Sunday 22 July 2018

Nerd Church - Self-Care Is Vitally Important In Hot Weather

...of course, Self-Care is vitally important generally, but you get what I mean.

If you're in the middle of a heatwave like we are in the UK, then your Self-Care game needs to be sharp.

'Summer Self-Care' graphic with melting ice-cream against a blue sky, sprinkled with pink stars

Disclaimer time!:

I’m not a mental health, psychology, or medical professional — I’m a Welsh girl with a blog.

People with mental health problems - hi! - may find ourselves affected by the heat, and we and people with other disabilities need to be especially careful.

Just as an example: yours truly has increased Anxiety problems in the heat. I also get increased Depression problems when I'm hot for this long, mainly because the uncomfortableness just brings my mood down generally.

People can also get a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that's commonly known as the Summer Blues, or Summer Depression.

Wendy @ What the Log Had to Say wrote a cool (geddit?) post about the effect of summer on mental health, also including the pressures of socialising.

Of course, taking care of yourself in the heat is important regardless of what disabilities you do or do not have.

I'm just pointing out that it's especially important for those of us who may be affected the most.

Let's take a look at 3 basic but important things you can do to take care of yourself in the heat:

1. Hydration

This is THE most important one! Dehydration is not a joke. It's not a thing that happens to other people. IF YOU DON'T DRINK ENOUGH YOU WILL BE ILL.

Drinking water and clear pop like fizzy lemonade is the best. But drinking things like tea can help too - just don't rely solely on tea, coffee, etc., because they are less hydrating than water.

gif of floofy cat drinking from tap
Nom nom nom! 😋

Via Giphy

If you're on meds, it can be super easy to dehydrate, so please make sure you drink enough!

2. Don't rush and over-exert

Everything takes longer in the heat. Everything is difficult in the heat. Everything takes more energy than you think it will.

Just let it take longer, k? Fighting in will just take up more energy. Heat stroke and/or exhaustion are no fun.

3. Protect your skin

OK, I know it's boring and annoying but you have to protect your skin from the sun. Skin cancer is bad. And it can and does happen. It's easier to protect yourself now than to suffer the effects later on.

And my fellow white people?

You need to be extra careful. We have less natural defence against sun damage. If you have very fair skin, you need to be more careful again.

seal applying sun-cream to its tummy
Via Michelle Porucznik on Giphy

Tans are not worth the burning and the damage. Get fake tan if you're really that keen on it.

While People of Colour usually have more natural protection than us white people, you still need to protect yourself from the hidden damage.

Use sun cream. Cover your arms. Stay in the shade where possible.

If, like me, you have light-sensitivity problems - so your eyes and/or brain are especially sensitive to brightness - you'll probably also need some damn good sunglasses!

How do you handle the heat? Do you have to make special considerations due to disability? Talk to me! 😎💬

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Last updated: 27th July 2018


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  2. From someone who almost fainted from the heat in a fancy tea shop two days ago, I totally second everything that you said here, lol! I would also add wearing a hat! Tons of people overlook how hot your head actually gets and hats can be vital for preventing heat stroke.

    1. Hats can also be uber-useful! It does depend where you are though - wearing a hat in the car isn't always practical! Lol.

      Take care Em! Please don't faint! <3

  3. GOD I feel so sorry for everyone in places where central air conditioning isn't standard. When I lived in New York, summers were just way way worse than they are living in Louisiana. The temperatures were overall lower in New York, but I was much less able to escape the heat. Here, as soon as I walk inside, I have escaped from the heat. I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR YOU and I hope that HORRIBLE AWFUL SUMMER is very, very quickly over with where you are.

    1. We actually have an air con machine (only big buildings like shops and office buildings have air con installed) but it's expensive to run, so we only use it when we absolutely *have* to!

      The thing is, as a country we generally consider 15C-20C (outside temp.) to be a nice, sunny, warm, day. We currently have 25-30C temperatures; higher in some places. This country is not built for those temperatures!

  4. I don't handle temperature changes well with my illness. So when I lost power for like 10 days last year, the heat was one of the worst things. It just made me miserable. I still think it's shocking that everyone doesn't have central AC though! I'm just so used to everyone having it here. But yes, these are important tips!

    1. Our entire infrastructure is geared towards extreme cold and rain/storms. Only shops and office buildings have central AC - and not all of those. We have a portable AC, but it's expensive to run, so we hold off from using it unless we *really* have to.

      Goddammit I'm Welsh!!! I'm made for rain, a small amount of snow, and blasting winds! I can't deal with this!


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