The summer heat especially in the south can be so miserable. There are a couple things I do that help me stay cool in the summer since I am not a summer child but a winter sprite. I do not do very well in the heat and if you are like me then you will love these things I do to help me stay cool! Of course I don’t do all of them at once but I do a handful at a time to help me stay cool.
Its that time of the year again! The smell of chlorine, floral scents and magnolia, night blooming jasmine, roses, wisteria, lilac, hyacinth and rain, lots of rain, it wipes all the pollen away and the air just smells clean and fresh for a time. After each heavy summer storm outside smells like wet pavement where you can smell the odor of cattle and horses which tends to relax a lot of people while I get interested in what animals are there. The hot summer weather in the South is like no other I have experienced along with it being such a wet humidity. You need to find ways to cool down or you never go outside.
Of course there are the basics and there are some fun ways to beat off the heat!
Block the Sun
This can be done by putting up black out curtains which in turns means you have to close those curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Also putting up a damp curtain with an open window when it is cooler outside then inside. Its a desert trick that brings in nice cooled air from the evaporating water from the curtain.
Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. “It’s all about thermal regulation,” says John Lehnhardt, an elephant expert at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “As the water evaporates, it cools you.” While elephants wet their ears first by blasting water from their trunks, humans should begin with their wrists to quickly cool down the blood flowing through their veins.
Combine one cucumber, a squeeze of lemon, one teaspoon of aloe vera, and one table spoon of rosewater. Put them in the blender for one minute. Strain the juice out with a cheese cloth. Drop the liquid in the bottle and spray over yourself as needed.
Fan strategically. If the day’s heat is trapped inside your home, try a little ventilation at night or when the temperature drops below 77. A window fan can help; the trick is to face the blades outside to suck warm air out of the house and pull cooler air in. “Kind of surprising,” says Bill Nye, the Science Guy “Having a fan blowing in is a good idea―but it’s not as effective as one that’s blowing out.”
Fill a big bowl with ice and place it in front of a fan. The cool air will circulate around the room, lowering the temperature.
Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher. Instead, leave the door open to let the dishes dry. And put off using the dishwasher until evening, when the air is cooler. Or simply wash your dishes the old-fashioned way: by hand.
Give the clothes dryer a break, too. Hang a clothesline and let your towels and sheets flap in the breeze. “They smell wonderful,” says Paul Hooker, whose company, Sferra, sells sheets made in Italy, where, he adds, almost everyone hangs them out to dry.
Dress for the Occasion
Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat and that sticky feeling (examples include Coolmax and Nano-Tex); they’re not just for athletes anymore. If you prefer cotton, make it thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. “The best thing is to have sweat evaporate directly from skin to air,” says Larry Kenney, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University. “The next best thing is for the sweat to move quickly from your skin to clothing and then evaporate. Loose, billowy clothes allow air movement next to the skin and help with evaporation.”
Drink plenty of refreshing water, cold or room temperature. Replace the moisture that you lose as you perspire, be sure to drink. As you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool.
Whenever your body heats up from physical activity or the hot weather outside, your internal air conditioner turns on and you begin to sweat. And remember, now that your air conditioner is using its coolant (your sweat), it is important to refill the tank — by drinking lots of H2O.
Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. “Also opt for hydrating foods,” says Deena Kastor, a marathon runner and an Olympic bronze medalist. “Try a smoothie for lunch, and add more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Watermelon has the greatest water content of any food out there.” but if you are going to need coffee then make your favorite coffee at home, wait till it cools to pour into ice tray. Place the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours. In a glass with milk and sugar drop the frozen cubes for a cold drink.
Look at What you Eat
Eat light.. Yeah I said it. Eat light. There’s a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They’re easier to digest than, say, a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler), says Robert Kenefick, a physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine which studies the effects of extreme climates on soldiers’ bodies.
Make a “cold compress.” Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it’s dense and starchy, says Jim Hill, Ph.D., an associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Davis.
another good idea is the frozen towel… Take a couple of wash cloths and soak them in water. Squeeze out the excess water and roll them. Lay them in a cookie sheet, placing them in the freezer afterwards. Let the towels freeze till they are solid for a couple of hours. You can also add essential oils in the water mix for a more relaxing experience.
Also feet are sensitive to temperature. To beat the extreme heat, dunk your feet in ice, cold water.
Fun in the Sun
Fill up balloons with water and tie them to a string. Use the end of the string to secure to a tree branch or fence post. Give them a plastic bat for the piñata beating to begin. Go have some fun at the local pool or water balloon each other but anything to burn some sweat and enjoy the heat while staying cool.
Pick up an aloe vera plant from your local tree nursery or hardware store. Aloe vera has a cooling effect when applied on the skin. After a long day under the sun it can also help soothe sun burns. or just get the sun burn aleo vera lotion and feel the nice lovely cooling effect anytime.
Escape and Relax with A Winter’s Tale, The Call of the Wild, Doctor Zhivago, or Smilla’s Sense of Snow. “Reading about cold can take your mind off the thermometer, evoking one’s own experience of ice and snow,” says Walter A. Brown, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the medical schools of Brown and Tufts Universities and an expert in the placebo effect. “It’s also a bit of self-hypnosis. Sometimes when I shower and the water is cold, I tell myself it’s hot and I can make myself believe it.” You can save that last insight for another season entirely.