Heat waves are more common in specific parts of the world that is closer to the equator. Which means, the farther you are away from the center, the less likely you’d be dealing with this hot weather. So a few days of 3 digit weather in Texas is nothing to worry about. However, when it happens higher North, say Canada, it starts to become a huge problem. Extreme weather can impact anyone’s mood – in this case, hot weather.
According to researches done by psychologists:
- Heat waves are related to more violent behaviors and aggression
- Heat waves may be associated with higher alcohol and drug abuse
- A decrease in anxiety with rise in temperature
- An increase in depression and lowered mood with rise in temperature
- Lower concentration due to high humidity
- Humidity also increase sleepiness (also related to poor sleep)
- High humidity relates to a lack of vigor and energy
High temperatures followed by high humidity often leads to less or poor quality of sleep. An air conditioning system would help prevent this but not everyone have or can afford an air conditioning unit! With many consecutive days of poor sleep, lower concentration, less energy, and even depressed moods can occur.
Given all this, what can we do minimize the effects of a heat wave?
- Avoid making unnecessary trips or errands outside the house.
- If you do not own an air conditioning unit, seek out a friend or place that does. I.e. malls or libraries.
- Keep blinds or curtains shut.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take a mid-afternoon nap to get through the hottest part of the day.
Stay out of the sun and in the shade, and stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible to limit the negative effects of the heat wave on your own mood and behavior.