7 Tips to Keep Cool, De-Stress, and Beat the Heat

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What better way to pump up your stress levels than by suffering through unpleasantly hot summer weather? These tips can help you keep your cool, de-stress, and enjoy the summer heat instead of battling it.

Climatologists are telling us that there are several indications this will be the hottest year ever. And while some still debate the reasons for it, as the relentless heat continues across the northern hemisphere this summer, many are looking for economical ways to stay more comfortable.

There are many reasons, besides pure comfort, to be wary of high temperatures. Heat-related problems, such as dehydration and cramps are always a risk, as is the possibility of more serious conditions such as stroke or cardiac arrest.

There are many experts in different scientific and technical fields who have offered various types of advice on how to beat the heat. All agree on a few essential things most of us can do to protect ourselves when temperatures soar or remain high for several days:

Stay hydrated.
It’s very important to drink a lot of liquids. But drinking alcoholic beverages won’t keep you hydrated as well as drinking water, juices, and the lower-sugar, non-caffeine soft drinks.
Avoid prolonged exposure.
If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks to cool off. This will also prevent excessive U/V exposure, and excessive stress on the respiratory system, especially during high ozone level days.
Dress coolly.
Avoid dark, heavy, and tight-fitting clothes. You want clothes that reflect more sunlight than they absorb and that permit adequate ventilation.
Avoid unnecessary physical stress.
Avoid the heavy yard work on high heat index days. Excessive heat combined with high physical activity taxes the body’s temperature regulating systems. If there are tasks you simply must do, break them down into smaller chores, taking time to cool down and rehydrate between stints.
Do your best to stay cool.
If you’re fortunate enough to have air conditioning, be sure the air filter is clean, air ducts are free of obstructions, and that the outside unit is free of surrounding dirt and debris. These steps will not only help with energy efficiency but will also help ensure a greater degree of dehumidification of the air inside and a greater degree of comfort. If you don’t have air conditioning, fans can be a helpful way to keep air moving and make the environment more comfortable. When air moves across our skin and tiny moisture droplets evaporate, it produces a cooling effect. Even if you have air conditioning, using fans wisely can help you stay cool while cutting your total energy costs.
Get plenty of rest.
It’s important to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Eat light, low-fat, nutritious foods and avoid heavy meals.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are likely to be in good supply and at the year’s lowest prices. Enjoy these as opposed to heavy fat-laden meals that cause the body’s digestive mechanisms to work harder and keep you feeling bloated and even more uncomfortable on warm days.

Predictions are for the record warmth to continue unabated for several weeks. But until the cooler temperatures of Fall arrive, the tips outlined above should prove of help in beating the summer heat.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

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