With the Fourth of July festivities now complete, the worst of the summer’s heat and humidity still lie ahead for many parts of the country. While a certain amount of swelter and sweat are to be welcomed while you’re on a weekend trip to the ol’ swimming hole, many people still wilt when the temperatures rise, hiding from the heat indoors.
There are simple ways to keep cool even without the benefit of A/C, though. To keep your home cool, HuffPost says, keep the blinds and curtains closed against direct sunlight. In the bedroom, swap out flannel and fleece for lightweight cottons. Grill outside instead of cooking indoors. And be sure to set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
If your indoor space is still too sultry to sleep, try a few of Greatist’s “hacks” to keep from tossing and turning. Put your sheets in the freezer before bed, or put them on the mattress slightly damp—evaporation will cool the air around your body. Place trays of ice in front of your fans. And apply cold water to your pulse points before you drop off.
Your internal temperature has a big effect on how well you cope with the heat. The metabolic processes behind digestion raise body temperatures, the Daily Mail notes, so eat smaller, lower-protein meals more often. Eating spicy foods encourages sweating, which—while perhaps unsightly if unchecked—cools the body down.
While a frosty adult beverage may be appealing in hot weather, the story notes, alcohol tends to dehydrate, which may make you feel hotter. And no matter how much ice you add, caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola actually increase metabolic heat, adding to discomfort. Still and sparkling water are always good options when you’re looking to cool off.
And finally, if you’re taking a road trip and worried about your car’s performance, use a protective window shade to keep the cabin cooler when parked, TripSavvy says. Then, get rid of the built-up hot air by opening the windows; close them again and blast the A/C for a few minutes before adjusting the system to a maintenance level for the long haul.
Whatever you do, don’t let the summer heat ruin your good time. Try a few of these tips and tricks, and you can make the most of the hottest days of the year while barely breaking a sweat.