Surviving the Heat

I know some people will laugh at me complaining about high 80s and low 90s…but as a girl who grew up in ALASKA,as someone who doesn’t have air conditioning, and who’s pregnant…I’m barely surviving! It’s hot and humid and I’m definitely not very used to it.

It’s been a relatively hot summer, which is something I’m not used to. I lived in South Carolina last summer which was insanely hot, but I had air conditioning set to 70 that was paid for by my company. AKA, it was heavenly. Here? Not so much. Here is what I’ve been doing to keep me (and my cat!) cool enough.

  • Avoid the stove. Eat sandwiches and salads, grill outside, or use a crockpot. No way would I turn that stove on…it would only make the apartment more miserable! I made a really yummy salad last night of quinoa, spinach, edamame, and other veggies that needed to get used up. I cooked the quinoa in the microwave! I know there are risks of radiation, but I’d rather that once than suffer the heat.
  • DRINK WATER. Nothing can replace this. Drink COLD drinks like water and unsweetened tea. Drink things that will hydrate, not dehydrate (my dear coffee has been set aside.) I just wrote about my favorite lime mint infused water. Infused waters are great! Just make sure it’s water, and that it’s cold.
  • Eat cold foods: This goes with the first tip. Anyways, I’m allowing myself to indulge in a bit of ice cream because 1. I’m pregnant, and 2. It’s hot as balls. Cold veggies, yogurts, and other cold snacks are great though.
  • Cover glass window panes with aluminum foil. This is actually an Alaska trick used to block light, but it helps reflect keep the heat away as well. I’m actually being a hypocrite as I haven’t done this yet, but you can bet I will be today.
  • Use every fan. Bathroom fans help take out humidity, and kitchen fans at least circulate air. My husband and I finally caved and bought a “wind tunnel” fan which was $30, and a great investment. This runs on high against a window at all times, and on medium at night (it’s quite loud). This has been a lifesaver
  • Use a fan over a metal ice bucket: This can be a kitchen pot. The metal stays cool, and circulating cold air feels wonderful. If you have an ice maker you are in even more luck. I personally just refill the ice trays every chance I get.
  • Shower at least once daily. Taking a lukewarm/cool shower does WONDERS. Getting out and then immediately getting in front of a fan is heaven on earth. Don’t take a warm shower, you will feel like crap.
  • Go somewhere with AC: This is what I tend to do quite often….I get out of my terribly hot apartment! Thankfully some of my campus buildings have air conditioning, which is a double win. It keeps me cool and forces me to study. Otherwise I find myself wandering through Walmart or other stores. Don’t buy things unnecessarily, but feel free to look around or buy things slowly. I.e. have the excuse to come back. Buy toilet paper one day and a few groceries the next. I know it sounds a bit crazy but getting out the heat can sometimes be a little desperate
  • Go swimming. Beach days are wonderful. It’s a way to get some Vitamin D and cool off when needed. Always, ALWAYS use sunsreen! Go into the water when you get warm, it’s delightful. If you don’t live near a beach, even dipping your feet into a lake or pond can feel awesome. Public pools may also be in your area. Look around!
  • Go for a drive: This is assuming your vehicle has a working AC unit, but getting away for a cool drive is awesome. Make a date of it and go explore. This will keep you cool and then you aren’t just wasting gas and energy.
  • Keep your pets cool! 
    • Make sure there is a way they have access to a fan if they want, that way they at least have an option.
    • Keep their drinking water cool (not cold if you have a cat. Just cool. I don’t know about dogs, sorry!)
    • Wash them with cool water. My cat did not really like this at first, until she realized it was cooling her down. I get it, cats often hate water. What I do is get a paper towel wet with very cold water, wring it out a little, then rub her down with it quickly. This is enough to at least get her fur wet. Then I hold her in front of the fan for about a minute. I do this immediately after getting home from work on hot days. She complained a little the first time but hasn’t really since. I’m aware that not all cats will be this tolerant though, just try it once at least if you are really worried about heat. I was honestly worried she’d get a heat stroke on a really hot day, which is also why I caved and got the fan haha.
    • DON’T KEEP YOUR PETS IN THE CAR. If you have the AC running, that’s a different story. But if you go into the store and leave your windows up without AC on, you are putting your furry friend’s life at risk. Leave the pets at home, or leave the AC on. Worried about leaving AC on without being in the car? Then drive your pet home and come back.

I hope this helps. Likely if you were overheating you’d already know many of these, but maybe I provided at least a helpful hint or two. Stay cool;)

-Rachel

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