Keeping your cool when it’s hot

Black woman portrait cooling off at home during summer heat

Heat waves can be tough for us Minnesotans — but we’re not alone, and we’re pretty resourceful when it comes to dealing with extreme temperatures. When those thermometers rise it’s not uncommon for even the hardiest folks lose their cool. Thankfully, there are ways to maintain a comfortable internal temperature AND keep calm, cool, and collected during hot weather.

“Extreme heat is hard on everyone, regardless of how resilient you are,” explains clinical health psychologist, Dr. Kristi White. “For people with certain mental health and medical concerns, extreme heat can take an even bigger toll. This can be due to certain medications and conditions that limit the body’s ability to temperature regulate.”

Extreme heat also has a disproportionate impact on the health and well-being of people who live in neighborhoods or work in places without shade, access to green space, or cooling spaces.

“Research has also shown that hotter temperatures are associated with poorer sleep, worsening mental health symptoms, and increased medical events,” said Dr. White. “With climate change contributing to worsening heat waves, we can expect that we will need to take steps to adapt and cope with these types of events going forward.”

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