I have noticed a trend in a lot of conversations lately... The weather comes up more often, and not because we are clutching at straws to continue a conversation. We aren't talking about how glorious it is in the sun, in fact, the opposite.
Many aspects of our environment, contribute to the strengths and challenges of our mental health. We are quick to associate Winter with lower moods and isolation because we are less likely to go out and socialise, but when you are in a continuous streak of temperatures over 33 with only a rare dip below that, the heat can prove to be equally oppressive.
For many of us, our mood shifts can be subtle with the only recognition coming in the form of feedback such as, "It's the season, what do you expect?" The truth is, we all have our limits. Weather can dictate our lives and livelihoods at both ends of the spectrum. For those who may have anxiety or are experience stress, the lack of control can be an uncomfortable feeling.
How do we keep an eye on our mental health in the heights of each season?
If you are aware that you have a 'favourite' season, be prepared in the opposite season. Often heaters and fans sell out early during weather snaps, so ensure you have all the essentials to keep you comfortable ahead of time.
Know Your Limits
By understanding where your limits are, don't push yourself too hard to be out of your comfort zone. Check the forecast ahead of time. There is nothing worse than planning a big day on the road if you aren't comfortable in the rain.
Check In With Yourself
Stop, look and listen! Spend five minutes on a body scan if you recognise you are close to your limits. Work out what you are feeling and where, then address the symptoms or challenges as they arise.
How do we look after the mental health of our friends in the heights of each season?
R U OK?
This is a simple question to ask. But, I implore you to go further than that. If you are picking up in behavioural changes such as constant cancelling of events, or other signs that seem out of the ordinary, approach them at their level, or in their comfort zone. Pose questions as observations, e.g.:
I've noticed you haven't been that keen to come out lately, is there something on your mind?
You seem to be more comfortable at home, why don't I come over for a coffee rather than going out?
I've noticed you've been a little quiet recently, I'm always here if you need to get something off your chest.
Let's look after each other. It's hard enough in an era where social regulations are constantly evolving due to COVID-19, but if we are observant and kind, we can help each other through mental health challenges that our environment presents.
Claire @ The Health & Wellbeing Haven