Some people love it, some people hate it – I’m not talking about Marmite, I’m talking about hot weather. Self-care is important for all weathers but for hot days (and nights) there are some rather specific self-care essentials that will help you to stay healthy, well and happy. If you love the heat then good self-care can help you to enjoy it even more, if you tolerate the heat then it can help you to tolerate it better, and if you don’t like it then extra self-care can help you to survive it. Here are some super-duper heat activated self-care tips for everyone to practice:
Top Tip Number 1: SPF
Going outside? Wear SPF30 or higher. Sun protection saves you from sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. I once read about a study which looked into why fair skinned and ginger haired people often have younger looking skin than other people. It was because their fairer skin was much more prone to sunburn and therefore they used a higher SPF and applied it more frequently than those with ‘tougher’ skin. I apply SPF 50 before getting dressed in the morning, and then keep a small SPF 50 in my handbag at all times (even on cloudy days). After trying about a million facial SPFs I have settled on this one from Khiels as it doesn’t leave a chalky or sticky residue on the face (unlike many others that I have tried). It is free from lots of nasties, helps improve skin health and doubles up as a moisturiser so you don’t have to put lots of layers on your skin. For body SPF I tend to buy Nivea SPF 50 Sun Spray because it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel sticky.
Top Tip Number 2: Hydrate
Drink plenty of water or other things that hydrate you. Unfortunately tea, coffee and alcohol will not hydrate you but, if you fancy something tasty, try a delicious super cold fruit smoothie that is full of goodness which will cool you down, load you up with healthy vitamins, satisfy a sweet tooth and basically fill you with happiness. Instead of just drinking to keep you hydrated, snack on water-rich food as well like melons, oranges, apples etc. In my handbag essentials tip down below you’ll see that I have suggested carrying an insulated water bottle with you when you go out so you have water easily accessible.
Top Tip Number 3: Shade
Between the hours of 11am and 3pm the sun is at its highest and the temperature is at its hottest. Aim to stay in the shade during this time to protect yourself from too much sun. This doesn’t necessarily mean staying indoors but finding a nice spot under a parasol, tree, shade sail or any other structure that can keep you out of the glaring sunshine. It is rather convenient that between 11am – 3 pm is the perfect time for a shady lunch.
Top Tip Number 4: Know your limits
If the heat is getting too much for you, don’t try and push yourself through it or you might make yourself sick. Listen to your body and if it’s telling you to go lie down in front of a fan then that is exactly what you should do.
Top Tip Number 5: Sleep
A good night of sleep. As someone who easily struggles with sleep, I have researched and written about sleep quite a lot on this blog so far (and will do loads more I expect). Hot nights can make it really difficult to sleep so I have some great tips which can help handle the heat at night. Bizarre as it may sound, a warm/hot shower before bed can help you sleep better (your body naturally cools down as you sleep so a hot shower gets you hotter than your environment so when you cool down to your environmental temperature it helps your body achieve a more comfortable sleeping temperature). Instead of using a duvet (and possibly kicking it off halfway through the night) and having nothing over you, use a cotton flat sheet. Put your pillowcase in a zip-lock bag and then in the freezer for half an hour or so before you go to bed. Read more about getting a good night of sleep here.
Top Tip Number 6: Dress Appropriately
Dressing in light coloured clothes will help you stay cooler than dark coloured clothes, as they reflect heat rather than soaking it up. Aim for cotton and linen materials which are less sweaty than materials like denim, vegan leather or polyester. Hats are pretty awesome as well for making sure your face stays nice and shady (especially the big floppy straw hats – my personal fave). Last but not least for dressing appropriately, definitely make sure you have sunglasses which offer proper sun protection.
Top Tip Number 7: Handbag Essentials
Going out? Don’t forget to take a mini SPF for top-ups during the day – one for your body and one for your face if that’s the way you roll. A bottle of water (ideally an insulated bottle like Corkcicle or Chilly’s – my other half has one and it is amazing because of how long it keeps drinks super cold for). Lip balm with an SPF. And my favourite of all favourites – an adorable mini portable fan. You might think it looks a bit ‘much’, but it might also just be exactly what you need if it is a hot day and there is zero breeze going on. Even if there is a breeze this fan is just a mini-lifesaver sometimes.
Do you enjoy the hot weather? Tolerate it? Or downright dislike it? What are your favourite tips for coping in the heat?
Until next time