Natural Ways to Keep Cool This Summer
Is hot weather making you miserable? Is your air conditioner on the blink, or are your electric bills thicker than the phone book? Try these easy, natural ways to find relief from the heat. No batteries required.
Eat These: The following foods work to help your body regulate its temperature and keep you cooler: mushrooms, citrus fruit, lemon balm, and mint. Spicy foods can also help by causing you to sweat more. As the sweat evaporates, it cools you down. Snacking on frozen melon cubes or berries is also smart way to cool down.
Drink Up: Stay hydrated by sipping from a water bottle throughout the day. Aim for at least a half-gallon over the course of a day. If you sweat a lot, throw a sports drink or two into the mix to replace lost electrolytes. If you’re tired of water, natural fruit juices are a good alternative (and make great frozen drinks, too, for additional cooling benefits). Add a few mint leaves for a super-cooling treat. Just avoid excess caffeine or alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
Make a Splash: Swimming is a great way to cool off on hot days. It works because, when we get wet, the water evaporates from our skin, taking heat with it. If you can’t get to a pool or swimming hole, you can achieve this same result with a shower or bath, or just by wetting your hair. Soaking your feet or even just running cold water over each of your wrists for 10 seconds can also help.
Cool Your Neck: Your body’s main temperature sensor is located on the back of your neck. If you have long hair, wear it up to let breezes reach this area. If you’re going to sit by a fan, make sure it blows onto the back of your neck. A cool compress over this area will also go a long way to helping you feel cooler.
Dress Less: Make sure you’re dressed for the weather. If you’re at home, or in a situation where you can get away with it, wear as little as possible. Wearing just a bathing suit or thin undershirt will offer relief. If that’s not an option, then opt for loosely-woven natural fabrics, such as linen, in light, bright colors. These fabrics breathe, allowing your body to shed heat, while the brighter colors will reflect heat from the sun.
Get Low: Heat rises, and in homes with two or more stories, all of that heat hangs around and stagnates on the top floors. Make yourself more comfortable by the spending time on the lowest level of your home. Make yourself a little cool-off cave in the basement, if you have one. Buy a beanbag chair and chill out near the floor.
Make Yourself Minty Fresh: Rub on some peppermint lotion. The menthol will stimulate your nerves and trick your body into thinking you’re cooler than you are.
Be as Cool as a Cucumber: Rub a slice of chilled cucumber over your face. The thick juice will take longer to evaporate than water, for extended refreshment.
Do Nothing: Just sit verrrry still. Don’t try to run errands or do housework or anything else active during the hottest part of the day. These will raise your body temperature. Save these tasks for evening, when things start to cool down. Of course, doing nothing can be difficult. We recommend buying a sturdy hammock to help you achieve this goal.