Whether you just don’t have air conditioning, don’t want to fire it up just yet, or want to save money on energy, there are lots of ways to keep cool as the mercury rises. Here are some good ones.
Drink Lots of Water
No one likes sitting around being hot and sweaty and gross, and the first step to mitigating that is simple: Keep your body temperature down. And the most effective way to do that is to stuff your body full of cooling foods and fluids—way more effective than applying cold things to your exterior (which we’ll get to later.) We’ve talked about how much water you should really drink, and busted some hydration myths, so feel comfortable drinking as much as you need to keep the heat at bay.
Use cooler lightbulbs
An incandescent bulb is a “little heater,” radiating 90% of its energy as heat. “Since most homes have 30 to 35 light fixtures, your cooling system expends a lot of energy counteracting their effects,” she says. Replace them with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit 75% less heat.
Also, realize that dishwashers, TVs, computers, and other appliances generate heat, so whenever possible, limit their use, and switch electronics like computers to sleep mode.
Hit the shower
Anything that puts water in touch with your skin cools you down because that water evaporates. “Try taking a shower—but don’t towel off completely—then relax by a fan.” You can also achieve the evaporative effect by misting with a spray bottle or applying a cool cloth to your neck.
Warmer bath water is relaxing and cooler bathing temperatures are stimulating and invigorating to the body, in general. Modify your bathing water temperature as needed.
Music in the bathroom can be very soothing and a candle-lit set-up works wonders to set the perfect mood for relaxing.
Avoid big meals
Eating a lot in one go will only make you feel hotter, as digestion uses a lot of energy and generates body heat. If you want to stay cool, eat small amounts of cold food throughout the day, instead of stockpiling your body’s work after one big meal.
Wear light colours
Dark colours absorb more heat than light ones, so stay clear of black. Not only is it a depressing to colour to wear mid-summer, but it will also make you feel more hot. White, beige and light pastel colours are the best shades to wear to keep your skin cool.