Tired of the summer heat but don’t want to go over budget? What can you do besides sweating it out? Here are a few tips for keeping cool.
Drink yourself cool
But don’t reach for the margaritas. Cool? Yes. Hydrating? No! The key to staying cool is to stay hydrated. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, because they’ll dehydrate you and make matters worse. Water, herbal iced tea, and these waters flavored with fruit are all great summer beverages.
Embrace your inner vampire
Whether or not you have air conditioning, the sun is your worst enemy when you’re trying to keep cool. By keeping your blinds and drapes closed during the day, you can keep your place cool without running up the air conditioning bill. If you don’t have air conditioning and want to open your windows, lower the blinds to the height of the open windows and keep the windows covered on the side of your house where the sun is shining.
Spice up your life
This may seem counter-intuitive, but summer is a great time to eat spicy food. Think about cuisines from countries close to the equator that incorporate chilies and curries into many of their recipes. Spicy peppers cause your pores to open and let the cool air into your body. They’ll also encourage you to drink more water!
Fashion a makeshift air conditioner
During my youth, I came up with the frozen-towel method of staying cool. Take a washcloth, a hand towel, or even a bath towel if it’s really hot, dampen it, and stick it in the freezer. When it’s stiff (though not frozen solid), remove it from the freezer and wrap it around your neck. Heaven! When it thaws, refreeze and repeat. If it’s really hot, try doing the same with a T-shirt!
Chill down those heels
Keeping your feet cool is key to keeping your whole body cool. Soak your feet in a dishpan or bucket of cold water. It’ll help fool your brain into thinking your whole body isn’t suffering in the summer heat.
Reflect the sun’s rays
Black and dark-colored clothing absorb heat and will cook you like a potato in tinfoil. Wear white or light-colored clothing to reflect the heat. Loose-fitting clothing is also good—it’ll allow a breeze to move through instead of trapping in the warmth.