Discussion Post: What Are Your Tricks to Beat the Heat?

The heat wave rolls on here, and I am about to go spend 2 weeks at our family’s lake house, which is lovely but unairconditioned. So, let’s share tips about how we all deal with the heat in non-airconditioned ways! In a desperate effort to keep Margaret alive as she lives like they did in Olden Times for 2 weeks!

My biggest tip? Wet hair! It’s amazing! I braid my hair and pin it up like a crown, then soak my head until it is completely suffused (swimming is best), and it keeps me cool for literally hours. I suppose you could also just put a heavy wet washcloth on your head, if you don’t have a ridiculous amount of hair to play with.

Young Sridevi (With images) | Rekha actress, Bollywood pictures ...
Not wet hair like this, this just gets in your eyes and tangles in things, you want to braid it and pin it first, then soak it.

My most controversial belief: Coolest possible outfit is a large loose caftan like dress. Shorts are a fools game, they are too tight and restrictive. Short dresses too, your legs get too much sun and get all hot up again, plus you can’t move your legs around in that nice big open cooling swing. Nope, ankle length and loose, that’s the sweet spot. FIGHT ME!

Inside Sonam-Anand wedding reception: The mystery behind Sonam's ...
See???? Sonam knows what’s up! It’s so hot that Shahrukh’s shirt is sticking to him, and Sonam is cool and easy breezy.

22 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Are Your Tricks to Beat the Heat?

  1. 100% agree with both suggestions. A few more:

    1) Linen! Yes, it wrinkles but it’s the coolest thing you can wear. An Etsy seller has linen dresses that are basically tents and not very flattering but they are what I wore in India for three weeks, total lifesaver. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnySize?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=463985155

    2) Body Glide. Keeps your thighs from rubbing together and prevents nasty summer rashes. Again, wore this in India, never had chafing problems.

    3) Single use ice packs I kept them in my bag when I went to Tokyo in August when it’s hellaciously hot and humid to use on me or my son in case we got seriously overheated or faint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh shoot! If I’d known about that Etsy store two weeks ago, I would have bought dresses for this coming week. Now I’ll have to make do with the 5 tentlike dresses I already own.

      Never heard of body glide, I’m fascinated, and keeping it in mind for purchase as needed.

      Single use freezer packs is a brilliant idea! I am so doing that next time I travel somewhere super hot. Luckily for next week I can just use regular freezer packs and keep pulling them in and out of the freezer. Or my Mom’s trick, frozen washcloths.

      On Sun, Jul 5, 2020 at 8:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Where I live there is usually a period of about two weeks where it is over 100 Fahrenheit almost everyday. The key is adjusting your body to it. Most people just hide out in air conditioned houses and are miserable when they go outside, BUT if you make yourself go outside the first week, the second week doesn’t bother you so much. So basically, at the hottest part of the day, make yourself go take a walk. By the second week if you want to take a walk you’ll find the heat doesn’t bother you as much. Otherwise all the only advice I have is cold showers, jumping in the lake, or sitting near sprinklers.

    Also, I get so sick of the sun I’ve started wearing those long sleeve hooded shirts. Today my youngest kept asking me why I was wearing a sweatshirt, and wouldn’t I take it off…

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    • I’ve been noticing that adjustment thing! My old apartment had absolutely no cross breeze and was tiny, so the only option was air conditioning all the time or heat stroke. My current apartment has this large glorious cross breeze friendly living room. If I start the day there, at 7am when it is coolest, my body adjusts naturally and I am fine sitting there through to early afternoon. But if I have the a/c going in the bedroom and suddenly leave in midday, it’s unbearable. Of course, going to a house with no a/c at all, not really an option.

      Yes to the sun!!!! I can feel myself actually getting sunsick, and it’s not the brightness or sunburn or even the heat. Another reason large tentlike dresses are the best.

      On Sun, Jul 5, 2020 at 9:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Fun fact: the reason you adjust to warmer temps is your body grows more capillaries close to the surface of your skin so you lose more body heat. It’s also why Californians like me freeze when we are in colder temps, we are actually losing more body heat than someone who is acclimatized to cold weather.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And it’s why sometimes normal temperate climate zone folks like me visit freaky always hot climate zone folks like you and cannot understand why you don’t turn on the air conditioner more.

          On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 7:00 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have to confess that it has been over 100 degrees this past week, and looks to be the same for the week ahead. And I’m not following my advice at all. Instead I’m heading out of town to a place where it shall be a blissful 85, and hopefully the cooler temps will encourage me to start exercising again.

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        • Meanwhile, it rained here on Thursday and dripped from mid-90s to mid-80s. It’s amazing what a difference that is! The house is built for heat, every possible advantage is there (every room has a crossbreeze, the wind off the lake sweeps through the whole building, high ceilings and hard floors and so on), so as long as it is below 90, it’s normal. Just passing that on, because I find it fascinating what a difference it makes being in a place built to beat the heat, anything below 90 really is livable.

          On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 8:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. When my hair is long enough I put it in a high pony tail or a bun and then wedge an ice cube or three (depends on how long the hair is at the time) and let the water cool the very back of my head, which if I can keep that cool I can ‘feel’ cool a lot longer. If I don’t have ice and my hair is short I will just wipe cool water on my cheeks, forehead, and neck and fan myself with something. Dorky but it works.

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    • Oh, I like this idea! I could do a crown of braids, spotted with ice cubes.

      On Sun, Jul 5, 2020 at 11:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Do not try this at home,unless you couldn’t get your AC serviced during the lockdown-soaking your head in cold water a la Meena Kumari in Pakeezah.Works for people with long hair as well as short hair.But beware of the water spilled that no one would like to clean up.

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    • I think this is exactly what the lake is for! I can go in swimming and focus on getting my head super super wet above all.

      On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 1:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Linen and silk, sleeping at the hottest part of the day, parasols, fans. When it’s really hot here I wear a bunch of vintage caftans and they are the best. Americans are always ragging on me because I hardly ever wear shorts but shorts are much hotter than skirts and I don’t understand how they don’t get this.

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    • Sleeping in the hottest part of the day for sure, only tragically I will still be working 9 to 5 so I can’t do that. Although 5 is still pretty hot, I could take a nap as soon as I finish work.

      On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 1:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I live in South India – Hyderabad has 104 to 116 F in Summer – mid April to June. My native place nearer to the Eastern coast (like Chennai) peaks until 118 with humidity causing intense sweating.
    I don’t have A/C at home intentionally.
    Your clothing idea is good. But, having wet hair is not a healthy idea – ok for one day, but not for full month.
    My tips –
    – Wear a wet scarf as collar round the neck. The collar is the place that actually keeps you cold. Used by cricketers who play in hot sun.

    – You need to keep your tummy cool – not soft drinks or ice creams, but those food that keep the stomach cool – butter milk (lassi), yogurt, coconut water, barley water
    – People get surprised, but actually spicy food keeps the body cooler – you take South India, Mexico or any tropical place – they eat spicy food.

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  7. I used to live in Northern Japan which is mostly uncomfortably cool to completely freezing except for two weeks of the year when it becomes as hot as the rest of Japan. Naturally, no one has air conditioning just for those two weeks so we developed some survival strategies.

    Yes to the cold packs Alisa mentioned. You can buy them for any purpose here in Japan–there are ones to put in your pillow case, and ones to put in your collar. You could just buy a regular one, wrap it in a towel, and put it in your bed like a hot water bottle only cold.

    Freeze a two-liter bottle of tap water and put it between you and a fan.

    I used to fill my bathtub with cold water and leave it and just sit in a for a minute every hour or so. The lake would work just as well.

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    • I like the two liter bottle of tap water idea! Old school air conditioning. I think that was the first “air conditioning” concept, right? I want to say Teddy Roosevelt was shot and to keep him cool the doctor blew a fan over ice.

      On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 10:55 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. When I used to spend my summers working as a lifeguard, I would wear this Cool Downz towel around my neck, similar to what someone mentioned in a previous comment. It’s just a soaked towel that you press against the back of your neck because placing stuff there cools you off the most. I remember it also being thinner than a normal towel. I also remember using something similar that had beads inside it that you would squeeze in the water to fill up and the beads would expand and it would be the same thing. Not sure if it’s this or something else. Anyway, I found it on Amazon, but I also remember seeing them in the check out lines in Bed Bath and Beyond for like 5 bucks

    Beyond that, I would just drink a ton of ice water and dunk in the pool (fully clothed but with a bathing suit underneath) when I could.

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    • Hey, this is also kind of my “wet hair” effect! It keeps the top of my head wet, but also constantly drips down on the back of my neck.

      And now you are reminding me I should go have a glass of water.

      On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 11:48 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

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