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Heat and Mental Health – Why are we more cranky in hot weather?

Heat and Mental Health is perhaps not something we think about too much in the UK, for the most part of the year we don’t experience extreme heat, we tend to have limited number of hot days which never reach the temperatures experienced by other countries. At the moment however, we are feeling unprecedented temperatures in the UK with some areas experiencing figures in the late 30s.

We have all experienced feeling cranky in hot weather, when we are sweating and uncomfortable, already under pressure and then something else happens to make us snap. Studies have shown that there is a link between extreme heat and different mental states.

Summertime Sadness

How can we manage the heat and support our mental health?

  • When it is hot and in particular as hot as it is at the moment it is important to be kind to ourselves and those around us, to understand that we are all under pressure and will each be dealing with the heat in different ways, be patient with yourselves and those around you.
  • Keep Hydrated – please see our blog Keeping Hydrated for Better Mental Health – Drink regularly throughout the day. Avoid alcohol and drinking too much caffeine.
  • Keep Cool – if you are not somewhere airconditioned make sure that you are wearing light weight clothing, keep blinds / curtains drawn to keep out the sun and the heat. Use a fan if you can. Take cool baths or showers.
  • Stay out of the sunlight – keep in the shade as much as possible if you have to go out wear sunscreen.
  • Recognise that it is hot and that you may be affected by the heat and take precautions, be proactive – avoid making big decisions, give yourself more time to complete tasks, take more breaks, if you can nap allow yourself to catch up on sleep, give yourself more time to get to places, make sure you take water with you.

Paul Carter is an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner as well as a counsellor, psychotherapist. If you are looking for support, call Paul Carter now to book an appointment or to discuss your issues further. At the moment, Paul is only working online or the telephone due to COVID. To make an appointment please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.

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