We believe in vitamins and supplements. We buy them. We open the packages and line up the bottles in medicine cabinets and kitchen pantries. And then we forget to take them. It's not that we don't want to take our vitamins and supplements, it's just that life somehow gets in the way. In the medical world, doctors call this medication nonadherence, and it's an issue that's challenged patients and health providers for decades. While missing a daily vitamin isn't as serious as, say, missing a prescription drug for a chronic illness, skipping a day could reduce the overall effectiveness of some vitamins and supplements. If you have trouble remembering to take your vitamins, try one (or a few!) of these techniques…
7 Ways to Remember to Take Your Daily Vitamins & Supplements
- Set a reminder. You can use your phone to set daily reminders and alarms. Use the alarm feature built into your phone and give the alarm a custom name ( Vitamin D Supplement, for example). Or, download one of the many free apps that streamline the reminder process.
- Write a note. If you prefer to do things the old fashioned way, write a note (or several!) and place it in a prominent place where you're sure to see it: on the coffee maker, on your bathroom mirror, on the steering wheel, etc.
- Get a pillbox. Sometimes just remembering the dosage and frequency of all the different vitamins and supplements you take is half the battle. A pillbox with individual compartments for each day of the week can help ease that burden. Spend a few minutes at the start of every week filling each compartment. With this approach, you only have to open one container per day, and no mental calculations are required!
- Create an association. Behavior science tells us that we're more likely to remember to do something if the activity is tied to an existing routine. If you always have a cup of coffee when you get up, add your vitamins into the routine. If you always put your keys in a dish when you get home from work, keep your vitamins there and integrate them into the routine. You get the idea. Pick a routine that's already ingrained in your life, then build onto it!
- Streamline your supplements. For many people, the volume of supplements can present a challenge. Would you have an easier time remembering to take all of your supplements if you were taking fewer of them? Look at the labels of your vitamins and supplements to see if any could be replaced with a multivitamin.
- Prioritize self-care. Updating your pill routine could be a great opportunity to shake up your daily routine through prioritizing self-care. Instead of turning on a morning talk show or hitting the snooze button, consider taking just 10 minutes at the start of your day to meditate, pray, journal, or read a text that will provide support for the day ahead. Integrate your vitamins and supplements into this self-care routine at the beginning of your day.
- Store in a visible area. It's easy to forget to take pills that are hidden away in a medicine cabinet. It's harder to forget about a supplement that lives on your bedside table! Keep vitamins and supplements in a visible area to increase your chances of remembering to take them!