We are in the middle of an epic heat wave in Portland, OR right now! Today is forecast to reach 108 degrees, which is ridiculously beyond what we are used to dealing with here in the Pacific Northwest. So I thought now would be the perfect time to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for keeping cool!
WATER WATER WATER
This should really go without saying. But we all know that we often don't drink as much water as we should and on days like these it is absolutely critical that we do! It is far too easy to become dehydrated when temps are in the nineties or above and can become difficult to rehydrate if you do.
Just drinking a couple big glasses at the start of your day isn't going to cut it either (although that's a GREAT way to start). I like to set an alarm on my phone to go off every 90 minutes to remind me to drink a glass of water. This keeps me hydrated throughout the entire day and feeling my best!
For more ideas about how to keep water incorporated into your day (including some fun ways to jazz up the water you're drinking with fun flavors) you can check out my previous post all about water HERE!
MINT SPRITZER BOTTLE
Mint is wonderfully cooling and using it in a spritzer bottle to spray on yourself can be fabulously refreshing! You can add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to a bottle of water (or a lot of people like using a mix of water and witch hazel) or you can brew peppermint tea, let it chill and pour that into your spray bottle. Both methods will leave you feeling nice and refreshed!
BODY COOLING POINTS
There are points on our bodies where the blood flows close to the surface of our skin. Often these are referred to as pulse points. These are the ideal spots to assist your body's cooling process by placing a cool damp cloth or running the area under cool water.
The main cooling points are your temples, neck, inside your elbows, inner wrists, the backs of your knees and your inner ankles.
Another great way to cool these points on your body is to make a quick and easy cool pack by filling a sock with rice and putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
TURN OFF APPLIANCES (AND FANS!)
Appliances can add a lot of heat to your home. On especially hot days you should avoid using the dishwasher, clothes dryer, and obviously the oven. Pretty much anything electrical that you can unplug in your house can help reduce the heat by small amounts.
One thing that surprises a lot of people is that you should absolutely turn off any fans you have running if you leave the house. Yes, when you are there the moving air current helps you feel cooler. But the fan motor creates heat, so if you aren't there to enjoy the airflow, don't forget to turn it off.
CAR AIR CONDITIONING
A lot of people turn on the AC in their car before they start driving to cool it down, but the AC is not very efficient at all until the car is actually driving. So when you need to drive, get in the car and start driving immediately if you want the AC to kick in quickly. Also, roll down the back windows at first as this allows the air flow to suck out the hot air while cooler air enters through the vents in the front.
If you have passengers in your back seat, make sure that you turn off the recirculation button. When that button is turned on it sucks in the air from the front of the car, creating a circular cycle and not allowing the cool air to travel to the back seat as well.
DID I SAY WATER?
Yeah, I'm going to say it again. Drink lots of water! There is literally nothing else you can do that is more important and will help you more during a heat wave!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO KEEP COOL?
There are obviously lots more ways to keep cool and I would love to hear what some of your favorites are in the comments below!
Best of luck to everyone out there in this heat wave and don't forget...
DRINK LOTS OF WATER! ;-)