When you’re overheated, there’s nothing like a few classic summertime activities to refresh and rejuvenate. Go for a swim in a pool, lake or ocean, or run through a sprinkler. Make a spritz out of peppermint tea to keep in the refrigerator for a quick cooldown, WonderHowTo says, or make your own concoction of water, citrus, mint, cucumber and other botanicals. If you’re really feeling the heat, apply cool towels to pulse points on your wrists, ankles and neck. Or just throw in the towel for a couple of hours and enjoy a show in the air-conditioned shade — or, darkness — of a movie theater.
You can keep your cool by blocking some of that hot summer sun, says Wanderlust. Draw the curtains or blinds to keep from superheating your living quarters, and seek out a shade tree, awning, tent or parasol when outdoors. If you’re outdoors and on the move, wear a wide-brimmed hat, light colors, and breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton to bring your own shade with you. Short on summer styles? Look for fashions and other warm-weather supplies at thrift and secondhand stores supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org.
Proper hydration is key to comfort when the temperatures soar, says LifeHacker. Water is like a coolant that keeps the body cool — and if you’re sweating it out, it must be replaced. Drink plenty of water (preferably uncarbonated water, which has proven more effective for hydration). Don’t rule out other beverages when you’re trying to keep cool, though; even coffee and beer (in moderation) can aid in hydration. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages tend to increase the body’s temperature, however, temporarily thwarting hydration’s cooling effect, while excessive alcohol intake depletes the body of fluids and nutrients.
Last week’s heat wave may have only been a harbinger of what’s to come in August. To beat the heat, proper ventilation is your best strategy, Real Simple says. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, place fans in the windows facing outward to draw hot air out of the house. Fans can also add to your air-conditioned comfort by circulating the drier, cooler air by adding a gentle breeze inside the home. And you can make your own air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan — and placing yourself in front of that.
During the “dog days” of summer, remember that all pets can get dehydrated quickly, says Karen Pryor’s Clicker Training blog. Furnish them with plenty of fresh water and shade, avoid exercising them too hard, and keep them indoors in extreme heat. If you see symptoms of overheating such as excessive panting, drooling or weakness, get your pet to a cool place and contact a vet immediately. Keep dogs off of hot asphalt and sand, and never leave any animals alone in a parked vehicle. Car interiors can heat up to dangerous temperatures in minutes even on relatively mild days, putting pets in danger of heatstroke and death.