My first summer in New York City was brutal. I was nineteen and, coming from Southern California with its year-long seventy-five degree weather, had only a fleeting understanding of the oppression of humidity. I had also moved to the city in August, so didn’t exactly wade into the heat but was thrown straight into the deep end of my own sweat. Around my second week I called my mom to tell her that I was incredibly sick and didn’t know what to do. Having grown up in the south she knew immediately that I hadn’t prepared myself for summer and told me to get a tumbler of water and start sipping it while we chatted. About fifteen minutes later she told me to get another tumbler and keep sipping, after thirty minutes my headache and nausea were gone. “You were dehydrated,” my mom said, “you have no idea how to prepare for heat”. She gave me some tips on staying cool and healthy throughout the summer, and now I shall pass them along to you!
Hydration. Hydration. Hydration.
Invest in a few personal water bottles and keep one with you every day. Not only does drinking water help lower your core temperature, it will also help prevent heat exhaustion. Set an alarm on your phone and try to drink 6-8 oz of water at least once an hour. If you’re not a regular water drinker it might seem a bit daunting, but try replacing your usual coffee or soda with water throughout the day. Not only is it a healthier option, but caffeine is prone to dehydrate the body which will make you sluggish which pretty much defeats the point of drinking it!
Clear Out Your Freezer
You know how a warm towel feels amazing after a shower in the winter? A cold sheet is the summer equivalent. In the morning take two top sheets, put one in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer, get the other one wet, ring it out and then put in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer as well. About an hour before you go to bed, take the wet (now frozen) sheet out of the freezer, unfold and clip it to the top of your window, this will create a cool breeze and take the room temperature down a bit. Take the other sheet out just as you’re heading to bed. Place it on top of your bed as you would with any top sheet and get cozy underneath. It may be a bit of a jolt at first, but it will help keep you and your partner chilled throughout the night.
I love a good snuggle, but I also run warm all year long. My partner refers to me as his personal space heater. This is great in the winter… in the summer it’s a nightmare. Body contact is a sure-fire way to overheat when temperatures start rising. So throw on your biggest cotton tee, give your partner a kiss and sleep on opposite sides of the bed under your newly chilled top sheet.
Another way to chill your core temperature is through your pulse points. Do you know where your pulse points are? Think of it this way, wherever you put your favourite fragrance is a pulse point. But instead of spritzing your signature scent, grab an ice cube and hold it to your wrist, under your chin and your temples. This will help lower your body temperature fast; you can do it when you’re feeling a bit over heated or before you leave the house in the morning to start the day with a nice chill.