Okay y'all, here it is: The Take Care of YOU Summer 2011 Challenge. Are you guilty of putting yourself at the bottom of your to-do list? I am guilty as charged!! Let's band together to offer each other encouragement and support as we pledge to take better care of ourselves. I'm sick of being tired and here's the first prescription: plenty of rest and lots of fluids.
I'm stuck in an unhealthy cycle of staying up waaaay too late and then drinking caffeinated beverages all day long to
maintain my chipper personality keep myself awake. So my first challenge is to make two relatively small changes: I will go to bed early enough to allow myself 8-9 hours of sleep per night and I will drink 8 glasses of water per day.
While these two changes are small, their health impacts can be huge. Check out this article on WebMD on the effects of chronic sleep deprivation. You might be surprised by just how negatively your physical and mental health is impacted by depriving yourself of even 1 hour of sleep on a nightly basis. Don't feel like reading the whole article? Let me hit the high points for you: In addition to obvious short-term problems like accidents, injuries and cognitive impairment, if you're skating by on 4 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis you could be setting yourself up for serious long-term problems. Heart failure, high blood pressure, psychiatric and mood disorders, and even obesity have been linked to sleep disorders and chronic sleep deprivation. Here's an article on Huffington Post that explains how sleep loss may be hindering your efforts to lose weight. You may already know how much sleep you need to be at your best, but if you don't, another article on WebMD can help you figure it out.
We already know we should be drinking more water, right? It's just that it can be so tempting to grab that diet soda instead ~ especially when you didn't get enough sleep the night before and you need a jolt of caffeine to rev your engine :-) Just to be clear, I'm not pledging to give up caffeine or to drink ONLY water, but by drinking 8 glasses of water a day I expect to decrease the number of other beverages I consume. Now you may be saying, "But Brooke, studies have shown that the whole '8 glasses a day' rule is junk!" Okay, there may not actually be anything magical about 8 glasses of water. But I figure 8 glasses of water a day is not going to hurt me (drinking 800 milliliters in an hour WILL hurt you, so let's practice moderation), and if I am replacing less-healthful options with a glass of good old H20 then I am bound to benefit.
In addition to these two changes, I am also pledging to take the time to do something nice for myself this week. It will be something that makes me feel pampered like painting my nails or doing an at-home facial or something similar. To recap, here's the challenge for the week:
- Get more sleep!
- Drink more water!
- Do something nice to pamper myself!
Are you up for the challenge? Join the fun and pledge to take better care of yourself! Leave a note in the comments so we can all support each other :-)
Laurie's hosting another great party this week! For reals y'all - at the time I linked up there were already almost 600 project links!! Check it out for some awesome inspiration!