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Monday, January 15, 2018

12 Tiny Changes, revisited

It's time to revisit the 12 TINY CHANGES series I posted a few years ago. We're not going to attempt to overhaul your lives: that's a losing proposition. But we can all make tiny adjustments without much discomfort, and they slowly become part of our new life habit. Small changes in our thinking and behavior make a big difference over time.

Our first topic is hydration.

Most of us are slightly dehydrated most of of the time. By the time you feel like you need to drink something, you're already dehydrated. Our brains consist of over 85% water, and need to be hydrated to function properly. Hydration affects everything from our coordination to our ability to concentrate...two crucial things in music-making. Water is also necessary for toxin elimination, proper digestion, joint health, and healthy skin and bones. In short, drinking enough water keeps us healthier. In this season of colds and flu, I'll take every extra bit of defense I can get!

Hydration is one of the easiest things to control and (at least for me) one of the easiest things to overlook. So our aim for this week is to drink before we're even thirsty. Since we all live by our phones, go ahead and try an electronic reminder. There are a tons of apps that remind you to drink regularly, and many of them are free. My favorites, for various reasons:

Fitbit (if you wear one)
AppleWatch (OK, I confess: I covet this. One of these days...)
My Fitness Pal (you have to remember to enter info here, but more on this app later)
WaterMinder (I like the reminders on this one)
iHydrate (integrates with Fitbit, Jawbone, & HealthKit; lets you choose other drinks)

My Wellness for Musicians student Emily found an app called FABULOUS. She said it was like having Dr. Kris in her pocket, reminding her to do nice things for herself. (How lovely that's what she hears me reminding her to do!) The app's first suggestion: set a glass of water next to your bed at night, and drink it first thing in the morning. That can at least start you in the right direction.

Here's your one tiny change: get a water app, and use it this week. Don't judge how "well" or "badly" you do, just give it a try and notice how you feel and whether or not it works for you. You might decide to try another app next week. Just observe for now, without judgment.

Drink up! 

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