11 Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

It’s hot! 

How many times have you said that in the past few months? If I had been counting, I would have lost count long ago, along with the curse words I probably used with it.

 When it’s so hot in my house that even sitting still will cause beads of sweat to trickle down my face, I do one of two things:
1.    I resign myself to the heat. Then I’ll get up and do chores. I’d rather be productive and sweaty than just sweaty.
2.    I seek out a remedy for my discomfort. 

If you’re interested in the second option, you’ve come to the right blog.

Keeping cool in the summer heat takes more than just a cold drink and turning on the fan. In truth, when it’s really hot, those will barely make a dent in your discomfort. Of course, you could just escape your hotbox of a house and go to the movies or the beach or pool. But there’s actually a lot you can do to keep your body cool.

1. Lose the shirt 
Toss on a tank top instead of a t-shirt (believe me, it really makes a difference). Choose light-colored, loose clothing with natural fabrics, like cotton or silk.

2. Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water. Add mint,slices of cucumber or citrus fruit to make it more refreshing.

3. Keep cold packs handy
I have a few plush aromatherapy cold packs in my freezer. They’re soft and smell like lavender, but they don’t stay cold for long. I recommend the reusable cold compresses you can buy at the drug store. Even when they’re frozen, they’re bendable so you can put them on your forehead or stomach comfortably. You can even freeze a small towel for the same effect.

4. Wet your clothes
Yes, wet your clothes. This is a good idea if you’re going to be moving around, like doing chores. You don’t have to wet your whole shirt. For t-shirts, just wet the sleeves. For shorts or skirts, just wet the hemline.

5. Freeze a bag of chopped fruit
Eating frozen fruit can cool you down nicely for a while; plus, it’s good for you. Try this: I make fruit smoothies and freeze them in cups or an ice pop mold. Later, when I want something cold and refreshing, it hits the spot!

6. Cool your wrists
If you run cold water over your wrists for about 10 seconds, your body temperature should be cooler for about an hour. Try this (with our friend the freezer): Leave a pair of wrist sweatbands in the freezer for an hour or so. Put them on and enjoy. If you have two pairs, you can rotate them.

7. Cool your feet
Soak your feet in cold water to lower your body temperature. Try this: Put a pair of socks in the freezer for an hour or so and then slip them on. Warning: Do not freeze wet socks, because the water will melt when you wear the socks and you’ll leave a trail of water wherever you go.

On the hottest of days, think about your surroundings and how you can make the best of it. We have a few suggestions:

8. Cool down your bed
Other than using an electric fan in your bedroom, consider silk or satin sheets. Or, try this: Hang your bedding in the coolest room during the day. When you’re ready to go to bed, return the cooled covers to your bed.

9. Remember that warm air rises
Yes, warm air rises because it’s less dense than cool air. Find that cooler spot in the lower level of your house and, if you need to, set up a temporary lounge area for yourself.

10. Enhance your electric fan
Place a few glasses filled with ice in front of your fan. The fan will catch the cold air coming out of the cups and blow it straight to you. Try this: My husband found another use for empty plastic tofu containers. Fill one with water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, you can put the whole thing in front of your fan. Once it melts, you can just refreeze. They also make great ice blocks for any purpose.

11. Encourage cross ventilation in your home
Every room in my house has at least one fan. Some rooms have two or more. But merely turning on a fan and pointing it at your face probably isn't the best solution. If you learn how to create cross ventilation, you can cool down your house year-round.

So what is cross ventilation? Basically, it’s when cool air flows into an area and pushes out warm air. The ideal cross ventilation set-up is a room with two sets of windows that face each other. Cool air comes in one window and pushes warm air out the other window.

If you want to cool down a room in your house, make sure all windows and doors are open, if possible. You can create cross ventilation with fans, too. Most sources say to aim your fan at the window to pull the warm air out of the home, but every house is different, so go ahead and experiment with different positions for your fan.

If you have any other tricks for coping with the summer heat, we want to know about them. Tell us in the comments section, or on Facebook or Twitter.