With summer temperatures getting dangerously high here in the Triangle and across the country, it's important to protect not just your physical health, but also your mental health.
The physical worries are well-known: making sure you drink enough water, stay in the shade, and use enough sunscreen to protect yourself from the heat.
But the mental health side isn't as well known.
While many associate seasonal affective disorder with the winter months, summer heat presents its own set of challenges.
- Increased irritability and frustration
- Shorter attention span
- Taking longer than usual to complete tasks
- Poor sleep quality
If you feel out of place, you're not alone. One local therapist says the extreme heat is impacting everyone, making existing issues like anxiety worse, and making some feel more on edge.
"I think if you have a propensity for anger, it'll raise you a little bit more, if you have a lower propensity, it still raises it, but it just adds to that irritability I think for everyone," says Laura Harris, a psychotherapist with Thriveworks in Durham.
Harris also those on medication for bipolar or schizophrenia, reactions to those medications can be more impacted by the extreme heat.
Some advice for everyone, though, be sure to check in on family and friends.
It's something we're more likely to do when people are indoors in the winter but something we might forget while everyone's out and about enjoying summer.