How to Cool Down When You’re Hot
As the Festive season is accompanied by a fair amount of heat from the oven, and our emotions, I thought this might be helpful.
I know it is not just me who gets hot and bothered around major holidays. First there is always too much to do, and if you have friends and family staying then that is a whole other agenda as well.
Keeping cool is a priority and it is not just actual heat that is the issue; stress always can trigger a hot flush so let’s look at how you might be able to avoid it
What are you wearing?
It’s not just the amount of clothes that matter, but the type as well. At Christmas you may be tempted by that Rudolph sweater all want to wear your new valet dress for lunch but the priority here is keeping you cool.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, absorbent materials like cotton work best. Keep it to one layer. And look for lighter colors because darker ones can absorb the heat and make you hotter.
How does your bedding work for you?
Start with the right material for your sheets: Cotton or linen is best to let enough air in, keep you cool, and wick away sweat.
Polyester/cotton blends won’t keep you as cool and dry. After that, look for a “thread count” of 200 to 400. More than that means the fabric won’t breathe as well and might trap more heat and moisture.
Another very useful tip is to put your bedding in the freezer in a plastic bag for a few minutes and then put them back onto your bed.
Use a resealable plastic bag so they don’t touch food, moisture, or ice. The chill won’t remain all night, but it may last long enough for you to fall asleep.
Keep the water cool
A bath or even a simple sponging off with cold water will work, as it should help cool your body. Warm water also works because you cool down as the water evaporates from your skin and hair.
What you need to avoid are hot baths and showers. But try not to steam up the bathroom too much.
Hot water bottle?
Not when you are trying to cool down, but if you have a hot water bottle you can actually use it to reduce your temperature.
Just fill it with water and put it in the freezer. You may need to wrap it in a towel to protect your skin before you use it. You also could toss any buckwheat packs/pillows that you normally use to heat up in colder months into the refrigerator or freezer.
Keep air circulating
When the increasingly hot summers we have been having, you may already have some form of air conditioning. However, another option, is to get the air moving with a fan or two or three.
Create a path for the air through open windows. For an even bigger cooling boost, put an oven roasting pan full of ice cubes in front of the fan.
When you need a quick fix
If you’re really hot, you could use an ice pack. Or wet a towel with cold water and put it on “pulse points” like your wrists, ankles, the crooks of your elbows, and the backs of your knees.
Just be sure to cover your skin with a towel to protect it, and only do it for 20 minutes at a time.
Cut the caffeine
That’s the “stimulant” in your morning cup of coffee that fires you up and gets you out the door. It’s pretty safe for most people, but it can raise your body temperature. That might not be good if you already feel hot.
And it’s not just in coffee. It’s also in chocolate, tea, soft drinks, sports drinks, and many nonprescription drugs. Read the packaging to know for sure.
An ice-cold beer or cocktail might seem like just the thing to cool you down but the alcohol can make you feel even warmer while actually cooling your core temperature. This is not a good combination and may make you nauseous and dizzy if you’re already hot.
Also if you drink too much, you might upset your body’s hormone balance, which sometimes spikes body temperature for short periods – and that may mean another series of hot flushes.
Sweating is your body’s air conditioner, and it needs water to run properly. Keep topping up during the day and if you are going to be exercising bring a water bottle with you to games or practices, and try to take about 10 big gulps from your water bottle every 15 minutes or so.
Remember, you might not see the sweat you lose if you’re in the pool or air conditioning.
These tips can all be helpful, but at menopause there is an additional challenge. As our hormone levels change we start to notice more hot flushes and this process is very variable.
Do all you can to keep cool, reduce stress and check your hormone balance to keep symptoms such as flushes under control.