It's raining. Again.
I sat at the breakfast table, morosely viewing my family devouring cereal and bacon sandwiches – because, yes, I am that mother who sends her children off with a cooked breakfast at seven in the morning – please feel free to hate me: I hate myself for it too!
"Girls: You'll need your raincoats," said my husband brightly.
There was an equally bright, "Yes, Daddy!" from one, and an indistinguishable mumble from our other daughter, who would rather catch her death than be seen to wear something so uncool as a raincoat to school.
They splashed out to catch the bus. He splashed out to catch the office and I was left, watching the rain drops chase each other down the windowpane and wondering where I would find the energy to start my day.
The answer was coffee, of course. Coffee seems to be the answer to many questions, but it is only part of my answer in the morning.
I've been reading a lot about nutrition in the past couple of weeks and I'd love to share my findings with you.
This week it's the role of water in mental health.
We know that we need food and water to stay alive, but we tend to give them both equal weight, when they are not the same at all. We can survive for quite a long time without food: weeks or even months, but we can last only about three days without water.
Even mild dehydration can cause mental confusion and lethargy.
Health professionals have found, with elderly patients, that symptoms they were taking for Alzheimer's, were those of simple dehydration. Once they made sure the patients were getting enough to drink, the mental confusion cleared up.
You may have noticed that, especially on hot days, you get headaches: headaches which are cured by the judicious application of a pint of water to the inside of your throat.
Sometimes those feelings of exhaustion and lethargy you get are dehydration and can be alleviated by a drink of water.
So, how much water should we be drinking per day - in addition to any cups of tea or coffee or other caffeinated drinks?
As with everything, the experts differ. But the minimum is four pints or two litres. I would recommend three litres myself. I keep a big jug of water in the fridge, flavoured with cucumber slices and sprigs of mint, but you may prefer it sparkling, or just straight from the tap.
I used to have a water app on my phone, which would ping to remind me to drink water. I deleted it after a week: it was far too annoying. Now I just try to remember.
So, it wasn't just a cup of coffee on that rainy morning, it was a glass of sparkling water with a slice of lemon. It really set me up for the day.
So, if you feel tired, grumpy and headachey: before you do anything else, drink a big glass of water.
A Moodscope member.
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