By Marilia Priyanka Fernandes
Summer is here. It’s the happy season when the sun always shines in a beautiful, clear, blue sky. Summer joy knows no bounds for children who don’t have school and parents just recovering from exam stress.
It brings with it the promise of juicy mangoes and numerous trips to the beach. It’s a season we love for the sheer positive spirit it inspires.
But thanks to climate change, the summers are definitely getting hotter and harsher. You feel your head will explode with the noise of children at home. The journey to work seems never ending in the cruel summer sun. Your energy is drained on the most routine tasks. The food just won’t go down your throat. The short line at the super market seems never ending. You just yelled at someone for no reason at all. And who wants to drive to the beach after an exhausting week at work?
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” – Russel Baker
Summer can be pretty unkind in the disguise of being a lot of fun. Research has shown that the environment plays an important role in our mental well being. The heat and humidity of summer can make us more irritable, cranky and angry. Count the number of times you react by shouting, swearing or getting unnecessarily angry over petty issues as summer progresses. This should prove the point. The high temperatures can also be bad for persons susceptible to or having mental illnesses. Anxiety and depression can increase as the body adjusts to the changing climate. For some, the disturbance in sleep patterns could result in an onset of insomnia. The crime rate is also known to peak during this season due to rising tempers and declining self control.
How does one beat the summer scourge? The first is to be aware of how the summer affects us mentally. Once we know the signs, we can start controlling our behavior and not let summer get the better of us. Meditation is a good practice, but more so during these months. It helps you stay calm, centered and focused so that you are more in control of your emotions. Begin each day by meditating or deep breathing a few moments. This can be repeated during lunch break or in the evening to recharge yourself.
“A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp.” – Duncan Raymond
Children can create quite a ruckus if left to themselves. Deal with this problem by planning various activities to keep them busy. Summer camp is a good option. But don’t make it like school, where they have to rush from one place to another until they come home completely exhausted. Make sure they don’t spend all their time on TV and video games.
“Heat, ma’am! It was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.” – Sydney Smith, Lady Holland’s Memoir
Wearing loose and comfortable clothing is important, not just for your physical well being but also for your mental state. Tight, synthetic, uncomfortable clothing will make you more irritable and angry. This is because our physical state directly influences our mental condition. Dehydration, which is a common physical condition, will result in bad decision making and crankiness. If you are feeling very irritable, tired or annoyed, drinking a glass of water could prove of great help. And don’t forget to take time off and smell the sea breeze.