First Step to Managing Your Stress [Part 1 of 7]

I speak to groups about strategies for managing stress. When I do, the first thing I talk about the importance of staying hydrated.

Your body needs water for several reasons. If for no other reason, however, your brain needs to be well hydrated if you want to make good decisions.

Regardless of your occupation, you need to be clear-headed and focused. If you are a teacher, being clear-headed and focused is especially important.

Brain cells need a balance between water and other elements to function properly. When you are thirsty or even slightly dehydrated, that balance is disrupted. Your brain cells lose efficiency. (

If you are a teacher, I can hear your objections now. More water means more trips to the bathroom, right? And if you are a teacher, you can’t just take off any time you feel like it for a trip to the restroom. You can’t leave your kids alone. I get that. But I also know that if you are in charge of students, you need to be at your best every minute of the day. That means operating at the height of your efficiency. So, figure out a plan. Get someone close by to watch your children while you make a quick trip. The bottom line is that the first order of business in managing your stress is being hydrated.

Your brain works more efficiently. And your other bodily functions will also work more efficiently, too. Your kidneys, heart, and digestive system will work better when hydrated.

So, drink when you are thirsty. Steer clear of sodas and sugary drinks. Drink water as much as you can. Adjust your water intake according to your physical exertion. Consider your environment. Also, consider other factors including if you are a new mom who is breastfeeding.

Staying hydrated is a first step toward the self-care everyone owes themselves.  You are drinking enough water if you are rarely thirsty and your urine is a light color of yellow. Check out this article to see a chart demonstrating the color for which you should be striving. (

For more information or questions for me, please feel free to reach out to me at I would love to hear from you.

I also offer some tools that you may find useful. Learn how stressed you are now by taking a free stress test. Download the self-assessment tool here:

Download a free eBook on stress management here:

I am also offering a new 7-part Mini-Course on stress management during the holidays. For more information, take a look here:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Until next time.


Career Transition & Job Search Coach

Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP is a former educator who now helps burnt-out teachers and mid-career professionals find new fulfilling career paths that are satisfying & fun. Check out her website at website for more information.