5 (Cheap) Ways to Beat the Heat


Ah, Summer…time to soak in the pool in your bikini with a glass of lemonade.

But wait! What if you don’t have a pool, wouldn’t be caught dead in a bikini and…*gasp*…don’t like lemonade? Having been raised “below the poverty line” in the sauna-like southern Midwest, we couldn’t afford very effective air conditioning, nor could we buy a pool. I’m very sensitive to heat and it’s even caused a couple of meltdowns in the past. With an index over 100 degrees even before the first days of summer, I have to keep cool to keep my cool. So I stuffed a few heat-busting tricks up my sleeves. If I were wearing any, that is. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Slowly adjust your thermostat

This is the old “frog in boiling water” trick–the more gradually you increase your thermostat, the less likely you’ll be to notice it’s getting warmer. Over the course of a week, inch your thermostat up just a degree at a time, stopping only when you hit the threshold of what you consider comfortable. We leave ours at 75 during the day but could probably inch it up another degree or two, if wee one’s naps don’t suffer.

2. Roll the windows down

On one side of your car, that is. When you’re out and about, turn down the windows only on the passenger side of your vehicle, and the air will circulate around you like natural A/C. This really works best going over 50 mph, or on a highway/freeway.

3. Dress light

Well this one is obvious…however, I used to be under the impression that “light” meant lightweight! But I sweat like crazy in synthetic clothes, even the gauziest acrylic/nylon tops are like heat traps in the sun…and forget about any light knits. Light-weave loose natural material like cotton seems to work best.

4. Spray fans

When I was living in an honest-to-goodness trailer park a few years back, we had one window air unit, which during August kept it a balmy 89 degrees inside. Putting an oscillating fan in front of the unit helped to circulate the air. However, about the only thing that was really effective was putting water on my limbs and sitting in front of the fan. A spray bottle of ice water would work even better, and there are handheld fans available which spray a mist (just google it!).

5. Use mint

Chew some mint gum for a quick refreshing burst of cool. This is especially effective with an icy drink. Mint body lotion can also “trick” your skin into feeling a little cooler.

 Are you especially sensitive to heat? Got any heat-busting tips or tricks? Let us know with a comment below!

Pic by GaborfromHungary on Morguefile.com


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