Storm Team 4
Expert gives tips to handle mental, emotional toll from heat
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee is in the midst of an atypical heat wave, as temperatures could soar close to the 100 degree mark.
Hot weather can often lead to hot tempers and irritable moods We might not catch it until we've made our own day, or someone else's day, worse because of our crankiness.
"It's amazing what hot weather can do to your mood, and can do to your whole mental psyche," said licensed clinical counselor Kate Ferguson in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jodi Becker.
"There's just so many ways that it affects you, that I don't think people stop and recognize. I think people realize they get a little more cranky, a little more testy when it is hot. I don't think they put the why behind all of being cranky. I think they just realize they're irritated, and they're done with it.
The first thing Ferguson suggests is to understand how outside heat can lead to you having a shorter fuse than normal, and to be present to others who are in the same boat you're in.
"Recognize your hot. You're uncomfortable. You're going to be a little more irritable. Cut yourself some slack," suggested Ferguson.
"More importantly, cut other people slack. Everyone's going through the same thing. We're all hot. We're all testy. You know that you might shoot off a comment to a co-worker that normally you would hold in on a nice day. On a 95 degree day, it's just going to come out...Take a step back. Remember, everyone's moody. Everyone's crabby. Cut people some slack."
Ferguson also suggests a few steps on how to lessen your hot mood - like exercising, drinking enough water, and perhaps eating a cold childhood-like treat.
"Go to a place that has air conditioning, like a mall, and go and be active, even for 15 minutes on your lunch break. The release of endorphins will do your mood...it will just change dramatically," said Ferguson.
"Also make sure that you're staying hydrated. Cold water, regular old tap water, will keep your body hydrated, keep everything in working order on the inside. Also, make sure that you're eating healthy meals."
"Treat yourself to an ice cream cone or a Popsicle. It's always nice to treat yourself to something you normally don't on a daily basis, and it makes you feel like a kid again. It may bring back good memories of something you did with a parent."