21 ways to keep cool this summer (or any other time)

How to cool down

We’re enjoying some hot weather in the UK at the moment. Some of us thrive in the heat but couple  really hot weather with hot flushes and you get a hot sticky mess! Here 21 ways you can keep cool:

1.      Ice and plenty of it. Apply ice to pulse points on your wrists, neck, ankles, back of the knees, elbows and groin.

2.      Avoid alcohol. If that sounds like a step too far then reduce your intake. Alcohol dehydrates you, and combined with sun is not a good mix. Alcohol also brings on hot flushes so you have a double whammy.

3.      Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. If you want more flavour  with your water try adding slices of fruit and herbs and infusing in the fridge. We love lemon, mint and cucumber. Or strawberries and basil. Come up with some of your own combinations and share them in our Facebook thread.

4.      Wear fibres which wick away sweat. Bamboo is a natural fibre which is naturally wicking.

5.      Take a cool shower. The water doesn’t have to be freezing to cool you off. Just take the thermostat down to as low as you can bear and stay under it for a couple of minutes or until you are chilling out nicely.

6.      Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content. Cucumbers, watermelon and strawberries are great and tasty too.

7.      Cut down the caffeine. Caffeine brings on hot flushes. Avoid drinks containing it such as tea, coffee and cola.

8.      Do it yourself air con:  place a large bowl of ice in front of a fan and the fan will move the cool air around the room.

9.      Even better, invest in an air conditioning unit. Lots of us wouldn’t dream of being without heating in winter, but never think of the opposite in the summer months.

10.   Take a dip. If you’re lucky enough to live near the sea make time for a cooling swim. Otherwise your local pool or even a paddling pool in the garden. If that’s not possible try soaking your feet in a bowl of cold water.

11.   Change your day around so you are least active during the hottest part. Where possible work in the early morning or later in the evening and have a snooze (out of the sun) in the hottest part of the day.

12.   Close windows and keep blinds/curtain shut when the sun is on them. Open for ventilation when sun has moved round.

13.   Limit electronic devices: If you regularly work with a laptop you’ll know how much heat it generates. Use a table or other surface for your laptop so you are not directly affected.

14.   Lighten up – dark clothes absorb heat more than light ones. Stay away from black and you’ll look and feel cooler. The same applies to dark curtains and materials around the house which will make rooms hotter.

15.   Put your body creams in the fridge.

16.   Wear loose natural fibres – cotton or linen are lovely during the summer. However cotton holds on to moisture so if you are perspiring try something like bamboo which takes the moisture away from skin.

17.   Reduce hot flushes – read our post on natural ways to reduce hot flushes

18.   Eat cold. Avoid heating your house unnecessarily by using the oven as little as possible. Eat salads and other cold dishes. Lighter meals naturally make your body produce less heat so stay away from big steaks and casseroles and eat fish, legumes and poultry.

19.   Sleep alone – well these are all optional! Having another body in the bed makes you hot. A very light sheet or cover is all you need – or nothing at all. Star fishing or sleeping spread eagled with none your body parts touching each other helps avoid getting sweaty and uncomfortable.

20.   Go Egyptian – The Egyptians dampen a large towel or sheet in cool water and use it as a cover. I haven’t tested this one but can see how it would work.

21.   Seek out shady places – if you can get out in nature, a forest or wooded area often feels much cooler than anywhere else. The dense leaves on the trees prevents the sun getting through and heating up the ground below. Beneath trees is one of my favourite places in the heat.  In any case stay out of the sun between 11-3 as this is when it’s hottest.

What are your best tips for keeping cool? Share them here or on our Facebook page