While many people are celebrating the presence of the sunshine with days at the seaside or meeting up with friends and family for barbecues, some people are left seriously struggling with the heat. Warm temperatures can trigger symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, restlessness, irritability, palpitations and shortness of breath, increasing feelings of anxiety or exacerbating an existing anxiety disorder. Here are our top tips on how to keep cool and comfortable throughout the hot weather.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can contribute to anxiety and make you feel unwell in times of increased temperatures, therefore drinking plenty of water is essential.
- Wear loose, light clothing. Go barefooted where possible and avoid wearing dark colours as it absorbs heat.
- Eat sensibly. Consider replacing hot meals with salads and lighter meals. The heat can reduce one’s appetite but avoid skipping meals as this can make symptoms worse.
- Reduce body temperature. Putting your feet in cold water can help cool you down, as can splashing cold water on your face or running cold water on your hands. You might consider taking cool baths or showers throughout the day.
- Reduce the temperature in your surroundings. You can keep your home cool by avoiding opening windows, blinds and curtains until after the sun has gone down. Use a fan in rooms you spend the most time in, especially in your bedroom at night.
- If you need to go outdoors or are going to be away from home, consider planning your day. Ensure you are wearing light, comfortable clothing and that you have eaten breakfast and have consumed water. It will also help to have some items with you which will help you remain cool while you’re out such as a hat, cool water and a small fan.
- Calm your thoughts. If you are experiencing anxiety due to places being busier in the warm weather, you can always find a quiet spot to practise some grounding techniques if you feel overwhelmed. Instead of focusing on the people, be mindful and observe all the things around you where the sunshine magnifies the beauty of nature.
- Change your perspective. Consider also all the great things you can do in the warmer weather that you can’t do in winter and all the great activities that can be enjoyed whilst keeping cool!
Living with anxiety can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome their mental health issues if given the right help and support. Read more…