9 Ways to Soothe Summer’s Sizzle

Hawaiian LagoonI know a lot of people are enjoying the sweltering heat we’re experiencing, but I am definitely not one of them.  I reside “Up North” for a reason, and a triple digit heat index is not one of them.  Now, don’t start ranting about how it’s summer and it’s supposed to be warm; I’m well aware of the page on the calendar.  Yes, I would prefer that it was snowing and below zero.  That is why I live here.  So if you are like me (dwelling in a century-old house with radiators and no central air) and you’re looking for some ways to cool down in this heat wave, here are some ideas.

Close up your house.  Yes, that sounds kind of crazy, but proper window/door management can be a life saver.  By closing the windows and drapes, you can keep out the rays of the sun and the hot air, reducing your inside temps tremendously.  When it cools off at night, open them up and air out.

Invest in ceiling fans.  I know interior decorators on those do-it-yourself shows hate them.  But you know they’re all living with central air, right?!  For us poor schmucks that are left to suffer, ceiling fans can circulate the air and make things much more comfortable.  Just make sure the size is right for your room dimensions (check out energystar.gov for tips), and that the blades are running counter clockwise in the summer–switching to clockwise in the winter.

Avoid the oven and stove as much as possible.  Salads are always a great go-to in the heat.  Experiment with some homemade dressings to mix things up a bit.  We buy a ton of fresh fruit this time of year.  Whatever we can’t consume right away gets chopped, flash frozen, and bagged up in smoothie bags.  Talk about fast food.  Just grab a bag out of the freezer, add it to the blender with yogurt, a little milk or juice, and maybe a handful of spinach, and voila!  Don’t forget about the crock pot and grill; you can get pretty creative out there.  We grill extra veggies and use them the next day, maybe for grilled pizza…yep, pizza.

It probably goes without saying, but staying hydrated is crucial in the sweltering heat.  Try to avoid (or at least reduce) alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks, as they can actually work to dehydrate you.  I have discovered some new favorites this year; the Crystal Light “Mocktail” line is a nice alternative to plain water.  With delicious flavors like Appletini, Mojito, Peach Bellini, and Margarita, you won’t even miss the liquor!

  • Dress the part—opt for loose-fitting, light colored natural fabrics like cotton.
  • Invest in a window fan to help get the hot air out (works better than just bringing cool air in).
  • Try using a box fan with a bowl of ice in front of it—again, sounds crazy, but it brings relief.
  • Run cold water over your wrists or use a spray bottle of water from the fridge to mist yourself.
  • Appliances, small electronics, and standard light bulbs can create extra heat in your house—turn ‘em off!

And if all else fails think about this—there’s just over five months until Christmas!  Stay cool and summer on.


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