The current heatwave in the UK has certainly got many of us desperately searching for ways to beat the heat and keep cool! The UK doesn't often experience scorching temperatures, so when the heat does begin to rise, many of us are at a loss for how to cope. So instead of going out and purchasing another fan, we thought we'd share with you some top tips for keeping cool from different countries all around the world...
Keeping the Air Cool
First thing in the morning, it is a good idea to open up windows and doors as this allows cool air to circulate through your home. As the day progresses, the temperature will rise. When it starts to near the point where it’s hotter outside than in, it is time to shut the windows and close the curtains to keep the cool air in. This may seem counterintuitive when we want fresh air, but it’s common practise throughout Europe and proves very effective at keeping homes cool.
Keep electric lighting to a minimum as the bulbs give off heat. Try and keep lights off inside your home, especially in the rooms that hold the most heat. It may seem a bit strange sitting in the dark, but in the evening you will appreciate the cooler temperatures for sleeping! You can leave your curtains open just a crack to let in a little light if it is too dark for you. Once the air cools you can open the windows up for a breeze.
Maximise the Coolest Hours
Make the most of the cooler hours in the mornings and evenings! If you need to go out or do housework, plan these tasks around the heat. Early morning and late evening are generally the coolest parts of the day, definitely avoid doing strenuous tasks during the midday heat. If you are able to, do as the Spanish do and have a siesta in the afternoon. An afternoon nap means you can either get up earlier or go to bed later so that you can maximise your enjoyment of the cooler hours of the day.
If your work schedule allows you to be flexible, try to schedule any meeting or more intensive tasks for the cooler hours of the day. Working from home may also be the best option for you, if your work allows you to do so.
Swap Out Your Menu
Opting for salads or foods that are quick to prepare without the need for an oven avoids adding extra heat to your home. If you do want to have hot foods, avoid using your oven and instead pick foods that can be heated quickly on the hob. If you are cooking, make sure to keep your fan on to help keep your kitchen cool. It is also a good idea to batch-cook so you don’t have to use heat each day. Pre-prepared meals can simply be heated up in the microwave.
It is vital to stay hydrated, and the best way to do this is with cold water from the fridge. In Africa, it is also popular to drink natural fruit juices to help keep you hydrated and cool. In Yemen, people often add lemon juice to their drinks as they give you a refreshing feeling, helping you to feel cooler.
Water is the way Forward!
Putting your hair under a cold tap will make a big difference as keeping your head cool is vital to beating the heat. You can also wet a scarf and wrap it around your neck for a similar effect. Take a quick, cold shower to cool off quickly, or sit with your feet in a bowl of cold water. Handheld fans that spritz water are a great little gadget to carry around with you.
In India, it is a traditional common practise to sprinkle water in front of your house and on the rooftop (if accessible) early in the morning. This water evaporates and cools the inside of the house down as the temperature rises outdoors.
Switch out Your Wardrobe
We all know that wearing shorts and vest tops is going to keep us cooler, but did you know that the fabric your clothes are made from is actually the most important factor in keeping cool? Natural fibres are your friend, especially cotton, linen and hemp as they help to regulate your body temperature. Clothing made from natural fibres, especially in lighter shades, gives relief from the scorching summer heat. Cotton clothing is the go-to choice around the world in places such as India, Spain and Brazil. Carrying around a fan is also a great way to combat the heat, shop our collection of Ghanaian fans here.
Take it Easy
Don’t rush, whatever you are doing, do it slower. Walk slowly. Do the housework slowly. Don’t try to fight the heat, in a British ‘keep calm and carry on’ kind of attitude. Instead embrace a more relaxed attitude and you will find the heat much more bearable. Remember, the UK isn't built for extreme heat like other countries around the world, so if you are struggling to cope, be kind to yourself. The heat will pass, you'll soon be swapping out your iced latte for a hot cappuccino and complaining about the rain in no time.