Physical Health, Tips & Techniques, Wellness / Self-Care

14 ways to stay Cool during these gnarly Heat Waves

We can do this.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jul 19, 2021

Let’s be real, we’re not used to such scorching temperatures after being locked down all of last summer. But don’t get too worked up over it.


Here are a few heat wave tips to help you stay cool as we brave through climate change together.


1. You should know this one by now, but stay hydrated

Start swigging even before you’re thirsty, and keep going because replacing fluids lost through sweat is critical for staying cool and avoiding dehydration. It’s preferable to drink pure water, but electrolyte water and energy drinks such as Gatorade are also good.


Basically, any hydrating fluids that you can put in your body will do. Most of all, avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol and caffeine (we know, we know, it’s hard, but if you can’t go without your afternoon iced coffee, double up on your H2O intake).


2. Skip heavy foods

On hot days, no one wants ramen for a reason. For lunch, try a smoothie, and for dinner, a salad. Cucumbers, watermelon, celery, and lettuce are all high in water and can help you stay hydrated. Avoid fried and greasy foods, as well as hefty meals. Give your body a break by eating light.


3. Head to the water

We know you love to hear it. Pay a visit to your neighborhood pool. Take a swim in the ocean. Have a picnic beside the water. Don’t forget your sunscreen and snacks.


4. Pools and parks

Stay cool in a pool when it’s hot outside. Most indoor and outdoor pools have reopened in the city. Parks are also great for chilling under the shade of a tree and some have those running sprinklers too.


5. Sweet icy treats

Nothing says summer like a popsicle or a pint of ice cream, so, indulge! Anyone else already have that ice cream truck jingle going in their head from reading this?


6. Or maybe just stay home

If you don’t have air conditioning, that’s not a problem (if you convince yourself it’s not).


Set up a fan and place a shallow dish of ice in front of it — and there you go, you now have a DIY A/C as the fan circulates the evaporating cold air. If your room gets a lot of light, use drapes and shutters to keep it out. If you want to be a little extra, drape a moist sheet over your window to make the air coming in cooler.


7. Reduce your power use

Pull the plugs on any electronics that are on standby, such as computers, and even the TV. You’ll also save money on your electricity bill.


8. Shower more

You don’t have to take long showers, just a quick in-and-out with lukewarm water will suffice. Showering will keep you cool and feeling refreshed (let alone clean!)


9. Fix your bedding situation

Ditch the duvet and opt for natural fiber bedding instead. Some people chill or freeze their bedsheets half an hour before sleep. If you think that’s too much trouble, chilling your pillow cases will suffice.


10. Be indoors outside (safely, of course)

Look for that air conditioned bliss somewhere else. The movie theaters have reopened. Malls, museums, and libraries are all fantastic locations to go if you need a break (even your local bodega sometimes). If you must go outside, do it before 11AM or after 4PM to avoid the hottest parts of the day.


11. Bring your own shade

Put on a hat and sunglasses, carry an umbrella or a pop-up tent, and apply sunscreen generously.


12. Dress for the weather

Wear loose, lightweight clothing made of natural fibers. For the time being, avoid black and opt for brighter colors that won’t absorb as much heat.


13. Continuously spritz yourself

You can go fancy with your favorite cosmetic brand’s sprays and mists, but nothing beats an inexpensive spray bottle filled with cold water. Focus on the inside of your wrists, elbows, and knees, as well as the back of your neck, feet, and temples.


14. Common sense and summer smarts

The average human body temperature is somewhere between 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius).


Heat exhaustion occurs when your body is overexposed to heat and is unable to cool itself appropriately. Dizziness, fainting, nausea or vomiting, rapid breathing, muscle cramps, confusion, pale complexion, swelling of the hands and feet, and headache are all symptoms of heat illness.


So, if you start feeling the onset of any of these symptoms, take it easy, chill, and don’t push yourself too much.


We hope these tips will help you get the most out of your summer. If you suffer from summer acne, learn why and how to prevent/cure it. We’ve also put together 3 tips to treat summer eczema.


Photo via Princeton University