18 Simple Hacks To Surviving The Hot Weather Without Having To Buy An Air-Con

The hot days are here to stay... until the end of August, at least.

Cover image via Life In The Dog Lane

Is it us or are the 'hot' seasons getting warmer each year? Not only do we find ourselves melting into puddles of sweat and almost blinded by the glaring sunlight during the day...

(sighs) The choice between going out for lunch or staying in our wonderfully air-conditioned offices is a most difficult one! #FirstWorldProblems

... We can barely get comfortable - let alone sleep! - at night because it is JUST. TOO. HOT.

Some of us can't afford air-con at home okay. :(

Unfortunately, we're gonna have to bear with the hot and dry, rainless weather until the end of August, with daytime temperatures expected to rise up to 35°C

Image via The Debrief UK

Plus, like every other year, the choking haze is expected to make a return while those living in the Klang Valley should brace themselves for possible disruptions of their water supply. Again.

Yep, that's another two months of feeling sticky and gross! But before you start dunking your head into an ice bucket, you might wanna take note of these tips to keep cool and get through the sweltering heat:

1. This goes without saying - drink loads of water to keep yourself hydrated. For a refreshing change, add some fruits and fresh herbs to make some naturally-flavoured water!

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Pro-tip #1: Chrysanthemum is said to be a cooling herb that helps to clear the head, so drinking chysanthemum tea may help you cool down too.

Pro-tip #2: If you're craving for some fizzy drinks to quench your thirst, sports and isotonic drinks e.g. Gatorade, 100 Plus etc. are a great source of electrolytes.

Pro-tip #3: Wrap a wet paper towel around a bottled drink of your choice, put it in a freezer for about 15 minutes, and voila! An almost-instant ice cold drink!

Image via Jack Brightside

2. But make sure to avoid liquids that contain alcohol and caffeine, such as coffee and Coca Cola

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Alcohol dehydrates the body, while caffeine increases the metabolic heat in the body.

3. Instead of eating a large meal, opt for frequent small meals or snacks that do not require cooking next to a hot stove. Also, try to avoid consuming too much protein-laden foods.

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Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won't have to cook next to a hot stove.

Big, protein-laden meals force your body to stoke its metabolic fires. The solution is to break up your eating into smaller, more frequent meals. You'll feel cooler - and it's better for you anyway.

4. Hot days are the perfect excuse to go to the mamak for some spicy grub. Yep, you read that right - eating spicy food actually cools the body down by sweating it out!

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Spicy foods make you sweat without actually raising body temperature.

Curries and chillies can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, enhance circulation and cause sweating, which cools the body down.

5. Wear loose and lightweight cotton clothes, preferably in light colours

Heat is trapped by synthetic fibres, but cotton absorbs perspiration and its evaporation causes you to feel cooler. The light colours reflect the sun's radiation.

6. Same goes for your pillows and bed sheets

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Sleep on a feather or down pillow with a cotton pillowcase. Synthetic pillows will retain heat.

Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.

Pro-tip: Stick your bed sheets into a freezer for about 30 minutes before you go to bed. Remember to wrap it in a plastic bag beforehand unless you want it to smell like leftovers!

5. Schedule any outdoor activities or exercise at cooler times, such as early in the morning or in the late evening. If that's not possible, scale down your level of activity.

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Slow down and avoid strenuous activity which will stimulate your body and raise its core temperature. If you must go jogging, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually before 7am.

If you can't change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead or running, or decreasing your level of exertion.

8. For a quick cool-down, chill your pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees by applying ice packs or splashing cold water on them

Run your wrists under a cold tap for five seconds each every couple of hours. Because a main vein passes through this area, it helps cool the blood.

Cool down the whole body by dunking (clean!) feet in cold water before hitting the hay. Better yet, keep a bucket of water near the bed and dip feet whenever you’re feeling hot throughout the night.

Splashing water on your temples or face can produce a similar effect.

9. It's very tempting to take cold showers when it gets too hot, but it's only a temporary respite from the heat. Take a lukewarm (or below body temperature) bath or shower instead, especially before bedtime.

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Although a cold shower might sound more tempting, your body generates heat afterwards to compensate for the heat loss.

Rinsing off under a stream of tepid H20 brings down the core body temperature and rinses off sweat so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.

10. Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the fridge. You will welcome a quick refreshing spray to your face and everywhere else on your body after being outdoors.

11. Keep your body lotions, cosmetic toners, eye creams, and facial masks in the fridge too. Putting on a chilled facial mask will change your life!

12. Can't afford an air-con? Set up a makeshift one by placing a shallow pan or bowl (or any container) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice's surface as it melts to create a cooling mist. #DIYwin

Image via Loescher

13. To make things simpler, just head to places with air-conditioning like shopping malls, movie theatres, museums, or a public library. Free air-con FTW!

14. Make sure to keep your curtains drawn before you head out so your house does not heat up like a greenhouse

Image via Noraly

15. Light bulbs as well as electronic gadgets and appliances give off heat, so switch them off and keep them unplugged when not in use

Light bulbs (even environmentally-friendly CFLs) give off heat. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, and keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all.

16. Hot air rises, so set up your bed or cot as close to the ground as possible for a comfortable night's sleep. Even if it means dragging your mattress onto the floor.

In a one-story home, that means hauling the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and putting it on the floor. If you live in a multi-floor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor instead of an upper storey.

17. Cuddling up to your significant other is just bad news on a hot, sticky night. Sleeping alone does not only help you stay cool, you get to hog the entire bedspace for an entirely unselfish reason.

Image via Pensa no Amor

Snoozing in spread eagle position (i.e. with arms and legs not touching each other) is best for reducing body heat and letting air circulate around the body.

18. Do nothing. :p

Image via Xtreme Canadian

Seriously, just don't do anything. Don't wash your clothes, run the dishwasher or take a shower - those will create humidity. Turn off your heat-generating computer and appliances. Don't even move. Yeah, just stay there. Still. You'll be cool in no time.

Stay cool, everyone!

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And remember to stay hydrated at all times!

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