Heat records are being shattered across BC and the Pacific Northwest, challenging all of us to find ways to stay cool as we make our way through this heatwave. The majority of homes in this area do not have air conditioning, so we need to be creative to stay cool.
Hot weather like this typically lasts only a few days through the summer, and we grin and bear it, knowing eventually manageable temperatures will return. As I write this post, we have a heat warning in effect, and weather experts predict an even hotter tomorrow. So what is one to do to stay cool?
To stay safe in the sun and hot weather, we must:
- keep hydrated by drinking lots of water,
- stay out of the sun when possible and wear a hat in the sun
- Wear sunscreen.
To help you stay cool in this heatwave – here are a few suggestions. I have never heard of some, and I have no idea if they work or not, but maybe worth a try.
- Drink a cup of hot tea – Hot tea can make you sweaty and when the sweat evaporates this can help you stay cool.
- If tea is not your thing, spicy food can make you sweaty and works the same as hot tea.
- Take a wool sweater and run it under cold water. Put the sweater on (I can imagine how difficult it will be to put on a wet wool sweater). As the sweater dries, this will keep you nice and cool.
- Ice packs – place an ice pack or cold water bottle at your pressure points to cool down quickly. (neck, elbow, wrists, behind the knees and your ankles) Depending on your tolerance, you may want to wrap a tea towel around the ice pack. Ice packs also work when you go to sleep, many people use a wet facecloth, but an ice pack wrapped in a towel works well at cooling you down.
- How about putting your sheets in the freezer for about ½ hour before you go to bed. Climbing into a cool bed will certainly help you fall asleep much quicker. Maybe keep an extra top sheet in the freezer if you wake up hot; you can start the process again. I may be better than lying awake wondering if this heat will ever go away!
- And don’t forget the tried and true method, Popsicles! Just like when we were kids, they are still a great way to cool down. Check out this link for 40 popsicle recipes – and I thought all you needed to make a popsicle was kool-aid.
In addition, don’t forget about the people in our communities who may need additional assistance. Check-in on neighbours to ensure they are doing well. While this heatwave is challenging for all people, it can be significantly difficult for people with underlying health issues. We all need to do our part to help each other!
Heat also impacts our pets. Ensure you keep your pet’s water bowl full of fresh water, and they have access to shade and a cool area. Keep them inside, and DO NOT leave them in your vehicles. For more info on caring for your pet in the heat, check out the Canadian or American SPCA.
Staying home sitting at my desk with a fan blowing air directly on me, drinking lots of water and iced coffees and waiting for my mint chocolate popsicles to freeze, I would love to hear how you are surviving the heatwave!