Summer Heat

One of the most daunting tasks that I’ve had to do lately is to get the energy to complete projects. The summer heat is fun for going out to eat or playing outdoors, doing yard work, picking pears off the pear tree, or picking vegetables and fruits out of the garden, eating summer squash, and experiencing everything that the winter months make too cold to enjoy. Fresh tomato’s out of the garden can make for experiences that can’t compare with store-bought tomatoes. The problem for me is that the summer heat takes my energy and squashes it until I can’t continue. I take my vitamins, exercise, and am watching my diet, but the excessive heat makes me sluggish.

I have several computer social media projects that I am always working on. Some days it seems that a computer is attached to me. At work, I’ve learned to go early and check my lot before the heat gets so intense that I can’t breathe. I have asthma. I haven’t admitted that much to anyone this summer. In turn, this has made things worse. I sometimes have to gasp for air. I haven’t smoked for almost 16 years. But the damage is done. Other than having difficulty breathing, the summer heat has been adding to the stress.

Unlike other seasons, the heat can make simple tasks seem almost impossible. Deadlines still have to be met. Tempers flare more in the summer. I’ve seen more aggression this summer out of people than ever. Several factors can be attributed to this. For one thing, COVID 19 has created more people to be homebound or afraid to go out to avoid the virus. Restaurants that are opening back up are having to adhere to strict guidelines for everyone’s safety. One of the things that has drastically changed with this is the wait time to enter your favorite establishments. There’s been several places that I love to visit that the wait times have been at least twenty to thirty minutes on nights that previously weren’t an issue.

I can give you a prime example as to the stress the heat has added. I’m usually a very easy going person. Lately, I’ve been snappish. That’s not like me. If anything, it’s usually the opposite. The more the heat has been pushing my buttons, the less tolerable I have become of things that are out of my control. The hardest part is keeping a Zen mentality when I want to pull a fight back mode. I can handle criticism. What I have a difficult time with is lack of communication from others when everyone else makes decisions that affect my life without giving me a vote.

Here’s a few things that I’m finding are helping me begin to de-stress with all the heat.

1. Stay hydrated. This is important. We burn off more water with the heat and staying hydrated is crucial.

2. Meditate. I used to scoff at this notion but the older I’ve gotten, the more I can give credence to this practice. Sometimes when we allow ourselves to meditate, not only can we reflect on what’s going on around us, but we can calm our nerves down.

3. Learn CBT. I’ve never tried this technique but I’ve heard good things about it. In fact, after writing this blog, I’m going to research more about it and try it for myself. I’ll let you know how it goes.

4. Paint, Draw, Write, Sing, or try anything that you enjoy doing and immerse yourself into it. Many times, putting ourselves into a craft can assist us with all kinds of coping mechanisms.

5. Yoga. I just recently started taking this up. It’s difficult for me right now because I’m not in the greatest shape but I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve heard from many other folks that yoga has helped connect them on a higher plateau with themselves.

6. Read. Not only does reading teach us things we never knew, it allows us to escape into new worlds. Sometimes I need that escape mechanism because the real world can be overwhelming at times.

There’s a lot of other ways to help. These are just a few that I found that you might find helpful. It never hurts to research everything that you can when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t let the virus and all the other issues in the world keep you from enjoying the summer. This is the first time in our lives that we are experiencing this kind of control from outside forces. We are still in control of us. Stay focused and don’t let anyone get you riled up. It’s not worth it.

If there’s anything that this summer has taught me, it’s that stress is compiled, heat doesn’t help and people are struggling in many different facets. It’s also taught me that we have to do things for a healthier way of life, cope with those stresses and not allow the depression and anxiety to rule our actions. It’s also reminded me to stay educated and not be so flippant in what’s going on in the world.

I can’t change other people. All I can do is change me. But after taking some much needed time away from the office, I’ve learned that being in touch with what’s going on with me and others I care for can help take away some of the stress. I think I’m going to start a new to do list. One that includes remembering that I don’t have to be Superwoman in order to achieve all my goals. All I have to do is breathe, remain focused, and not let the negativity from all the other outlets make me turn into a hot summer. If anything, that energy can remain calm, cool, and collected. Enjoy the summer heat everyone.

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