When people are comfortable, they feel better; simple, right!? It’s the inverse that is of particular concern especially regarding those recovering from addiction or another form of mental illness. In the field of mental health, recovery is dependent on balance, calmness, and serenity. Naturally, outside factors can impact people’s subjective well-being.
One of the things people working a program are taught early on is how to mitigate stress, and how to cope with it when uncomfortable circumstances arise. While mental strain — as it pertains to recovery — centers on work, finances, family, and romantic relationships usually, several things exist that are out of one’s control, and they can wreak havoc on a person’s recovery. Notably, the weather!
Regardless of where you are living, it is probable that you are aware that July brought with it unprecedented temperatures for much of the country. In fact, 2018 is poised to be the fourth hottest year on record, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Perhaps most concerning is that this year’s hellish temps are part of a disturbing trend, consider that three hottest years ever recorded are 2015, 2016 and 2017. So, what do escalating temps mean for people living with mental illness?
Cooling Off In Recovery
Here in Hemet Valley, the 7-day forecast shows several triple-digit days; and, we are not alone, many places across the country are experiencing similar temperatures. It is of the utmost importance that people in recovery do everything in their power to avoid letting their stifling climes affect their mental wellbeing.
It isn’t a secret that individuals living with mental health conditions do not always handle change very well. It is one of the reasons people remain in the cycle of addiction for as long as they do before embracing a new way. Such persons regularly struggle with situations that are beyond anyone’s control, and exceedingly hot days qualify. So, and with that in mind, it’s paramount that you stay close to your support network perhaps more than you might normally.
When you are uncomfortable, you may be more likely to act in ways that are not in service to your best interest. You may find yourself wanting to find means of escaping present circumstances which can lead to isolation. Please resist such temptations and remember that regardless of outside elements, recovery must come first. What’s more, research shows that heat waves have a measured effect on people’s psyche.
A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University indicates that a 1-degree Celsius increase in average monthly temperature in the U.S. translates to a 0.68 percent increase in the monthly suicide rate, Bloomberg reports. The research shows that people are also more likely to use depressive language which is indicative of emotional lows. Depression, whether clinical or circumstantial, is often a catalyst for relapse. The findings appear in Nature: Climate Change.
Your Recovery Is Worth It
If you have found yourself in exceedingly low spirits of late, it could be the result of the current heat wave. Please communicate your feelings with your support network so that they may provide you with guidance. Remember, you are not alone!
Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat offers a full continuum of care that helps people break the cycle of addiction and adopt a program of lasting addiction recovery. Please contact us at any time to learn more about our center.
At HVRC, our hearts go out to everyone affected by the Carr fire.