Today is the official starting day of Summer. Yaaay! Hopefully you can get away for a few days of vacation, or maybe even staycation). Until then, here are some ideas to cool down as the heat and humidity ramp up.
1. Cool your home – it’s where you relax, eat, sleep and live
Air conditioners – window and portable air conditioners are more affordable and energy efficient. See if you can turn in your old air conditioner at your local gas company – they may offer a coupon or rebate on the purchase of a new one. Check out nearby stores for specials and head out early.
Dehumidifiers – they are clunky but they work wonders by removing moisture from the air. Even if you have an air conditioner, run the dehumidifier while you’re out. Switch you’re a/c on when you get home and it will cool more efficiently because it does not have to dehumidify as well. Bonus: use the collected water on your plants!
Ceiling fans – if you have large rooms that get super hot, it’s a good idea to install a ceiling fan even if you have an air conditioner. Shop for a fan with 5 blades measuring 52″ – it is worth the higher cost for cooling that is superior to the 4 blade or 42″ models. Choose a fan that rotates both ways – to draw warm air UP or push cool air DOWN.
2. Cool yourself – some tips for keeping your cool, everyday.
Bathing – try taking shorter lukewarm showers and don’t scrub skin vigorously. Slip on a cool robe while your body is still damp. Try soaking in a tub filled with lukewarm water at the end of a hot day – it will bring your body temperature down.
Clothing – you know it’s best to wear natural fibers and lightweight loose-fitting clothes. Wear a hat that breathes (there are lots of attractive straw hats or choose vented cloth ones). And don’t forget to apply sunscreen to uncovered skin. (NOTE: SPF 50 is high enough – studies have shown that higher SPF has an exponential negligible effect on screening out harmful rays). Sun Glasses: make sure you buy a pair that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.
At home, try this trick for a quick cool-down. Find an old t shirt or nightie and soak it in really cold water. Wring out well and slip it on. Instant cool. Repeat as necessary to stay cool! And have a fan circulating air around (but not blowing on) you.
Food and Drink – summer is a great time to enjoy salads, cold soups and smoothies. Invest in a quality blender or juicer, dust off your food processor, then go online to hunt for recipes. Seasonal fruits and vegetables offer a cornucopia of delicious and nutritious options.
3. Mind over matter – summertime, and the livin’ is easy…
This is the time of year when even the most Type A workaholics give themselves permission to slow down a little. So go ahead and give it a try.
Indulge – give yourself permission to have fun. Read that escapist novel. Watch summer reruns of shows you missed. Enjoy old movie favourites or discover new ones.
Simplify – entertain with outdoor picnics, potluck-style so you don’t have to prepare all the food yourself. (According to Marg at http://www.beingmargaret.com August 31 is National Eat Outside Day – make sure you celebrate!) Catch up with friends – at a pool party (if you have one in your backyard) or relax at an outdoor patio after work. Go to the cottage if someone invites you.
Recreate – use the sultry summer slowdown to reflect on what has happened in your life so far this year. Examine the good and bad, and start making a plan for the rest of the year. Think of it as powering down so you can re-energize for autumn, when the speed of life picks up again. (Moms, students, people preparing for year-end accounting wrap-ups – you know it!)
Summer can be a short season so enjoy the best it has to offer – you deserve it!