Staying Cool This Summer — Emotionally
As you stay cool from the heat, here are a few ways to keep cool when heating up emotionally. As we enter the month of July and the temperatures get warmer, I want to make a reminder for each of us to check in with ourselves and take an inventory of what will keep us cool emotionally this summer. When our surroundings start to make us feel irritable, we can react in ways that don’t align with our values. Similar to how we can keep cool in hot weather, try some of these skills out in the days to come inspired by the CDC:
When getting distressed, remove yourself from a heated situation to a place that helps you to cool off - both figuratively and (when needed) literally. For some that could be a cold beverage, shower or cooler room. Find a cool place/thing and notice how the cooling effect can cut the heat.
Take stock of whether you’re drinking enough water. Whether we are managing daily hydration or wanting to practice slowing down, a task like drinking water can replenish needed fluids for the body to function properly. It can help us recalibrate emotionally when we focus on a task that can feel good.
Get ahead of a heated situation by making plans. This could include having an exit strategy for a situation you expect to be difficult or a schedule of self-care spectrum activities that can offset stressful events.
What we wear can help us prepare mentally and emotionally for circumstances that can get us agitated. Choose clothes that are loose and lightweight or consider wearing colors or fragrances that emit a feeling of relaxation.
More often than less, make choices to slow down and pace yourself. We can avoid getting heated emotionally when we notice our schedule. Take it slow and edit our schedules to have fewer demands in a given day or hour.
Let your supports know how you’re doing or that you might be going into a situation that could get heated via a phone call, email, or text. Having someone on your side physically or digitally can take the edge off of a heated situation.
As needed, consider utilizing social media or technology as a distraction technique. Your favorite song, show, or Instagram reel can be what is needed to produce a calming effect.
This month, Looking Glass Counseling is pleased to make a donation to Muslim Justice League (MJL). MJL was formed by four Muslim women in Boston in 2014, in response to a pressing need for local Muslim-led defense of their communities’ human and civil rights against the “War on Terror.” Their mission is to organize and advocate for communities whose rights are threatened under the national security state in the United States. MJL was founded on the principles that discrimination towards any group endangers the rights of all and that Muslim advocacy is an essential force for promoting justice.
Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.
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