Here in New England, it seems to switch from refreshing spring breezes to hot, humid conditions in a flash. One minute you’re sporting an unzipped North Face jacket and then, the next minute, you’re heading outside in flip flops and shorts. Sometimes all within a few hours! Now that we’re facing summer on the street, we need to find ways to beat the heat.
Luckily, we have some simple solutions to help keep you cool all summer long. These suggestions require either little or no cash – mostly common sense. Before the heat creeps any higher, let’s get to the list…
No, we’re not suggesting the “Homer Simpson Solution” of attaching a tent to your freezer, but something much easier. Place items in the freezer for future body cooling purposes – you’ll be so glad you did! Just fill a plastic bottle with water, wait until it freezes and then use it to place on the back of your neck to reduce your body temperature. It’s also great for drinking once it starts to melt. Another idea is to place your undergarments in the freezer for ten minutes or so. You’ll get a very ZESTY feeling when you put them on, with the benefit of keeping your temperature lower for longer.
Placing skincare items in the refrigerator makes a refreshing change when you apply them later on. If you store your body lotion, aloe vera or even a spray bottle full of plain water (cucumber water might be super nice, too!), you’ll get an amazing burst of cool freshness. Apply often for best results!
To keep your body temps in a comfortable range, make sure to drink water often throughout the day. Other beverages are fine (especially drinks with no salt or sugar), but try to avoid too much caffeine or alcohol, for they are very drying to the body. Fill up on seltzers, fresh fruit juices, watery fruits and veggies and, most importantly, good old H2O. Tasty!
When deciding on your plans for the day, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to stay away from the direct sun during the hours of 10-2 pm, when the sun is the most direct. If the heat is high, take advice from our friends in the south and GO SLOW. Walk instead of run, take rests frequently throughout the day, choosing light exercises (only in the early morning or late evening) and wear white (or light colored) natural fiber materials like cotton or linen. Keep your head covered when outdoors, choosing a hat with a larger brim to keep the sun off the bridge of your nose. And, in the evenings, try moving from your bed to the floor (where the cooler temperatures live) and have an impromptu camp out. Fun times!
A portable fan is not only fantastic for making weird, robot noises, but it’s actually pretty practical. A standing fan is great for a smaller room, where the oscillating action will bring some air movement to the area and reduce the temperature by at least a few degrees. If you’re on the go, grab a handheld fan (some are battery powered or include misters) and hover over the places on your body where you feel the warmest. Ahh, relief…
When all else fails and you have no air conditioning to blast under your beard, jump in the car and dash to your favorite restaurant, local mall or movie theater. For at least an hour or two, you can take advantage of the refreshing temps and spend time with (hopefully!) your favorite people. Even that short amount of time will do wonders to reduce your body heat, as well as any impatience and irritation from that uncomfortable, overheated feeling.
With any luck, these suggestions will quickly cool you down and help to counteract the heat. If you’re desperate for coolness, you can always fall back on a childhood favorite – The Sprinkler! Throw on your bathing suit, bust out the hose and stand under the spray until you are satisfyingly saturated with cold water. Invigorating!