August 3, 2020 by Utopia Team categories: Health
Having trouble keeping cool in the summer heat? Read these six tips to learn how to cool down when the temperature goes up.
Everyone loves summertime, but when the heat gets too oppressive, it’s crucial to listen to your body and find relief. But keeping cool is sometimes easier said than done. In this article, we’ll share our top six tips and tricks for how to stay cool in the heat.
Keeping Cool Tip #1: Stay Hydrated
The most important thing to remember in sweltering heat is to stay hydrated. Sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping cool. When sweat evaporates from your skin, the evaporation process absorbs energy in the form of heat, which has the pleasant side effect of cooling you down. But sweating also causes your body to lose water, which means that to keep your body balanced, you’ll need to drink even more than the recommended 8-10 cups a day.
To make it easier to remember to drink enough water, get your hands on a reusable water bottle, and carry it with you. But don’t forget to keep your water bottle clean!
By water, we really do mean water, not surgery drinks like lemonade or soda or even juice. To make it a little less monotonous, try adding a few mint leaves, or try making ginger water. It’s healthy and will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
But: Don’t be tempted to use cold drinks as a way of staying cool. As tempting as it might be to dump a ton of ice in your water, it will only make you feel worse. Although they might provide some temporary relief, cold drinks activate your metabolism as your body tries to bring that liquid back up to its own temperature. That means that in the end, you’ll sweat even more.
Staying Cool Tip #2: Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
When the heat kills our motivation to get up and do anything, many of us are tempted to do one of two things. Either we look for a caffeinated drink like iced tea or (cold brew) coffee to give ourselves the extra push we need to get things done, or we give up and decide it’s time to open a beer with friends, hoping the alcohol will make the misery of a heatwave more bearable. Unfortunately, neither of these are effective ways of keeping cool.
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which means they increase urine production, causing you to lose even more water. And since you are already losing water through sweat, drinking caffeine or alcohol will put you at risk of becoming dehydrated even faster.
Keeping Cool Tip #3: Eat Light
Another idea for how to stay cool in the heat? Eat more salads and fewer hamburgers. And we’re not just saying that because it’s healthier and we think going vegan is a good idea.
Eating smaller, lighter, and more frequent meals will help you feel less lethargic. Choose something like grilled vegetables, gazpacho, or a fruit plate instead of sausages, pizza, or pasta. It’s not exactly a way of keeping cool, but it will make the heat more bearable.
Tip: Eating fruits that contain a high amount of water are an especially tasty way of staying hydrated. That’s why fruits like watermelon make the perfect summer treat. And did you know that you can even eat watermelon rind?
How to Stay Cool in the Heat Tip #4: Adjust Your Schedule
There’s a reason why hotter countries like Spain and Italy shut down for naps in the middle of the day. They know well that it’s useless to try to work, especially outside, when the sun is high in the sky and the heat of the day is at its peak. Better to take a break and wait it out.
If you don’t have the good fortune to live in a land of long, blessed afternoon snoozes, it might be easier said than done to simply take a few hours to chill every afternoon. But you can make certain adjustments. For example, try waking up an hour or two earlier and getting in your morning workout before it gets too hot. Or, if you want to do some work outside in the garden, wait to start on it until the early evening. To try and keep cool, do your very best to plan anything that requires manual labor during the cooler hours.
Tip: If you do have to be outside during the hottest hours of the day, don’t forget to use sunscreen!
Keeping Cool Tip #5: Find Ways to Sleep
If you don’t have AC, you may find yourself dreading summer nights. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning for hours, being kept awake by the stifling heat.
In attempts to cool their bodies down before falling asleep, some people take cold showers before bed. It sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately, this is just as counterproductive as drinking ice cold beverages. Instead of keeping it cool, cold showers end up causing your body to produce more heat, as it tries to bring its temperature back in balance.
If you want to try to stay cool during summer nights, eat a light dinner so that the furnace that is your metabolism isn’t too hard at work while you’re trying to relax. Make sure your room is well ventilated, and wear breathable fabric to sleep, like cotton or linen. Sleeping without any clothes at all isn’t always the best idea: if you are sweating in your sleep, you might end up becoming too cold during the night, which will lower your immune system and leave you vulnerable to catching a cold (not to mention, you won’t feel very well rested in the morning).
Staying Cool Tip #6: How to Keep a Room Cool
If you don’t have air conditioning and you’re trying to figure out how to keep a room cool in the heat, we have the ultimate list for you.
The first thing to try is to hang up a wet towel or sheet somewhere in the room. Why does this work? The same reason that sweating helps bring down your body temperature: evaporative cooling. Water happens to have a relatively high level of surface tension, which means that it has to absorb a large amount of heat energy from the environment to achieve a phase change like evaporation. As the heat gets absorbed into this process, the room gets cooler.
Check out our full article on how cool a room without AC for more tips.
Summer is here again! Everyone’s excited to hit the beach or take a long, well deserved vacation wherever. Unfortunately, summer also means days of intense. The heat ranges from comfortably warm to extremely hot, and sometimes you’ll be tempted to take medicine for fever and muscle pain just to make all the pain go away.
Well we don’t want anyone to have a heatstroke. To avoid that, we would like to remind you 9 ways to stay cool during the summer!
Do it like the Egyptians
When you think of Egypt, you immediately think of heat, sand, pyramids and Pharaohs. But how did the mighty civilization keep cool as they slumber in that hot, damp climate? Simple: wet sheets. But don’t throw a bucket over your bed sheets just yet! There’s a proper procedure to follow: First, dampen a towel or sheet in cold water and squeeze out the excess water. Put a dry towel or sheet on your bed, then use the dampened sheet or towel for your blanket.This will keep you cool throughout the night.
Hydration is one of the simplest ways to keep cool during the summer months. It is easy and practically priceless. Try drinking eight ounces of water at least every hour. Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing and increase its effectiveness in hydrating your body.
Rice is a staple in every Filipino household . Did you know that you can use it not only for cooking but for cooling off as well? On a really hot night, stuff a sock with rice, close it off (you can use a rubber band) then put it in the freezer for at least an hour. The sock will stay cool for up to 30 minutes.
If you feel that a heat stroke is coming and you need to cool down ASAP, take an ice pack and put them on your pulse points. Your pulse points can be found in your wrists, groin, ankles, behind the knees and neck.
Freeze Your Pillowcase
You do not have to wet your pillowcase to have it cool. All you have to do is put it in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer for at least a couple of hours. When you are about to sleep, take it out and slip it onto your pillow for a cool, night’s sleep.
Never mind fashion! If you are feeling hot, do not wear skin tight clothing like leggings and turtlenecks. These will only make you feel hotter. Pick loose, baggy clothing like a big t-shirt or comfy pajamas. For ladies, if you are comfortable with it, go braless. Or if you’re just staying at home (or are brave enough to go out and go against social norms), feel free to go au natural.
Craving for a big steak? Wanna chow down on a meal of burgers, fries and a milkshake? Don’t! Eating a big meal will make your body produce more heat. Do consume meat but in small portions only. But if you’re feeling particularly grassy, just eat veggies and grains.
Grab a basin and fill it up with cold water. Soak your clean feet in the water and you’ll feel cooler in no time at all. This is because your feet and ankles have a lot of nerve endings which makes ‘em sensitive to the water’s temperature.
Go swimming! Swimming has got to be one of the funnest and most efficient ways to cool down. Whether it’s at the beach on in a pool, this is one failsafe technique. But if you can’t go swimming, taking a cold shower will do to bring down the body temperature.
Take these techniques to heart and for sure you’re going to have one awesome, cool summer.
Written by Keith Cushner
Is there anything worse than being too hot to sleep? Probably, but no one likes to feel like they’re fighting sweaty sheets.
Not only is heat uncomfortable, it’s bad for your sleep, too. The ideal temperature for sleep is somewhere in the low to mid-60 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, anything above 75 degrees interferes with the quality of your sleep.
If you live without air conditioning, you no longer have to suffer during sweltering hot summer nights. Just follow our top fifteen tips to stay cool at night without A/C.
1. Switch out your pillow.
Your brain generates a lot of heat while it works, and that holds true even when you’re sleeping. To cool down at night, you’ve got to cool down your head. That means cooling down your pillow. Here are a few options for doing so:
- Use a foam or buckwheat pillow instead. Both of these types of pillows do a better job at comfortably cradling your head and neck while also sleeping cooler. Memory foam pillows provide superior contour in particular. Look for models made with cooling gel-infused foam or ventilated foam for optimal airflow.
- Take it to the next level with a pillow specifically designed for a cooler sleep experience. Cooling pillows are typically made from gel-infused memory foam or latex, with breathable fabric covers.
2. Invest in cooling sheets.
Just as there are cooling pillows, there are cooling sheets . These sheets are made from breathable materials like organic cotton or bamboo. They’re also designed to wick away moisture, so in the off chance you do sweat, you’ll still be comfortable and dry.
If you want the cozy feel of a blanket, but without the heat, you can get a cool comforter , too. Consider trading in your winter flannels for a set of cooling sheets in the summer.
3. Make your own A/C.
It’s time to unleash your inner Macgyver. Build your own A/C by putting cold ice cubes in a large bowl and placing that in front of an electric fan. As the ice melts, the fan will blow a cool breeze throughout the room.
Depending on the size of your fan , you may want to play around with the optimal placement. Even a small personal fan in front of a small bowl on your nightstand will help cool your head at night. Bonus points if you set up multiple fans around the room.
4. Sleep like an Egyptian.
If anyone knows how to stay comfortable while it’s hot, it’s the Egyptians. Follow this sleep hack, known as the “Egyptian method,” to cool down your bedroom at night.
Soak a bedsheet or a large towel in water. Then wring it out or put it in the washing machine on the spin cycle. Once it stops dripping, get into bed and lay the towel or sheet on top of you. As long as you have a breeze going—from a ceiling fan, floor fan, or open window—you’ll feel your body cool down.
Alternatives include hanging the sheet in front of an open window or wearing damp clothes to bed. To prevent any damage to your mattress with this method, you’ll want to put a dry towel underneath you to catch any moisture.
5. Sleep naked.
Here’s an economical tip: save on pajamas and sleep naked. Sleeping naked is actually ideal for your sleep quality, as without pesky clothing on, it’s easier for your body to thermoregulate and maintain a cool body temperature.
If you feel too exposed, you can always throw on a pair of socks .
6. Shut the blinds.
The sun emits a lot of light , and a lot of heat. During the summer, the sun’s rays are even more powerful. Keep your curtains drawn and your blinds shut during especially hot days, to prevent the sun from heating up your home.
For ultimate protection against the sun’s rays, get yourself some blackout curtains . These will keep the light out all day and night, keeping your home cool and helping you sleep more deeply at night.
7. Get a cooler mattress.
Your mattress is yet another source of heat in your sleep environment —especially if you’re sleeping on a mattress known to trap heat. Memory foam mattresses are notorious for trapping body heat, while organic latex , innerspring , and some hybrid mattresses are the best mattresses for staying cool .
If you don’t have the budget for a new mattress, you can split the difference with a cooling mattress pad or topper . These are designed to give you extra cushioning, while also neutralizing your mattress’s surface temperature. For an extra cool sleeping experience, look for ones that contain fans or water tanks built-in.
8. Put your sheets in the freezer.
While you’re following your bedtime routine , pop your sheets in the freezer for a few minutes. You want to leave them in there long enough to feel cool to the touch, but not too long that they actually freeze. You’ll love how these feel once you’re ready to go to sleep.
9. Fill a water bottle with ice water.
Hot water bottles may be for warming you up in the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with them. During hot nights, fill yours up with ice cold water. Tuck it into bed with you, down by your feet. Your feet are particularly sensitive to temperature, so keeping them cool will cool your whole body down.
10. Cool off your pulse points.
You’ll need more room in your freezer for this one. Put some wet washcloths or ice packs in your freezer. Before you go to bed, lay down and place these on pulse points like your neck, wrists, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind your knees. Cooling down these areas will set off a chain reaction that quickly cools down the rest of your body.
Alternately, you can dip your feet in a bowl of cool water.
11. Take a shower.
Even when it’s hot, not everyone can bear to take a cold shower. Good news: you don’t have to for this tip to work. You can even go so far as to take a warm bath.
When you get out of the tub or shower, the water will evaporate from your skin. As this happens, your body cools down, reinforcing your natural circadian rhythms and signaling to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
12. Move your bed closer to the floor.
We all know hot air rises. Get yourself further away from hot bedroom air by lowering your bed closer to the floor. This may mean removing it from your bed frame during the summer.
Most beds are covered to be placed on a solid surface like your floor, but always check your mattress warranty first to ensure you’re covered.
13. Change your sleep position.
It can be tough to train yourself to sleep in a new position, but it is possible. If you’re desperate to cool down at all costs, try changing your sleep position to your back in a spread eagle, with your arms and legs stretched out. Keeping your body parts away from each other prevents them from trapping heat and creating sweaty situations.
If you don’t already sleep on your back, getting a pillow for back sleepers can make this transition easier.
14. Get hydrated.
Staying hydrated helps your body thermoregulate more efficiently, and it also makes your sleep better. Drink a cool glass of water before bed (but not more than that, unless you want to wake up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break).
If water bores you, switch things up with crushed ice or a popsicle. Just make sure your popsicle isn’t too fruity, or the sugar rush may keep you up.
For more advice on sleeping well, check out our pro tips for better sleep hygiene and how to fall asleep faster .
It’s hard to imagine living without air conditioning. Unfortunately, suffering through a summer power outage is a great lesson in how to stay cool without the help of an HVAC unit.
The Action Air team is here to share some easy and accessible ways to stay cool during a summer power outage. Read on to find out more!
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential to keeping cool. The human body moderates its temperature by sweating. Drinking cool water will help your body perspire, thereby helping you beat the heat.
2. Close Off Warm Rooms
Staying cool during a summer power outage is all about slowing the movement of hot air into your home. If you have rooms that are typically warmer than others, exterior rooms or sunrooms for example, close them off. Shutting the doors that lead to those rooms will slow the movement of the hot air to the cooler areas of your home.
3. Wear Thin, Loose Fitting Clothes
The first thing you should do when the power goes out is change your clothing. When your home is air conditioned, you can stay comfortable in jeans and sweaters. However, when your air conditioning shuts off, the first thing you should do is change. Put on thin, loose clothes made of linen and cotton. This will help you increase air movement against your skin.
4. Hang Damp Sheets and Towels
Ever wonder how people kept cool without air conditioning? Mostly with the help of damp sheets and towels. For thousands of years, Ancient Egyptians hung damp linens in doorways and windows of their homes. The movement of air through the wet cloth turned dry hot air into cool mist.
You can emulate the genius of the Egyptians by dampening towels and sheets and hanging them in your open doorways and windows. If you’re really feeling the heat, you can moisten your sheets before bed, and leave a window open while you sleep. As the water in the sheets evaporates, it will cool the air around you as you sleep.
5. Go Swimming
If you can’t stand the heat inside your home, head outside! If you have a pool, or have access to a neighborhood pool, going for a dip is a refreshing way to spend the afternoon.
6. Head Downstairs
Hot air rises. If your air conditioning has failed, the lower floors will be cooler than the upper floors. If the power goes out, spend the day downstairs. And, if it seems like the power will be out for several hours, ensure your family can all sleep on the lowest floor.
7. Purchase Battery-Powered Fans
Battery-powered fans provide instant relief in the case of an outage. However, if an outage is occurring, they will probably be sold out. So, if your area is prone to blackouts or brownouts, stock up on a few battery-powered fans now.
Need More Ways to Stay Cool During a Summer Power Outage? Call us today!
The Action Air team hopes that these tips help you get through a summer power outage. If you need HVAC system repair, maintenance, or replacement, contact us today. We are a locally owned and operated HVAC company that has served the Indianapolis are since 1986. Call us today at 317-585-8981 or schedule your service on our website.
In warmer months, it’s tempting to crank the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan. But these aren’t the only tricks to keeping cool. It turns out there are plenty of ways to buffer your home from the heat without racking up your electric bill. And they’ll make you feel like a DIY champ, too.
Keep your cool, and…
1. Keep your blinds closed. As simple as this tip may seem, Family Handyman notes that up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case with south- and west-facing windows.
2. Better yet, invest in blackout curtains. Blackout curtains block sunlight, naturally insulating the rooms in which they’re installed. Consumer Reports recommends neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backings to reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.
3. Be smart about your doors.
Closing off unused rooms will prevent cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.
4. Hack a fan instead of turning on the A.C. Not even an air conditioner can give off a faux sea breeze, but this simple trick can. Fill a mixing bowl with ice (or something equally cold, like an ice pack), and position it at an angle in front of a large fan so the air whips off the ice in an extra-chilled, extra-misty state. Trust us: It’s magic.
5. Swap your sheets. Not only does seasonally switching your bedding freshen up a room, but it’s also a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler. As an added bonus, buy yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together in a pillow case.
6. Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. You may not realize that your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set to run counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests feel cooler.
7. Focus on the temperature in your body, not the house. If your ancestors survived without air conditioning, so can you. From sipping tasty iced drinks to applying a cold cloth to strong-pulsed areas like your neck and wrists, cooling yourself from the inside out is not a bad idea. Other tricks include being smart about your clothing choices and telling your partner you won’t be cuddling until the leaves start changing color. Also try keeping a bowl of cool water by your bed and dipping your feet if you feel warm in the middle of the night.
8. Turn on your bathroom fans. Or the exhaust fan in your kitchen, for that matter. Both pull the hot air that rises after you cook or take a steamy shower out of your house or apartment.
9. Heat-proof your bed. Go straight to the source, and put a cool Chillow under your head while you sleep. For feet, fill a water bottle, and put it in the freezer before placing it at the foot of your bed. And it sounds strange, but slightly dampening your sheets or popping them in the freezer before bedtime will majorly help you chill out.
10. Sleep low. Heat rises, so hit the downstairs couch or basement, or put your mattress on the floor if the air feels cooler down there.
11. Let the night air in. During summer months, temperatures may drop during the night. If this is the case where you live, make the most of these refreshing hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed. You can even create a wind tunnel by strategically setting up your fans to force the perfect cross breeze. Just be sure to close the windows and blinds before things get too hot in the morning.
12. Hack your windows. To create a cooling pressure current, open the top section of windows on the downwind side of your house, and open the bottom section of windows on the upwind side. Also consider facing a box fan out one window to push hot air out, and try wetting a sheet then hanging it in front of a second open window like a curtain for a chill-infused breeze.
13. Ditch the incandescent lights. If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, this is it. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.
14. Start grilling. It’s obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100 degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Besides, who doesn’t want to get more mileage out of their grill, outdoor furniture and seasonal accessories?
15. Make a few long-term improvements. If you’re really, really committed to the whole no-AC thing, you can make a couple changes to your home that will keep it cooler for seasons to come. Insulated window films, for example, are a smart purchase as they work similarly to blinds. And additions like awnings and planting trees or vines near light-facing windows will shield your home from the sun’s rays, reduce the amount of heat your home absorbs and make your investment even more worthwhile.
And if all else fails, buy yourself one of these.
With the warmer months here, we all start heading to our thermostats to get that cool air moving. Unfortunately, doing such can raise an energy bill by quite a lot if you’re not careful. If you are looking to be a little bit thriftier with your air conditioning this summer, the following are some quick tips to help keep your bill from spiking too much while still staying cool.
Cook meals outdoors.
We’re not saying to stop eating cooked foods in the summer! But using the stove and oven admit a great deal of heat during and after the meal. This heat that sticks around is great for the winter, but not so pleasant for the summer. Switch out a few cooked meals a week with grilling outdoors and your home’s temperature will thank you.
Clean with heat after the sun goes down.
Examples of this would be doing the laundry or washing dishes. Hot water and the humidity from both activities will raise the temperature of the air around them, unintentionally heating the home. If you can, keep these activities on hold during the warmest parts of day.
Fight off the greenhouse effect.
The sun beating down during the summer can create excess heat in the home. The sun shines through windows and in turn heats the indoors, which is the greenhouse effect. Fight it off by keeping your blinds shut and curtains drawn. If you enjoy having blinds open, only use the windows facing away from the sun.
Add additional shading on the exterior of your home.
We all know that trees and their shade offer significant relief from the sun’s heat. A similar and more immediate effect for the home (rather than waiting years for a newly planted tree to grow) would be to add shaded awnings or weather-proof shutters to the exterior of windows. This will provide extra protection from the outdoors and help the cool air indoors stay cool.
Keep an eye on A/C filters.
Extra air filters for the A/C unit are imperative to keep on hand. When the filters are clean, the air will flow more efficiently and cool easier. Dirty filters will block some of the air from flowing easily and in turn cause the A/C unit to work harder, leading to pricier bills.
Summer is a favorite time of year for many, so don’t let anything get in the way of you enjoying the season. Take extra precaution in your home to stay cool and efficient and your wallet and comfort level will thank you.
We hope you enjoyed this blog. At Cirro Energy, we always offer convenient and easy home solutions. Check back every month for new blogs on helpful electricity tips and easy living lifestyle advice. To compare and see the Cirro advantage, check out our residential comparison page and make the switch today. Cirro also provides protection for your electricity system, click here for more information. Cirro Energy, the easy choice for people who like easy choices.
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Summer, according to Ayurveda is dominated by Pitta dosha- which is made up of the elements of fire + water. This dosha is responsible for controlling digestion, metabolism and energy production. The primary function of Pitta (heat) is transformation.
A fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that our daily habits, routines and food choices should change with the seasons. Seasonal living involves consciously making an effort to live in harmony with the cycles of nature and adjusting our lifestyles to accommodate the arrival of each new season.
How does Pitta manifest in the physical body?
We may experience excess heat manifesting in skin irritations (eczema flare ups, rashes, skin burning or reddening easily, redness or inflammation of the eyes, infections of the skin, etc), excess sweating or feeling of being hot, upset digestion (diarrhea or loose stools), inflammation of the joints (swollen and inflamed), etc.
How does Pitta manifest in the mind?
Excess heat may manifest in anger, feeling easily irritated or frustrated, jealousy, resentment, criticism, judgement, etc.
The Principle of opposites
In Ayurveda, like increases like while the opposite finds a state of equilibrium. So in the summer season dominated by heat, light and intensity, it’s important to counteract these Pitta qualities through lifestyle patterns that are cool, heavy and relaxing.
General Recommendations For Balancing Pitta Season
As someone who has a generous amount of Pitta in my own constitution, and knowing my tendencies to heat up during the warmest of seasons (especially now since moving to the desert in Phoenix), I’ve recently engaged in lots of heat reducing practices as part of my self-care regime to stay cool and collected.
Here are some tips to beat the heat and stay balanced this summer:
1) Morning Routine
Wake up early, ideally between 5-7am. Early rising is a healthy rhythm to embrace in the summer. Scrape your tongue and drink plenty of water (even better if it’s cool/room temperature with lime or mint) to flush your digestive system before any food.
Before showering, massage the skin with a small amount of cooling oil, like sunflower, olive or grape-seed oil, to help ground the nervous system. Spray your face with rose water. Essential oils like geranium, lavender, lemongrass and sandalwood can be diffused or used topically to calm and bring Pitta into balance.
When it comes to your summer wardrobe, wear light clothing with cooling colors such as blue, purple and white. Wearing dark colors such as black on a hot summer day can actually aggravate Pitta and draw heat towards you. You can even take this a step further by decorating your living space with cool colors.
Before jumping into the day, take time for introspective activities. This can be exercise, yoga, meditation (good time to practice mantras relating to letting go, softening, relaxing, etc.), walking in nature, breathing exercises, journaling or intention setting. It’s crucial to rest and relax to offset the intensity of the season.
It’s also important to watch your thoughts during the summer season because excess Pitta in the mind can bring anger, aggravation and overly critical thoughts. Being conscious of your emotional and mental state during this hot season may help you find internal balance. Encourage a calm mentality to find patience, tolerance and positivity in order to better enjoy your summertime. After all, everything starts in the mind!
The best time to exercise is before 10am (10 – 2pm are hours during which Pitta is the highest). Try to keep your exercise moderate and avoid pushing yourself too hard. Ayurveda suggests to exercise at about 50–70% of your capacity. Try to exercise in a way that gives you energy and doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted or depleted. Exercise/activities that are too heating in nature may cause burn-out. Try to exercise indoors when possible, so that the body doesn’t overheat. Shower, swim or take a cooling bath after a heated activity.
Nature is always healing, and there is still benefit to enjoying the sun. Summer is an ideal time to be active in nature. Take time off to relax, visit the beach or lake and try swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing or sailing. When you do go outside be sure to protect your eyes and face from the sunlight.
Try more cooling yoga practices like Yin, restorative or non-heated vinyasa. Chill out with twists (wrings out excess heat from the solar plexus where heat is generally stored) and practice in a sweet, gentle way as to not aggravate Pitta dosha. When we practice intensely, competitively, or critically we become more intense, competitive and critical of ourselves and others. When we integrate slow, calming, gentle, soft movements and mindset for our practice, we practice embodying those qualities into all aspects of our lives.
During the months of July and August, even the most modest of Lisboetas walk through town half naked, slathered in SPF 80, carrying large water bottles that put the hot-yoga devoteés from Manhattan’s Lower East Side to shame.
Men who would otherwise be slightly ashamed of their belly size are letting it all hang out, and even grannies toss aside their sheer stockings for the chance at a little air-flow. Sweat stains are a rite of passage. Shorts go even shorter and smiling butt-cheek bottoms dot the sidewalks to the delight (or horror) of many commuters. It may be just another summer day in Lisbon, but sometimes going skimpy just doesn’t cover it.
With the city located on the shores of the chilly Atlantic and built on the proverbial seven hills (and many more if you take the Sintra Line), Lisbon’s sun is usually tamed by coastal breezes, shady spots, and cool nights. But some summer days can get uncomfortably hot, and when a heatwave rolls trough the city, we are often left sweating like pigs and more than a little frantic for a way to chill out.
Assuming that most of us can’t afford air conditioning or industrial-grade fans, here are some tips to escape the often oppressive sun and stay cool at night.
1. Go to the mall and catch a movie
There are major malls in most prominent zones within the Lisbon metropolitan area and they are equipped with air-conditioned food courts and movie theaters to relax in while the sun throws its blazing fits. We recommend getting to the mall when it starts getting really hot, between 13h and 15h, grabbing some food-court wok, walking it off with a little window shopping, and then catching a film (two for the price of one with a NOS client card at NOS theaters) — and leaving once the sun has gone down.
2. Have a steady ice production
A simple but important detail. Buy a few ice trays and keep them full in the freezer so that you won’t ever have to get home sweaty and parched just to drink some warm water. Sustainable tip: If you’re into dumplings from the Chinese stores, some of them come in awesome plastic trays that can be re-purposed for massive ice slivers that make you feel cool AND fancy.
3. Follow the shade and systematically open your windows
During the day, being aware of which side of your apartment the light is coming from is key. Close the shutters or lower the blinds to keep it out as much as possible. On the shady side, open the windows all the way and let the cool air in. The second half of the day it will be the opposite, so you’ll need to flip it, but it makes a huge difference. The night time will bring some ocean breeze, so let it all in. You may hear more drunken arguments, confused barking dogs, and breaking bottles, but let it all be a way for you to expand your notion of what lullabies can sound like. You’ll get used to it.
4. Buy a spray bottle
Typically used to water plants or for getting your cat to stop using your arm as a scratching post, a spray bottle can be a convenient source of relief for hotter nights. A couple of sprays above you and you’ll be nice and moist for the next REM cycle.
5. Cool your body down before bed and don’t lay down until you’re totally beat
On hot days, wear yourself out, physically and mentally. Do some exercise, do some strenuous reading (get off that damn screen), clean the house (do those dishes), and after all is done, take a WARM shower, so that your body will be more sensitive to the night breeze. Try not to get in bed until you are worn out and on your last leg, otherwise your body will definitely notice the heat and it won’t like it.