Wellbeing and mental health

Water and relationships

The summer months bring longer days, brighter colours and sunny weather – all factors which can enhance positive moods.  We may feel more able to relax, enjoy our free time, and address the work/life balance with a holiday or a trip out.  Also, the opportunity for a spot of sunbathing tops up our vitamin D levels.

However, warmer days and nights create a risk of dehydration.  We may feel we’re consuming loads of liquid, but alcoholic drinks and diuretic beverages such as tea, coffee and caffeine-based soft drinks can leave us depleted.

Dr. Brent Solvason, a Stanford University clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, says that dehydration can have a negative influence on mood and behaviour.  Both factors which can impact our relationships.  We say stuff we don’t mean because we feel irritable, we might act out of character because our patience is wearing thin, and as a headache builds we may make rash decisions we later regret.  The end of the day can bring with it the realisation that bridges need to be built.

So how much water is enough water?  The NHS recommends that six to eight glasses of water a day is best, or about two litres.  If you’re not a fan of plain water, try adding flavoured ice cubes, or slices of citrus fruit.  Upping your consumption may seem a tough challenge, but stick with it.  Your brain, vital organs, and those close to you will thank you!