How extreme heat in Central California can impact mental health

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ByNic Garcia via KFSN logo
Monday, September 5, 2022
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The extreme heat can take a toll on more than your physical health -- it can also drain you mentally.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The excessive heat can be exhausting.

"The heat really does drain us of a lot of our energy and our clear thinking," says Chris Roup.

She says when people are dehydrated, it can take a toll on their mental health.

Having to stay indoors can impact up your daily routine of staying physically and mentally fit.

"It can cause our mental health to shift," she said. "We are not going to feel well and at our best. We may feel longer periods of sadness and irritability."

Waking up earlier to exercise and enjoy some time outside can be helpful, and remembering to stay hydrated and eat healthy meals.

For some people, having the right mindset is essential.

Gary Cordova delivers packages, so he has to work out in the heat every day.

He says he drinks plenty of water and listens to gospel music to keep him going.

On his days off, he does what he can to avoid the sun.

"We go to church every Sunday, so we stay in the AC at our church from 11 to 1:30 and we go directly from our church to a restaurant, eat in the AC and then come out here when it gets a little bit cooler," he said.

Roup says he has the right idea -- listening to uplifting music or reading an interesting book can keep the mind focused and help uplift our mental health.

It's important to pay closer attention to kids in this weather.

"When children are feeling sadness and irritability, it's time to be aware what can we do," she said. "A really good question we can ask them is, 'What do you need?'"

She says anyone experiencing prolonged sadness beyond the heatwave should seek help from a mental health professional.