Perhaps many of us have thought about how a dark rainy period in the winter impacts our mood, however the summer heat can also impact our mood just as much. Research shows a link between hot weather and periods of heat waves, and a deterioration in our mental health. In this blog I will outline some reasons for this, which will hopefully support you in thinking about some aspects that you might need to be more aware of in order to help yourself survive the summer heat.
- Dehydration– While we are aware that in the summer we tend to lose more water due to sweating, many of us still forget to drink enough water. Dehydration itself is known to lead to feelings of tiredness, moodiness, irritability and also feeling unwell. So it is very important to hydrate and drink enough of water, as this could perhaps be one of the direct links to irritable mood during the summer period.
- Disturbed sleep – The heat can also lead us to experience a feeling of discomfort while we are trying to rest and fall asleep. Apart from being very frustrating in itself, struggling to fall asleep can also mean that we will probably be tired and moody the next day. Think of things that can help you feel cool and fresh when going to bed. Perhaps have a fresh shower before, and use light clothing and linen. Sunburn is another factor to keep in mind. If you know that you are prone to being moody in summer because of a lack of restful sleep, be aware of getting sun-burnt as that will probably further add to the discomfort when going to bed.
- A general feeling of discomfort – The heat can lead to a feeling of physical discomfort, sometimes even feeling unclean in moments where we would have just showered and changed in new clothes. This can even cause worries and anxieties about whether we look presentable to others. Think of whether there are things that you can control with regards to this. For instance, if you know that you might be waiting for an appointment outside in the sun, perhaps avoid arriving too early. On the other hand, if you know that you can wait somewhere indoors where you can cool down while waiting, arrive slightly earlier so that this will give you some time to rest and settle down, and perhaps enough opportunity to go to the bathroom to freshen up.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.