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Cooling Off From the Heat

Cooling Off From the Heat

One hot summer day, we are basking in the sunshine with SPF30 lotion all over our bodies, but it is not enough. Temperature is approaching 95 degrees, and the humidity is about the same. Sun is vital at this hour. Going in and out of the pool, the lake, or even perhaps the ocean cool off. We proceed to lather ourselves with more and more lotion, and when you are in ultraviolet rays, it is critical to be mindful of the sun. Monitoring ourselves becomes increasingly difficult when we return to the water and repeat this routine of lathering and water play all afternoon. What can we do?

President Harry Truman popularized this idiom, 

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Harry Truman

Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with summer’s heat or even when it is hot from cooking or baking in the kitchen. We must get out and leave. An unspoken idea here is that removing oneself from the complicated situation makes room for someone else who can deal with the pressure or difficulties to take control.

Back into the hot and humid weather of summer, we need not overexert ourselves. However, we are only walking from our lounge chair to the water and back. In addition, we applied cream each time we got back to our lounges. Our mission is to prevent various heat or sun-related health issues like sunburns that can lead to heat prostration or worse. Heat prostration is the overheating of our body due to extreme weather conditions. 

These health issues happen more often with the very young, the elderly, and people with various physical and mental health concerns. Many of the medications we take can cause increased sensitivity to the sun; therefore, all individuals have to check all our prescriptions for warning labels about extended sun-times. Also, it might be a good idea to consult with one’s Primary Care Physician about any questions or concerns.

Often people can avoid this by moderating their involvement in outdoor physical activities or doing any at all. Keep well hydrated during this time because sweating causes us to need additional fluids when we exert ourselves more. Water is the best fluid to have. Try to drink a glass of water before starting doing something strenuous. Follow this hourly with another sip. Another way is to keep citrus fruits handy, like sliced lemon and sliced oranges, to maintain good health.

Sunburn prevention and heat prostration continue to be essential for keeping healthy, especially during the summer. Have fun in the sun in small increments, about an hour, and sunscreen lotion also applied. The higher the sun protection factor (S.P.F.). After any perspiration or each time we get out of the water from swimming, reapply as needed.

Other than sunscreens, prevention can be by wearing sunglasses and or sun hats. All of these protect us from heat prostration and or prevent sunstroke. Sunstroke (or heatstroke) is more occurring severe when our body temperature increases over 104 degrees. Many symptoms include red skin, severe headaches, dizziness, and different forms of confusion and disorientation.

Too much sun can also lead to a series of issues like sunburn. Sunburn may cause or contribute to skin conditions or damage from overexposure to the sun or any ultraviolet lights. When repeated, exposure can lead to an increased risk of other skin disorders. These can include deep reddening of the skin and possibly itching, which often turns into blisters, wrinkles, and dark spots. In addition, one can develop different skin cancers.

When we return inside to a cool, dry air-conditioned place, our bones and muscles need time to adapt, but this can lead to other issues. This means it would be wise to also bring some clothing items with a long sleeve, like a sweater or jacket. This tends to stop our bodies from getting too cold, and a condition called being “chilled.” Often our skin can be raised and is called “goosebumps.” If this gets worse, it can turn into a fever.

What is also vital to assist in our body recovering is to shower as soon we can when we are having a fun day in the sun. When spending the day swimming or jumping in the saltwater in the ocean or lake can increase our sunburn risks and dry out our skin. All of these behaviors make it more susceptible to blisters and infections. I do not want that. Furthermore, showering after perspiring can significantly eliminate developing rashes, and other irritates from appearing on our physiques.

All of us out there want and deserve to have a healthy and enjoyable summer with a long, satisfying life. Spend time outdoors, take in the sun, but not too much, put on the correct type and amount of sun lotions, drink plenty of fluids or liquids, mostly water (not liquor, nor beer), and keep calm. 

Most importantly, remain safe six feet apart, wear masks where necessary, and limit crowding. Remember, safety first.

See you in the news blogs.

 

Howard Diamond CPS (Certified Peer Specialist)

Howard Diamond CPS (Certified Peer Specialist)

Howard Diamond, CPS (Certified Peer Specialist) is a hardworking Editorial Board Member and eager contributor to Mental Health Affairs. He has worked in various settings all over Long Island and New York State where he resides. His articles are layered with incredible profound insights into his health and state of being, which resonate with his audience do deeply struggling with their mental health and connection to the bigger world. Howard has a dedicated following of readers and he also writes for other websites on his lived experience and ongoing thoughts on mental health. We are happy to have him working with the site and being so gracious with his time, energy, and dedication to our site.
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