (in pounds) ÷ by 2 = the minimum amount (in ounces) you should be drinking every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water per day. Note that I said at least. If you are working towards good health, your goal should be a gallon of water per day.
Yep. A gallon. F*ck that’s a lot of water, right? Chances are, unless you’re a super active person, you’re probably not going to get a gallon of water in per day. That said, a gallon is only 53 more ounces than that 75 mark up above. Aim a little higher is all I’m saying.
There are a few things to consider here:
- If you are very active and/or sweat a lot, then you’re going to need to be drinking more than that minimum amount above.
- There is such a thing as drinking too much water. This is hard to do, in general, but don’t go drinking gallons upon gallons of water every day. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
- When you start drinking more water, you’re going to be going to be visiting the restroom more often. Hang in there – your body will regulate over time, and this will get better.
Last, but not at all least: If you have a medical condition that requires you to restrict fluid levels, then always follow your doctor’s advice. I realize that fluid restrictions bring their own challenges and frustrations. Please do not let anything you’ve read here make you feel bad or make you feel like you’re not taking care of your body. In fact, by following the recommendations of your healthcare provider, by protecting your body in this way – you are honoring your body. You are giving it exactly what it needs and can handle right now. Hopefully as your health improves, you’ll be able to include more fluids in your daily routine. If you want to take part in this objective because you’re ready to show up for yourself intentionally every day, then I have a modification for you below! Also, if you struggle with dry mouth or feeling thirsty due to your fluid restrictions, I’ll be sharing some suggestions for that over the next few weeks in my groups, so be sure to join us there for support and resources!
Your Objective: For the next 3 weeks, focus on getting the minimum amount of water using the formula above. If you’re really motivated, then shoot for that gallon mark!
Objective Modifications: If you have fluid restrictions, use the next 3 weeks to maximize your fluid intake. If you can only drink 70 ounces of fluids, for example, then make those ounces count – and drink fresh, clean water. If you need additional nutrients, you could mix a greens powder into some of your water intake.
A few tips for making your water goal:
- Find a stainless steel or glass container that you can keep full of cold water. Chemicals in plastic can leach into your water, so it’s best to avoid drinking from plastic containers and plastic straws.
- Keep a pitcher of cold, filtered water in the fridge.
- Change it up – add lemons, limes, or other fruit to your water.
- Pay attention to how much water you’re drinking, and track it! Know how much your glass actually holds (with or without ice).
- Make sure you’re drinking water every 30 minutes during the day – set a reminder on your phone if you have to.
- Sodas, coffee, juice or sweetened beverages of any kind, and alcoholic beverages are NOT water. These beverages shouldn’t be counted toward your daily water intake. Sparkling water is okay, but it can be a bit acidic for your body, so make sure that sparkling water is 1/3 or less of your daily water intake. Your body needs just good ol’ flat water, too.
Tell me: Based on the formula above, are you drinking enough every day?