“The sand, feel the waves between your toes…Can you feel the way the old wind blows…From one to another…. Here to discover..Indian Summer” These are the lyrics to the song ‘Indian Summer’ by America and they sure make you feel like you’re enjoying a nice vacation by the sea! However, as anyone who’s experienced a ‘real’ Indian summer knows, it’s no walk on the beach! There are a lot of challenges to deal with, starting from the way the humidity makes your hair go frizzy to more dangerous problems like heat stroke. Yet, you don’t have to shut yourself up for two months in an air conditioned room. You can still enjoy the season and have a great holiday – all of which is possible with these easy ways to stay cool in an Indian summer. (Read, Summer in India).
8 Easy Ways to Stay Cool in An Indian Summer
1. Drink Up
Yes, just drinking the right kind of fluids can help you stay cool while keeping your hydration intact. Of course, plain water is obviously best, but a few additions can up the cooling factor. Cucumber, watermelon, mint and lime are all popular for summer beverages. You can either juice these or just add some slices or springs in a jug of plain water. Coconut water and buttermilk are great options too. Avoid caffeine as far as possible – it heats the body and dehydrates it as well.
2. Eat Right
What you eat is just as important as what you drink when it comes to staying cool in summer. Your best bet is to avoid hot foods and stick to salads, cold soups and fruits. Carrots, cucumbers, apples, watermelon and oranges have good water content and fill you up without slowing you down. Oily and spicy meals require your body to work more towards digesting it, which means more heat is generated. Homemade ice cream or yogurt made with low fat dairy also satisfies a sweet tooth without expanding your waistline!
3. Dress Well
Magazine headlines are probably screaming ‘Is your body bikini-ready?’ but what you should actually be asking is if your clothes are summer-ready! Your choice of fabric is very important as natural fabrics like cotton and linen allow breath-ability and are fairly easy to maintain. Opt for loose, flowy styles that don’t need too much fabric. Be sure to have a hat or umbrella and sunglasses when you step outside the house. Dark clothes tend to pull heat in, so go for lighter colors to stay cool. Open sandals are obviously more comfortable than closed up shoes – for you and everyone around!
4. Shower Right
One of my favorite ways to stay cool in summer is quite basic – take a cool shower! This is especially helpful if you live in a humid area, and multiple showers a day really freshen you up. They don’t need to be long; you may also have to consider a water shortage in summer! Body washes may work better than soaps**, based on your skin type. One tip – take a shower and lie under the fan without completely drying off – great for a very hot day!
5. Adapt your Skin Care
Lock the freshness in by moisturizing right after a shower, but stay away from heavy creams. Use light gels or lotions which contain cooling ingredients like cucumber, aloe or jojoba. Stay away from products that contain lanolin or glycerin which can be greasy. Also talcum powder can come in quite handy – dust it between your toes to keep them fresh, or between body parts that may chafe. Some even claim that sprinkling talcum powder on bed sheets makes them cool! Most importantly, don’t forget the sunscreen – whatever the SPF, it needs to be applied all over the body and reapplied at regular intervals.
6. Stay out of the sun
One of the easiest ways to stay cool in summer? Stay out of the heat! Plan your day so that you’re indoors from 10 AM to 4 PM, so that you avoid the peak summer heat. Schedule your errands so that you’re in the mall or some other air conditioned environment during this time. It’s a good idea to plan your workouts in the early morning or evenings too, so you don’t go crazy with heat and dehydration!
7. Cool your Room
It can be hard to stay cool in summer when your room has accumulated all the sun’s heat! There are many ways you can keep your room cool without an A/C. Place fans turned outwards to send the hot air outside. Use heavy curtains to block the heat as the sun goes up, and open them up as the sun goes down. Use cotton sheets and try to sleep closer to the ground as the air gets warmer higher up. You can also place a wet sheet in front of a fan to get some brief yet effective respite from the heat.
8. Cool your Mind
None of these tips are going to work if you’re constantly stressed and anxious. That’s why getting nervous is referred to as ‘breaking into a sweat’! Besides embarrassing sweat patches on your clothes, getting all hot and bothered can affect your productivity and focus. Meditate everyday and calm your mind by letting out all the negative thoughts. Think of it as unwanted hot air, and think of positive thoughts as a breeze that cools you inside out. You can also practice some yoga poses like Tree Pose, Child’s Pose or Corpse pose, which are known to have a cooling effect.
The song at the beginning mentions Indian Summer, but even that is different in each part of India. So adapt the tips above to suit your particular lifestyle and the weather in your region. With these easy ways to stay cool in summer, you’ll soon be enjoying the hot weather and look and feel good both inside and out!