Stress manifests in the most unusual ways, but for me, I tend to ignore the simplest things, like drinking water. I work and work, organize and strategize, so that my life is manageable and my family's life runs like a well oiled machine. But, at the end of the day, I am exhausted, achy, weary and just overwhelmed.
This morning I woke up with a headache. Not a little headache, but a killer, mind numbing one that had me analyzing what the hell was going on. I quickly realized that I was simply not drinking enough water.
I was clued into the importance of this at a Fit, Family Club night at my daughter's school last night when the session leader was talking about how we often hunger from thirst. That we might be eating more, because in fact we are really thirsty. She recommended that we drink a glass of water before we start a meal; that one action may curb our tendency to consume more food than we really need.
So, I got a bottle of water this morning and drank that before my coffee. I then got a huge glass and sipped on it for almost an hour. I also drank two cups of my favorite tea, Buddha's Bliss from Texas Medicinals. Within an hour, my back and neck stopped hurting, my headache cleared, my energy was back to buoyant and I just felt darned good.
It can be hard to remember that self-care begins with the smallest things, but it is an accumulation of those efforts that end up making us happier and healthier.