I’m sitting here sipping a nice cool glass of water looking at the most beautiful, perfectly blue sky, not a single cloud in sight. I’m enjoying the feeling of the magnificent sun engulfing my body in nourishing warmth. It’s radiance feels like it is caressing my skin. In the distance I can hear seagulls and chattering parakeets. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? Of course the reality could be that I’m sitting here red faced, sweat glistening on almost every part of my body and dreaming of glass after glass of water and wishing I had a personal attendant waving palm leaves at me wherever I go.
We are really fortunate in England at the moment that we have been blessed with glorious sunshine for a couple of weeks now, it sure beats our traditional mixed weather which comes with thunder or showers doesn’t it? Well it certainly is lovely to be able to bask in the sun but it does have its downsides, especially if you have to work and carry on your every day life in it, obviously it’s different if you are on holiday! If you are, lucky you! I hope you are having a wonderful time. I think the odds are that if you are reading this, you are not on holiday though, as you would most likely be off exploring some new territory or relaxing on a beach somewhere.
So how can we keep ourselves cool in this heat? Let’s face it, the average temperature for this time of year in the U.K. is probably about 20-21 degrees, at the moment it’s been hitting in excess of 30 degrees, so it’s safe to say it is hotter than usual. One of the best ways to start the day in this heat is with a lukewarm shower, this will freshen you up, clean you and regulate your body temperature. It is not a good idea to have a freezing cold shower – it feels horrible anyway doesn’t it?! The reason you shouldn’t have a cold shower is because your body will go into panic mode. It will try and preserve the heat that is inside your body which won’t achieve anything at all. If you have a shower that is lukewarm this will cool down the heat within you but your body won’t react afterwards by trying to warm you up because you feel too cold.
Wear clothes made from natural material, such as cotton or linen. Cotton will absorb sweat so will keep it away from your body. Also wear clothes that are as loose as possible. This will leave room for a layer of air between your skin and your clothes and you will feel so much more comfortable. Wearing lighter coloured clothes will reflect the sun more than dark colours which will absorb the heat.
Make sure you drink plenty, and I mean water or tea here, not gallons of beer or cider. Water will refresh and hydrate you. Our bodies are about 60% water and during the hot weather we lose more of this water through sweating so it is advisable to drink more to maintain a healthy balance. It is far better to just sip water little and often, rather than downing bottles and bottles all in one go. One of the reasons for this is that your kidneys will be unable to process large quantities all in one go. Surprisingly it is also good to drink a lovely cup of tea in the hot weather. This is because receptors on your tongue sense the heat and your body sweats to cool itself down. Obviously if you don’t want to look a sweaty mess then this might not be the best solution! Seriously though I think a nice cup of tea is refreshing in the hot weather. You shouldn’t try and quench that thirst with beer, cider or wine or whatever your favourite tipple is because you will end up dehydrated and just have an awful headache.Did you know that you can cool yourself down by holding your wrists under the cold for a little while? This feels instantly cooling and will also will bring down the temperature of the blood running through your veins.Its a great idea to eat food such as salads and light meals as let’s face it we tend to be less energetic when it’s really hot so we don’t need as many calories in. We don’t need an extra layer of insulation either. (Now I definitely need to remind myself of that fact!) A lot of salad, eg lettuce, cucumbers tomatoes have a high quantity of water in them, so will help to keep you hydrated and healthy too.
At the end of the day when I get home from work, I open all the windows in the house to let the air circulate. You can keep your curtains or blinds closed all day if you want to, to keep your house or flat cooler. I also usually change out of my work clothes into a lovely cool pair or shorts and a vest top and find a shady place to sit in the garden if the house feels too warm. I’ll only do this if I have nowhere to go after work, I’ll dress a little more conservatively if I need to go shopping or anything – I don’t think the world is ready to be subjected to the sight of me in a pair of skimpy shorts!
Keep a bedroom window open – don’t worry there shouldn’t be too many spiders around at this time of year! I take the duvet cover off the actual duvet and just use that as a sheet to try and keep cool overnight. I don’t know why but I need something to cover me, even if it’s something really light, it just feels weird for some reason to lie there with nothing over the top of me!! Another their thing that I have been dong is to leave the slats of the Venetian blind open slightly to let some air through. I tilt them so the cooler air from outside can blow down, rather than the warm air rising up and coming into the room. In all honesty there isn’t much air at all, but every little counts. To prevent being woken too early by the early morning sun I have been wearing a sleep mask.
Hopefully my tips will help you to keep cool. We’re never completely satisfied are we? We moan when it’s cold, we moan when it rains and we even moan when it’s hot. Personally I love the summer though, it’s my favourite season. How about you?
* In the comment section, Laura asked about parakeets in the U.K. In Surrey we have loads of them! They gather in huge flocks and fly from tree to tree together, chattering as they go. They are really pretty, very tropical looking, but some people think they are pests. I will put a couple of photos on my Instagram and you can read about them on the RSPB website here, if you like. RSPB