The summer has arrived in the UK and even though this morning I was rained on, the sunny spells are on the increase. Rumour has it that the UK could expect highs of up to 32°C this week. Crazy or what?!
Staying cool and hydrated is important for everyone during the summer months however, for those of us who suffer from P.O.T.S and similar conditions, the heat can get a bit too much. I’ve made a list of my favourite or most helpful ways of keeping cool.
I know this is an obvious one but it is so so so important. The first sign of dehydration is feeling thirsty. So make sure you keep your fluids up.
If you’re drinking alcohol, don’t be tempted to include those liquids in your water intake. Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating you and will just make you feel worse. If you find water too boring or just want to mix it up a little, adding sliced cucumber or lemon makes a refreshing change.
Find some shade
As lovely as it is to stay in the glorious sunshine all day long, that constant heat isn’t so good for you. Try channelling you inner Rory and hang out in the shade of some trees or buildings in town during the warmest part of the day, 12-3pm. This will also help to stop your skin from burning too.
When I was younger I was terrified that bugs and monsters would come in to my room at night if I left the window open, now, I love it. If your bedroom gets direct sunlight during the day, especially in the afternoon, try closing your blinds or curtains but keep your window open. They will help keep the heat (and the bugs) out.
One thing I like to do during the summer, especially when my hayfever is playing up too making me feel all hot and sick, is to soak a flannel or paper towel in cold water and place it on my forehead. It’s great for helping with itchy hayfever eyes too. I’ve also done this when I am too hot to sleep at night.
Create some wind
As I’ve mentioned, I also suffer from hayfever. Specialists suggest not to let too much of the outside in to you home to help with symptoms. If your hayfever is really sensitive like mine, a plug in fan is also a great way to keep cool. You could even paint it so it looks like a rainbow. Depending on the type of fan, it might be a bit too noisy to sleep with. You could also try heading towards the coast during the day where it tends to be a bit windier.
Lay off the carbs
I’ve found that when I eat meals with a lot of carbs such as pasta, with garlic bread, I tend to get warm quite quickly after and sometimes it makes me feel a bit tachy. During summer, I try to swap out the extra carbs for food with high water retention. My favourite side is salad with lots and lots of cucumber.
Wear light layers
In Newcastle the weather can change quite quickly so it is always good to be prepared with a jumper, scarf or rain coat. I tend to wear skirts or dresses most of the time anyway so I summer, my clothing options keep me reasonably cool. One lesson I’ve learnt though is to not have a heavy bag or back pack. I like to be prepared, but often end up over heating in a t-shirt and skirt because my bag is full of stuff I don’t really need. I guess what I am trying to say is to be prepared but be minimalistic.
This is a biggy. I am always feeling tired due to medication and any blackouts but the summer heat also makes me lose energy much quicker than normal. It’s okay to take your time; sit down, have a sip of water and cool off. I am an expert at burning the candle at two ends, so I am trying really hard this summer to slow down and do less each day, so I can do more each week. Don’t forget it’s okay to say no and just chill inside.
Exercise is important for everyone. But you need to make sure you’re exercising safely too. The coolest parts of the day tend to be the early morning and late evening. If you’re a runner or cyclist you may want to start going out at these times instead to beat to heat. Swimming is also a great way to exercise yet stay cool. Get a few friends together and head to a water park or just go for a few laps at your local pool. As always stay hydrated and don’t push yourself too hard.
Hot tea to cool you down
I hope this list helps. Give them a try and let me know if any of them help. If there’s a tip you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.