As the country heats up and the summer temperatures soar to a record 49◦ Celsius recorded in Delhi this year – let’s take time to remind ourselves of some simple, everyday, easy-to-do, and affordable hacks, to help us maintain our COOL!
An easy and quick way to stay cool in the summer months is to ‘Stay indoors!’ But that is not always an option or desired optimal choice.
Following are some easy hacks to maximize the indoor experience:
- Keep doors and windows closed during the day when it is hottest outside
- Keep windows shaded – use curtains, blinds, or even bedsheets or towels if needed
- Minimize opening and closing of doors during the daytime
- If the air at night is cool, use screens on doors and windows to allow cooling circulation
- Keep water/or water with lots of ice under or in front of fans to add the cooling inside
- Spray cool water on bed sheets before sleeping
- Plant shady trees strategically to keep your house in the shade
- Dry dishes instead of wiping them
- Use cooling oils such as Peppermint and Spearmint – you can add a few drops to your diffuser or make your own body mist. These oils contain menthol which is known for its cooling properties
- Reduce the use of electronic gadgets which emit heat of their own to keep your spaces cool
One of the biggest challenges in the summer months is to not get dehydrated or suffer from other heat-related health issues.
Following are some easy hacks to keep your body cool with water and food:
- Invest in an insulated water bottle to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Infuse your water with fresh fruits. Doing this hack will encourage you to drink more water and help with your sugar cravings. Drink room temperature water- drinking ice cold water when your body is heated up can cause you to feel faint and go into shock. This happens because your body thinks your stomach is hypothermic, blood rushes to your stomach, leaving your brain and extremities, making you feel lightheaded.
- Eat plenty of body-cooling and easy-to-digest foods – salads; fresh raw foods – vegetables and fruits. Use mint, summer fruit such as watermelon, peaches, kiwi, palm, and citrus fruit like oranges. Try homemade summer snacks like fresh fruit or yogurt popsicles. Try a fruity tea – Chrysanthemum tea is naturally cooling.
- To avoid metabolic heat, eat protein-rich, heavy foods during the cool times in the day
- Think water-rich foods – melons, cucumbers, coconuts. Coconuts have natural cooling properties that can cool you from the inside out.
- Eliminate sugary drinks and alcohol consumption
- Be strategic with your cooking, use gadgets that produce less heat; cook in the early morning, evening or cook outdoors.
If you have hypersensitivity to heat because of a medical condition, it is a great idea to consider special summer clothing options. Summer clothing helps keep body temperatures from soaring. Cool, light colors and breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen aid in reducing body heat.
Following are some easy hacks to keep your body cool with specialized clothing:
- Use evaporative or ice-based ‘Cooling vests’
- Choose light-colored, big, brimmed sun hats or sun umbrellas and sunglasses
- Sun sleeves or cooling arm sleeves are very popular with people who work outdoors
- Cooling towels and neck chillers are other popular choices
- Remember the ‘cooling’ period – cool off before a shower to control sweating after the shower
- Wear open, airy footwear or go barefoot
If you know you will be out and about in the hot summer temperatures, start hydrating the day before your excursion.
Give yourself cool-down phases, especially when walking in and out of air-conditioned cars and spaces; dry air can have the same effect as drinking ice cold water and can make you dizzy or even give you a headache.
Following are some easy hacks to keep your body cool when out and about:
- Carry your water bottle and drink water/chaas or coconut water to stay hydrated
- Spritz cool water on your face, back of neck, over your feet, wrist, and temples
- Keep your head covered – with hats or damp bandana
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Dress comfortably
- Indulge in water activities
Summer Heat Hacks Recapped
Mantra for summer – Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – drink it; eat it; cook with it; bathe in it.
Capitalize on the sun-free time. Use the time before the sun rises and sets to accomplish sweaty tasks. Go for an early morning walk/jog; water the plants; or let the cool air in.
Eat cooling foods to cool from the inside out. Consume sweet and ripe summer fruits, fresh veggies, and foods that are bitter or astringent rather than salty or spicy
Cold shower – take them often. It doesn’t have to be an epic water-wasting exercise – just a quick rinse will do the trick.
The bonus – When we keep our body cool, we automatically help keep our mind cool