COPING with summer heat stress

Saturday, August 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

This long, hot dry spell is wilting people's moods right along with the landscape. Some families are coping with it as best they can, taking the children for some relief in parks and spray pools. Outdoor workers say they think about water and quitting time.

Winter weather brings the usual round of reports about cabin fever, but psychologists say people actually have more difficulty with the confinement of intense heat. Dr Melanie Rich: "I think oppressive heat is much like chronic pain. I think it simply wears and tears on a person's ability to cope. I think that's why we see such shorttemperedness. I think that's why we see people who're generally pleasant not being so. I think it accounts for road rage."

Dr Rich says the best way to cope with summer stress is stay indoors, try to keep a calm, relaxed mind, and remember that we'll all feel better about a month from now.