How To Stay Cool In Hot Temperatures And Enjoy Really Hot Days

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    With the heat wave sweeping over Europe I wanted to talk about surviving the heat without looking and feeling gross. However as I started writing this post I realised that the key to a great summer is not just surviving, it's about slipping in things that make the summer feel amazing. A friend told me that summer feels endless when she spends time by the water, even if it is a quick dip the river after work. So here are my tips: a mix of

Hand fans
    This old-fashioned quirky accessory is extremely practical. I love slipping a hand-fan out of my bag and feeling a small breeze on my face when I'm stuck in a hot bus. I also get a giggle out of my friends borrowing them and then struggling to keep up a steady fanning rhythm with their wrists.
    Fans can be are so pretty -- I love the Japanese ones, but you can pick souvenir ones from many places in the world. I prefer ones that are small, light and not too delicate. Did you know that in Victorian times fans were a way to communicate discreetly, or that they could be used as ball books?

Mineral Makeup
    Nothing is as sweat-proof as minerals! I also switch up mascara for kajal because kajal is the only bit of makeup that actually looks better when it's slightly melted.

Thermal face water
  I picked up a small spray bottle of water at a clothing swap, and was surprised that my skin liked it more than regular water. It leaves my skin a bit tighter and the tone is more even. I like to spray it on my face and hair after a workout and when I'm sweating. I think that it cuts down on the sweating since it cools the skin in the same way that sweat would. Girl with curls and waves can revive their hair by spritzing it and scrunching it with their hands.
   A cheaper and eco-friendlier alternative to thermal water from the store is  a hydrolate (like rose water) in a small misting bottle.

Cool your strategic points:
  If you are really hot, spritz the back of your neck, wrists or (my favourite) the feet to cool down the body. The veins there are very close to the skin and the blood cools faster.
  You can put a body lotion into the fridge and apply it on one body part -- it feels amazing. Don't apply it on the entire body, as it might cool you down too much.
Being barefoot also feels cooler, even on a carpeted floor!

A good hat
   A hat with a big brim that protects me from the sun and is my biggest must-have in the summer. Hats are often seen as difficult to wear, but believe me when I say that there is a hat for every woman. The most common mistake is that women plonk the hat on the head from above. The correct way is slightly from behind. Try that, it will make most hats (and cap)s look much better! I love hats with brims that can be moulded and shaped with to make it more flattering to my face type. TkMaxx is my go-to for great affordable hats.

   This is something I picked up from India and can't believe that I haven't seen in Europe yet. Basically, everyone carries a simple old-fashioned fabric handkerchief and uses it to pat the parts of the face where sweat collects. This  prevents it from dripping down the nose and chin which is so disgusting!

I never got around to do an actual review, so in short: it works, it's comfortable, and totally worth the €€. For best results wear it in a way that the clip is positioned on the inside of the thigh.

Bike everywhere
     The breeze in your face, you can slip through the traffic and get a workout. My bicycling essentials for the summer include a good hat, my BirdIndustries skirt garter clip to keep skirts and dresses in place -- I also love the long peg-shaped trousers clips for this -- I gather my maxi skirts and clip them, and off I go.

Dress right
    I think that everyone has a different body part which overheats! Butt? Wear floaty skirts. Boobs and arms?  Go sleeveless. Feet? Choose sandals or espadrilles.
    Of course natural fabrics are the way to go. However there is a huge difference between  different types of cotton -- typical soft and heavy T-shirt knits end to be clingy and hot, the best ones are light airy weaves because they are super light and don't cling to the body.
    Loose, light-coloured natural fabrics will keep you cooler than skimpy, tight synthetics.

Drink, especially water
    I talk about the importance of staying hydrated in every other posts, so I'll skip to this tip:  a warm (not hot) drink can be much more refreshing on a hot day -- a tip from the middle east (relevant study). Water is best, coconut water is also amazing.
    I like Sigg bottles for hydrating on the go because they don't leach into the water, are light and very robust. I use a small one on regular days because it fits into my purse and I can always refill it in most places (tap water is of excellent quality here), but I have a couple of bigger ones for family outings.

 Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially seasonal ones
    Someone once told me that seasonal produce gives the body all that it needs to survive the season. Water melon helps you stay hydrated. In India, mangoes are said to help the body survive the heat.

Go outside and do something in the nature
   Go to a park and dip your feet in a fountain. Take a bicycle trip. Pick your own strawberries. Join a walking tour -- I love the ones about wild herbs.Read under a tree. Drink tea on your balcony.

Over to you: what are your tips for surviving high temperatures?

Photo credit: Deania

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