Phew! It’s a scorcher. Sunshine is welcome, but when the weather gets scorching, tempers can also flare. If you find yourself feeling irritable, impatient and easily annoyed, the chances are that you are suffering from the heat. Keep your cool in the workplace and elsewhere with these simple tips curated from the NHS, the Met Office and BBC News websites plus some thoughts of my own:
- At home, try to keep your house cool by closing blinds or curtains. You can open the windows for ventilation when it's cooler.
- At night, keep your sleeping area well ventilated. Night cooling is necessary as it allows the body to recuperate. Catnapping during the day can help – make sure you don't fall asleep outside and end up with sunburn.
- Have cool baths or showers and splash yourself with cold water. Try spritzing yourself with a facial mist. You can buy ready-made or easily prepare your own. Here's my favourite: fill up a small spray bottle about half of the way with cold filtered tap water and add a few drops of essential oil of your choice, then shake it up. You are ready to go.
- Have you tried making frozen banana ice cream? Just a few overripe bananas whizzed up until creamy then frozen for a few hours. Stir in honey or maple syrup. Add nuts or chocolate flakes or whatever you fancy. Freeze again for an hour or more, then scoop to enjoy. You are welcome.
- Buy a mini-battery operated hand fan and carry it with you. Why not dig out that pretty handheld fan you bought on holiday and use it.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Take water with you when travelling. It is tempting to quench your thirst by gulping down alcohol, but it doesn't help as alcohol dehydrates the body. Instead, try some of the excellent low/no alcoholic drinks that are now readily available. Many are also low in sugar. Check out DryDrinker.com which stocks a fantastic range. Many supermarkets also stock alcohol-free so there’s every opportunity to experiment with what tastes good to you.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors. Make sure you use a high factor sunscreen.
- Beat the heat by staying out of the sun and do not go out between 11 am and 3 pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Avoid too much exercise, which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and watch for signs of heat stress - an early warning is feeling fatigued.
- Don't forget to check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
- Do not leave children or animals in parked cars. Even on cool days, strong sunshine can make car interiors very hot.
Remember that if you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot environment that's affecting your health or someone else's, get medical advice.