How to Cool Yourself Down on a Hot Day

Four Parts:Dressing to Keep CoolRegulating Your Internal CoolKeeping Your Cool IndoorsKeeping Your Cool Outdoors

This article provides various simple and straightforward ideas that will help you to cool down and keep your cool on a hot day. These practical suggestions can be used at home or when out and about, and many of them don't require access to electricity. This makes some of these suggestions particularly helpful if you're outside or there's a summer blackout.

Part 1
Dressing to Keep Cool

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    Wear clothes that will keep you cool. Linen and cotton are good fabrics for a hot day. Loose clothes are generally better for keeping cool over tight, close-fitting ones, so consider flowing garments. Don't tuck everything in and button everything up.
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    Cover your skin. Long-sleeved shirts made of cotton, hemp and other natural fabrics will help deflect the sun's rays and protect your skin.
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    Wear a hat. A broad-brimmed hat is essential to protect your face and to create some shade over your head.
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    Wear a sarong, for men and women. Pair with shirts, skirts, shorts, Capri pants and trousers. You don't have to show your legs off to keep cool or be cool. For both sexes, you might feel cooler in lighter colors, such as white, pale blue, light green, stone, etc.
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    Keep your feet cool too. Consider wearing sandals that match your outfit. You can even put on some black and white pumps or flats. Flip-flops or jandals are great too. Go barefoot for really cool feet, but be wary about walking on hot surfaces like sand. Avoid boots, obviously!
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    Apply lots of sunscreen throughout the day. The protective function of such lotion only lasts for a few hours and less when you are in water. Reapply frequently for best coverage. Do not rely on it alone, however. Always combine with wearing a hat, long-sleeved clothing and keeping out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Part 2
Regulating Your Internal Cool

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    Drink lots of water to regain the water lost due to sweating.
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    Keep still and quiet. This is not a good time for exercising, sports or running around. Keep these activities for the evening when the air becomes cooler and the sun goes down.
    • Slow the heart rate down first by taking deep breaths. This will be calming and can cool the body.
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    Have a cold shower or bath. Even a small amount of water sprayed or splashed on you can help. Or try a face washer dipped in cold water and held against your face and forehead for instant cooling relief. Wet towels if you need to cool all of your body and wrap your legs, torso and arms with them.
    • Stand or sit in your bath and run the shower over your body and you should feel much cooler.
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    Wet parts of your body. This can be an effective way to bring about instant cool. Some suggestions include:
    • Wash your face and lie down in front of a fan.
    • Set your feet in really cold water. When your feet are cold, your body cools down.[citation needed]
    • Wet your hair with cold water every half an hour.
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    • Use a washcloth. Get a washcloth and soak it in cold water. Barely wring it out, and lay it on your neck. Repeat when needed.
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    • Every half an hour, you can take a cold wet napkin and put in on your head for about 5 minutes or so. It relieves the heat going to your head - and feels good!
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    • Run the insides of your wrists under cold water. If your major veins are cold or warm, your body is cold/warm.
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    • Soak a bandanna in cool water and wrap it around your head. Re-wet often, because it will dry fast in the heat. Soak your cap, too.
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    Use ice. Get a bag of ice. Put it on your forehead for 30 minutes.
    • Chew on ice cubes. Its just like drinking water, only colder!
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    • Take your washcloth, put ice blocks in it, and put it on your forehead while lying on your back.
    • Try filling a big cup with cold water and then put it in the freezer. Wait until it freezes and then you can take the ice cube out of the cup and dab it where you're sweating or hot.
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    Keep inside or in the shade when the sun is at its height. Don't go outside if you can help it between 11 o'clock and 3 o'clock, as these are the hours during which the sun is at its strongest.
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    Try to get used to the heat. Try to do this without relying on fans too much. That way, you can be more independent of relying on any electrical equipment This can become very important should there be a summer blackout.

Part 3
Keeping Your Cool Indoors

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    Open the windows to let in a breeze. Use screens to keep out insects if they are a problem.
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    Use fans. Fans keep the air circulating and produce a small cooling effect. Place a wet face cloth on the fan to produce a mini air-conditioning effect. Be careful to set the wet cloth only on the outer cage part of the fan so that it cannot be caught by the fan blades. Also do not leave the room without removing the cloth from the fan.

Part 4
Keeping Your Cool Outdoors

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    Stay in the shade. Read a good book, sit still or take a nap.When you move around, you will get hotter and hotter.
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    Go swimming. If you can, select a shady body of water.
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    Play with water. There are lots of fun ways to use water to keep cool outdoors. Some suggestions include:
    • Consider running through sprinklers.
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    • Have a water fight with a sibling or friend(s). Having a water gun fight is effective and fun too.
    • Dunk your head in cold water.
    • Pour a bucket of iced water over your head (Instagram ALS ice bucket competition).
    • Have a water balloon fight with your friends.
    • To keep your kids cool, get a paddling pool for them and fill it with cool water. You could also put up an umbrella to keep them in the shade.
    • Grab a companion, a hose, a sprinkler, a water bottle or water gun and flood your yard. Don't do this if you live under water restrictions.
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    Repeatedly spray yourself with cold water from a spray bottle. It keeps you cool and feels good.

Tips

  • Wait about 15 to 30 minutes for your sunscreen to dry if you have a swimming pool and are going in it! The sunscreen will wash off if you go in water immediately.
  • Alcohol is dehydrating, so don't drink too much of it. Remember to drink plenty of water instead.
  • If you are planning on staying inside, keep your night curtains closed all day so it doesn't let in much heat.
  • If ice is too cold for you, wrap something around it like a piece of cloth.
  • Don't eat anything cold like ice cream if you are in the hot sun. Your body will have to work harder to cool it down so it becomes a short term gain, long term loss. Eventually, the icy coldness of the ice cream will be gone, but your body will still be hotter from having to cool it down in your body.
  • If you are a girl who owns a fabric headband, soak it in cold water and put it on. It will cool your neck, ears, and the top of your head.
  • Have what you need to keep cool with you. Money for a cold drink, cooling wipes, Sun block, Sun glasses etc., can all be carried in a man bag, cute purse or beach bag.
  • Household electronics like TVs, computers, video game consoles, etc., all cause heat while in use. So remember to turn them off when you're not using them.

Warnings

  • If you have any symptoms of dehydration, stop playing or working--whatever you're doing, stop! Relax and drink a nice cold bottle of water. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day.
  • Dehydration is a serious condition if left untreated.
  • Read the labels of sunscreen cream very carefully. Be informed about the ingredients and make sure they are suitable for your skin.
  • If you sunbathe, re-apply sunscreen cream more often than you think you need to. Water washes the sunscreen lotion off.

Sources and Citations

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