Keep your cool with these soothing mindfulness tips for coping with hot weather
The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and you’re flustered, fed-up, and ready for winter.
Though we may miss it when it’s gone, there’s no denying that when temperatures skyrocket things start to get uncomfortable pretty quickly. We may find that that we’re more irritable and less able to deal with the daily challenges that come our way – or maybe the heat is weighing us down, leaving us feeling tired and sluggish.
That said, there are steps that we can take to alleviate the negative effects of warm weather. This is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness is all about developing a greater connection between our body and our mind, building an awareness of the world around us, and centering ourselves in the present. So how can that help us cope with the heat? Here, we explore four ways you can tune-in to mindfulness and help keep your cool on hot days.
1. Control your breathing
When the temperatures rise, one of the first ways it can affect us is in our breathing. As our body uses more oxygen in an attempt to cool down, our lungs are forced to work harder, which is why we may feel more tired or as though breathing is taking a lot more effort.
Take a moment to stop and bring your attention to your breath. Make sure that you’re taking in deep breaths without holding them in for too long, or try a breathing exercise keep your breaths regular.
Deep, rejuvenating breaths leave us feeling soothed and restful, so this classic mindfulness tip has a lot to offer when you’re flustered.
2. Slow things down
Everything’s more challenging when the weather’s hot, and so take time to acknowledge this and make an effort to slow down, if you can.
Think about your plans for the day. Do you have a packed itinerary that will demand you to jump from one task to the next? Consider whether there’s anything you can put to one side – for example, is today the right day to redesign the living room or can that wait for another time?
Slowing down and tuning-in are principles at the heart of mindfulness, and for good reason. It’s important to take the time to understand what both your body and mind need, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if what you need to do is say ‘no’ sometimes. If you can see that the heat is going to make a certain activity particularly stressful and difficult for you, honour those feelings, communicate them to others, and work towards a solution that offers a slower, more comfortable pace.
3. Practise meditation
If the heat has got your mind racing at a hundred miles an hour, barely stopping to focus on one thing for more than a few moments before it whirs away to the next, meditation can really help us drawback our focus and ground us in the moment. It can also help us to create a sense of stillness within us – something that can be very helpful when we’re feeling worked up by the heat or struggling to sleep at night.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, follow our guide on how to make mediation easy, and you’ll soon discover that sense of inner calm that you’ve been looking for.
4. Stop and take in the world around you
No one’s suggesting that extremely hot days are easy, because they aren’t. But at the same time, there are some positives to be found in sunny days, and mindfulness gives us the opportunity to stop and take in the world around us.
Take a look out your window and notice how the sky looks today. Is it clear blue, or are there clouds up there – whispy or fluffy? How does the sun feel when it touches your skin, can you feel the warmth sinking into your body? Is there a breeze in the air or is there a sense of stillness around you? What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you feel?
Ground yourself in the moment, tune-in to each of your individual senses, and notice the world around you. You might be surprised by the little joys and gratitude you can find.