16 Aug Keep Your Cool Despite The Heat
Studies show heat exposure negatively affects your mood, whether you work in the oppressing heat or you’re stuck in an air-conditioned office. It can lead to increased anger, frustration, aggression, and violence.
Increased Risk of Injury
Since heat increases anger and frustration which can lead to aggression and violence, it is of great concern in the workplace. According to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, anger quadruples your odds of injury and hostility increases it six-fold.
Employers can do their best to make you comfortable, but they can’t control your physical and mental reactions. However, you can do many things to sidestep heated battles. Here are just a few.
Think – Don’t React
People can be more impulsive when it is hot. Even though the heat is an additional stressor, it doesn’t mean you can’t control yourself.
Decide to remain calm, even if you’re feeling testy. If something upsets you, don’t react. Take a deep breath, and think before you act.
Express Yourself Appropriately
Sure you’re hot and grumpy, but that’s not an excuse to fly off the handle and rant. It escalates tensions, instead of working towards resolution.
Stay composed and let the person know why their actions or words upset you. Don’t use an accusatory tone or words. Instead, use phrases that describe how it makes you feel or why you feel it is unfair.
If you feel your temper rising and haven’t found a way to respond appropriately, step away. Often times, the surge of anger subsides when you give each other space.
Little things can trigger huge reactions when you’re hot and tired. Remember, the other person may be just as hot and grumpy as you, so a little give is warranted.
According to the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, even mild dehydration alters your mood, energy levels, and cognitive function, but especially in women.
Normally, you should drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration, but when it’s hot drink more to replenish the fluids lost through perspiration.
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s proven that hot weather kills your appetite, but that doesn’t mean you should skip meals. Food accounts for between 20 and 30 percent of your fluid intake and provides essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Eat lighter – but eat.
Without sufficient food, you are more likely to become angry. That’s why someone invented the word “hangry.”
You’re entitled to breaks during your workday, so take full advantage of them. If you work outdoors, find some shade. If you’re stuck inside, take a walk around the office, sip on water, or have a snack.
Working non-stop does not allow time for your body to recover. Even a few minutes can make a huge difference.
Employers have a responsibility to safeguard their employees, even when the temperatures soar. Gilbert’s Risk Solutions helps companies assess and control risks. Let us help you create a safer workplace, reduce injuries and claims, and protect your business interests – no matter how high the thermometer climbs.