Here's How to Beat the Heat and Stay Cool
Sunshine brings warmth, light and joy, but when it gets too hot, pleasure turns to misery. If you’re experiencing a severe heatwave right now, your number one priority will be to cool down, and if you anticipate severe heat to come, you’ll need to prepare.
Here are some simple ways to stay cool when the temperature soars:
Close all windows, drapes and blinds
You may yearn for fresh air on a hot, still day, but you won’t get any through an open window. Quite the reverse: heavy, stifling air will waft in, making your rooms as hot as the environment outside. In these circumstances, you’ll need to close the windows as well as the drapes and blinds. Shut out all light and heat, and your home will start to cool down.
If you have any electric fans available, put them to use as soon as the heatwave starts. If not, it may be worth buying one or more to ensure basic comfort through the hot spell. Bear in mind, though, that fans will be much in demand at this time, so get to the shops early, before supplies run out.
You can also make manual fans to wave over the face and body for extra refreshment. A sheet of paper folded into pleats will serve the purpose, as will a sheaf of grasses or reeds, a large leaf, a wide-brimmed hat or any stiff fabric.
Avoid using heat-generating appliances
If you have a pile of ironing to do, now is not the time. The heat from the iron will raise the temperature of the air even higher and the task will become intolerable.
Other heat-generating appliances, such as your water heater, kettle, oven and cooker hobs, will also add to the heat around you, so avoid using them if you possibly can, even if it means changing your arrangements for the time being.
Immerse your feet in cool water
When your feet are cool, the refreshing sensation will filter up through your body, so fetch a tub of cold water and step in. You may need to sit down for this remedy, but the relaxation will also help you stay cool, so don’t feel ashamed to cast the do-list aside and take a seat. If feasible, bring the water level up to your knees or waist, or lie down in a bath of cool water.
Drink plenty of water
Hot weather dehydrates the body, so drink plenty of fresh, chilled water to compensate. This will help you keep well and comfortable, easing the strain on your heart and other vital organs as your body contends with the heat. Plain water is easiest for the body to digest, but weak tea, juices and other light drinks will also keep you refreshed.
Ice packs can be wonderfully soothing and reviving in hot weather. While your whole body may be suffering, a cold pad on your forehead, back or chest will help reduce your body heat and help you relax.
But ice melts fast in high temperatures, of course, so as you take one icepack out of the freezer, be sure to insert another. Ice cubes for drinks can also be used for the purpose, but if you don’t have packs of cubes, just fill any small containers with cold water and freeze them for an hour or two.
Wear loose clothing
Heat makes you sweat, so the pores in your skin need plenty of space to function when you’re hot. High temperatures can also cause your body to swell and expand, so allow for this when dressing for the day.
Wear the loosest possible clothing, avoiding tight-fitting belts, straps and ties. If one garment feels uncomfortable, swap it for another, putting comfort before appearance while the heat lasts. Fashion and beauty can wait; coping is what matters right now.
With these simple cooling methods, you can minimize the misery when the next heatwave hits. Listen out for the warnings and prepare in advance, to ensure the best strategies. With an iced drink in your hand and cool water lapping around your knees, you can ride a scorcher with ease.