Keeping Your Cool
Contrasting against the chilly 9 degrees at home in Sydney this week, up in the northern hemisphere, and specifically, in the UK, temperatures have soared, breaking records and bringing our attention once again to the changing global climate. In the face of such a worldwide and seemingly overwhelming problem, it’s easy to get stuck in a bad mental place. Instead, let’s explore a few ways we can practically improve our own lives, and alleviate at least the symptoms of a scorching summer.
Your Personal Climate
There’s nothing quite like the heat of summer to sap your energy and make you feel overheated and exhausted. When it’s hot outside, it can be tough to stay productive. However, with a few simple tricks, you can stay cool and comfortable while you work or socialize.
When it’s cold and wintry, we all dream of the sun and warmer days. But when the sunshine finally arrives, it can be a bit of a shock. Often we don’t enjoy the sun as much as we thought we would, because we get too hot, sweaty and sticky. It makes us feel tired and lethargic too.
But there are things you can do to avoid getting unbearably hot. Here are some top tips.
Consider Your Clothing
The first thing to do when it’s hot is to take a look at your clothing. You want to wear something that will breathe and keep you cool. Cotton is always a good choice in the summer as it’s light and airy. Linen is another great option, although it can crease quite easily. If you’re going to be outdoors, consider wearing a hat or scarf to protect your head and face from the sun.
Wearing a little less than usual is often helpful to stay cool, so tank tops and shorts might be the answer. But if you’re someone whose skin gets too hot, or you’re worried about getting sunburn, opt for light, flowing clothes instead. Thin loose linen shirts or wide skirts can actually make you feel cooler than wearing minimal clothing. Think about the colors of your clothes too, as dark colors can soak up the heat and make you feel hotter. Opt for things like white shirts or a gingham dress to maximize the cool but summery feeling.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s important to stay hydrated when it’s hot, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Carry a bottle with you wherever you go, and try to drink at least eight glasses a day. If you find it hard to drink that much water, add some fresh fruit or mint leaves to your water to make it more enticing.
You can also try drinking herbal tea, as this can help you to stay cool. Peppermint tea is particularly good in hot weather, as the menthol helps to refresh you. Chamomile and lavender tea are also good choices, as they have calming properties that can help to take the edge off the heat. Avoid alcohol too. As tempting as it might be to have a cold beer or cocktail on a warm day, alcohol will actually raise your body temperature.
Don’t wait until you get too hot or sweaty before drinking water either. If you keep yourself hydrated ahead of going out in the sun, you’ll be able to withstand the heat better.
Don’t Eat Too Much
It’s tempting to overeat when it’s hot, as we often think we need the extra energy to keep going. However, eating too much can actually make you feel hotter and more sluggish. When it’s hot, try to stick to light meals that won’t weigh you down.
Fruit and vegetables are always a good choice, as they’re full of water and nutrients. Opt for things like salads, fruits, smoothies or juices. If you do want something more substantial, grilled chicken or fish are good options. And of course, ice cream, frozen yogurt or ice pops are always a good choice when it’s hot outside!
Take Cool Showers or Baths
If you’re feeling really hot, a cool shower or bath can help you to feel more comfortable. It’s also a good way to rehydrate your body if you’ve been sweating a lot. It can even make you feel a little cooler before you go out in the heat. Add some lavender oil to your bathtub, as this can help you to relax. Or try a cold compress on your forehead or the back of your neck. This can help to cool you down and ease any headaches that might be brought on by the heat.
If you’re already out in the heat, you can apply the concept of a cool shower in a different way. Splash water over your face and hair, or pour some water in your hat before you put it on your head. Scientists also say that running cold water over your wrists is an effective way to cool your whole body, as the blood vessels are nearest to the surface of the skin there. These are all great ways to feel more comfortable instantly.
Stay Out Of The Heat
Many people think it’s inevitable to be out in the heat if it’s a sunny day. But there is a lot you can do to stay out of the heat, at least for periods of time. If you need to be outdoors, sit in the shade if you can, or go into an air conditioned building every now and again to manage how hot you feel. You could also wear a hat, carry an umbrella with you, or bring a sunshade with you if you’re going to spend the day at the park or the beach.
Also try to adjust your schedule according to when the hottest times of the days are going to be. If you can’t avoid being in the heat, make sure you take regular breaks in the shade or in a cool place.