moving forward blog

Happiness hacks #6: Look up

There's a beautiful scene in the film About Time, where the main character spends the day enjoying every moment rather than racing through each one. 

He looks up at the law courts to admire the architecture. He looks up at the coffee shop barista to show her he cares. He looks up to his friend in a meeting to give him confidence. 

He looks up because he realises that looking up is a gift we can unwrap every day.

Try it today. Look up, live and take it all in. A world of technicolour awaits.

Happiness hacks #4: Make water your drink of choice

Ok, admit it. How many times have you set out to drink your daily quota of water, only to end up congratulating yourself for chain drinking coffee and not a lot else? (Technically it counts, but it is dehydrating.)

The answer, if you're anything like me, is too often.

I do try. I really do. I have enough BPA-free bottles to support a small nation. I have a Chilli flask (love these as they keep the water ice cool) on my desk at work, which does help when I get round to filling it. I have even tried tactics such as getting a glass of water with every drink. I know I could exist quite happily with water, coffee, tea and wine alone (although I would rejoice if they brought back tab clear for a day). Trouble is, I have my quantities all wrong.

So why am I choosing to share my failed attempts with you? Because, while hooked up to a blood pressure machine after a short anaesthetic recently, I saw very quickly how much your body needs water to function effectively.

My blood pressure was low. The solution? The nurse left the room and came back with two big bottles of water and said: 'get cracking'. And get cracking I did. By the next check I had passed with flying colours. I queried this with the nurse and she said that, put simply, water is fuel for the body. You wouldn't drive a car without filling up the tank. So why do we always expect our bodies to work if we don't feed them what they need? 

The clear stuff is essential. Just wish it hadn't taken me 34 years to realise just how essential. 

How much exactly does our body need? You could, of course, calculate exact quantities and stick to a strict regime (I have tried formulas based on body weight to work out measures), but this feels neither sustainable nor fun. The guidance from the NHS' Eatwell plate (which says 6-8 glasses a day) feels fluid enough to build into your day. 

I have cleared a good two litres a day on holiday. Let's hope the habit travels back with me when life tries its best to get in the way. 

Cheers! (of the not so alcoholic kind)