How To Stay Cool In The Sweltering Heat

Stay indoors

Melbourne weather, you’re a tease, is what you are. You throw me in hot pan with the stinking heat. Then you tantalise me with your cool change. Just when I thought I love you for that delicious cool breeze, you pick me up and drop me in the oven again. Gah, tease!

Please excuse the rant. We’ve been going through weeks of over 35C heat and stretches of over 40C for a while now and it’s driving me crazy. Now I know, South Australia and Western Australia have it a lot worse. Seriously, I take my hat off to you SA and WA folks because I don’t know how you do it. I’m a terribly sook when it comes to the heat. It’s like my brain ceases to function normally when it’s so hot outside.

I’m the sort of person who thrives in cold weathers. It’s funny because I grew up in Malaysia, where it’s hot and humid 24/7. It wasn’t easy, let me tell you that. My favourite past time after doing my homework would be to literally lie on the marble floor. I may be reading, listening to music or even napping but it must be on the floor.

As I work from home, it’s imperative that I come up with solutions to cooling oneself mainly because I have no working air conditioning at home. Our AC had stopped working towards the end of last summer and we forgot to get it fixed until we were smacked with the 40+ degree heat. *facepalm*

These are some of the ideas I came up with. If you’re suffering from the heat too, join the club and we can do these things together. :)

Frozen fruits

© Mike Haufe

Enjoy frozen fruits

Ooh I like this one. I don’t mean rock-hard frozen fruits. Simply cut up bite-sized pieces, put them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes and enjoy the icy crunch of the fruits. For the rock-hard frozen bits (it happens. I put them in the freezer and only realise they’re there the next day!), add them to lemonade. They serve as ice and makes the lemonade taste even better. Delish!

Use a foot spa

If you have a foot spa (or borrow from mum or gran), use it at the end of the day. Fill the foot spa with warm or even hot water and epsom salt. Be careful using the epsom salt in the foot spa. Read the manual first to check if it’s possible for you to add any form of salts onto the appliance. I know, it’s downright insane for me to suggest dipping your feet in hot water when it’s stinking hot outside, but when you take your feet out, they’ll be met with this awesome cool air. Plus the hot/warm water and epsom salt will take the weariness out of your feet after a long day.

Eye Slices

Apply an eye mask

When it’s stinking hot outside, you’ll want to dunk your head in cold water and probably keep it there. Why not do something similar AND treat your skin at the same time?

I like the EyeSlices* for this. They’re small gel masks that go over the eyes. I keep them in the fridge so that they’re cold when they go on my eyes. Pop them on and ahhhhh…feels so good. Great for reducing eye bags too.

Apply a facial sheet mask

If you’re going to put on an eye mask, why not go all the way and put on a facial sheet mask as well? You won’t be able to see for a while with the eye mask on as well but hey, it’s hot outside. Relax! Put the mask in the fridge 30 minutes prior to application. It feels ah-mazing on the skin and you keep your skin well hydrated in the dry heat.

Stay indoors as much as possible

Okay, this is going to be another rant but I just have to get it off my chest. I’ve been living in Australia for 6 years now and every summer I have to hear silly news reporters say on TV “it’s going to be a scorcher today; best place to go is the beach!”.

Er, sorry but no. When it’s so hot outside and the UV rating very high to extreme, the best place to be is indoors. I never understood (will probably never understand) the it’s-hot-let’s-go-to-the-beach culture. When it’s at 40C, you don’t even brown. You burn within minutes despite the amount of sunscreen you use.

It’s highly irresponsible to encourage the public to go to the beach when it’s so freaking hot. Sure, you might enjoy the water for a short while but when it starts to feel like drool and the pain from sunburnt skin is unbearable, it’s not worth that short enjoyment period. Let’s not even mention how much quicker you’ll age.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten off my high horse, let’s move on.

Water bottle

A freeze stick in the water bottle = brilliant idea

Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water

I used to be rubbish at remembering to drink water. Kid you not, I’ve gone a day drinking only one glass of water once, and that’s because I finally remembered to drink something. Terrible, I know. I now keep a bottle of water with me at my desk at all times. I usually forget to refill my glass or cup but at least with a bottle, I’ll be drinking at least 750ml before I forget.

Keep a can of facial mist in the fridge and spray away!

This is my favourite. My weapon of choice is Uriage’s Thermal Spray but you can use the one by Avene or Evian. Heck, go ahead and just spray yourself with good ol’ water if you like. Best if kept in the fridge first.

Wear a wide brimmed hat when you’re out and about.

Hat hair may not look good but it’s a lot better than a baked head (which also comes with headaches and one cranky mood).

Thermal spray and sunscreen

Make sunscreen the most important thing in your skincare

It’s not a way to stay cool but you have to protect your skin nevertheless. Carry a travel-sized version with you when you’re out so that you can reapply after every few hours. Cancer Council Australia has handy travel-sized ones that are really good.

Tim and I sleep with 3 fans in the room. Now that we have Janey, we leave one of the fans out in the living room for her where she sleeps. Our best fan purchase this summer was this mighty fan we bought just a day before the first forecasted 43C day. We could have a small Dyson that not only cost us a fortune but will take ages to cool the room down, or we could have a big-ass fan. We opted for the big-ass fan. :P

Big ass fan

Big ass fan is big

Good Lord, this post is long. If you’ve read all the way down and it’s super hot now, I salute you. This post was written a few days ago when the cool change came. Knowing me, I’m probably lying on the floor next to Janey now trying to keep cool. Or I’m in Chadstone enjoying the free AC. Who knows? ;)

If you live in areas where it’s constantly very hot, how do you keep your cool? No really, I want to know because this sook is melting here.

Note: The product marked with * was provided for editorial consideration.

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20 comments… add one

  1. LeGeeque

    One of the most important things I’ve done this summer was to put up heat and light blocking curtains in the living room and bedroom. It keeps the heat out and the cool in.

    Thankfully, my AC is working fine and I also have 2 portable evap coolers. The coolers were the best investment ever. I make loads of ice beforehand and they go into the coolers. I usually set my AC on timer-mode. I am usually home by 4-ish so I set the AC going at 4pm so the house is slightly cooler before I get home. I know, it’s bad for the bill and mother nature but either that or I die of heatstroke.

    When the cool change comes in, I immediately turn the AC off and fling all windows and doors opened. THis allows the house to cool down a little and I usually have the windows opened when I go to bed. More water goes the cooler.

    I must say I experienced the use of evap cooling (duct kind) when I was in WA and they do jack when it’s 43°C out there. I much prefer my AC – more expensive to run but can’t put a price to my sanity :P

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention installing the mirror privacy screens. Makes the house really dark but definitely blocked out a lot of the heat. After this summer, if possible, get your AC checked out just to see that everything is working well and will continue to work for the next summer. This summer has been particularly crazy with many late 30s to 40+ degree heat and it really takes a toll on the AC. No wonder ours died last year :(

  2. Hilary

    This is the reason I don’t get why Australia doesn’t have double glazing on windows and doors as standard – its seen as a complete luxury item, but is SO needed (especially as both here and where you are it gets BLOOMING freezing in winter, as much as it gets hot in summer!).

    My secret weapons look a bit like yours (although I am sobbing as I’ve finished my facial mist spray thing and hubby won’t let me buy another), another thing I’ll add is cool pads though – they are the opposite of those deep heat pads you get for back pains and lady pains, that self heat? These are lovely and cooling, stick to whatever bit of your body without being sticky and gunky (they are a kind of solid gel) and can be cut up into all sorts of shapes to go wherever you want them to go. I’ve still got a pack from the UK (http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Pharmaceuticals-Cooling-Headache-and-Migraine-Pads-4-Pads-_1324864/) so not sure what exactly they would be called here – the few brands they have in the UK I don’t think you can get here (Boots own brand and ’4Head’ brand and Kool ‘n’ Soothe ), but there should be something in Priceline that can help I reckon. The best thing is they stay cool for hours and hours and hours, unlike a cold flannel or ice block, and they stick, so you can go about your business still. Genius product :)

    Oh, and a shower using Original Source minty shower gel gets you all tingly (unfortunately at 40+ I’ve found it only lasts a few minutes if that, but its better than nothing lol).

    They also do ‘Hot Weather Spray’ in the UK that I’ve yet to find over here, which is basically like the facial mist sprays, but also have a touch of Alcohol denat in them as well to help with the evap (tbh I’ve never noticed a drying effect or anything with them, so as long as you’re using them mainly on your body, they’re fab) – which are really good to cool down beds and pillows and things as well as body. But like I say I’m not sure they have them over here :( This stuff http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Pharmaceuticals-Hot-Weather-Cooling-Spray-150ml-_1121530/

    Tis hot hot hot indeedy
    Hilary recently posted..The GranitesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      OMG I know what you mean! When I was studying in the UK, I was so used to double glazed windows because they helped to keep the heat in and the cold out. I never understood why we don’t have it here (at least, I don’t think they do, I’m not sure). Maybe because it’s not cold enough? Heck, it’s hot enough!

      Oooh thanks for the recommendation on the cooling pads! I always thought that’s only used for fevers but hey, it’s crazy hot outside and warmer than my body temp so that should work. I’ll be sure to pick some up at Chemist Warehouse this week. :)

  3. Rose

    I never understood why people go to the beach when it’s hot either! There’s even less shade than anywhere else, and sitting in the sun just makes you hotter, not to mention the sand burning underneath you as well. Give me a day lying on the couch with the air con on any day :p
    Rose recently posted..OPI Brazil Liquid Sand Beach Sandies Collection – Swatches & ReviewMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I know, right? There’s no shade in the beach! You have to bring your own umbrella and all that and sit on burning coal sand. Hello, AC + sofa = much bigger win!

  4. Ting

    Hello! So sorry to hear that you’ve had very hot climate over there at the moment. We are going to have our Thai summer soon (peak around April) and your tips might be very useful! I dread the summer!! :( It makes my shampoos hot (no kidding!) and food smell funny faster if we keep it outside.

    My friend who is from India where they have 40 degree C as well, said she keep cool by draping a thin wet cotton cloth around her body. When the cloth dried, she rinse it in water again. My husband does the same. Obviously it’s not very convenient and not glamorous.

    As for fan, yeah we also get those industrial powerful fan. HAHA. It blows away the mosquitoes (yeah we get them a lot) as well! :p

    1. Tine

      Hi Ting! Yeah I know what you mean. In Malaysia, it’s just as hot too. You get hot and humid there and in Thailand, but you get hot and dry here, which feels like you’re perpetually in an oven. >.< How awesome are those industrial power fans eh? :D

  5. Shalunya

    We are having quite the opposite problem right now. The snow is expected at any moment now. But there are plenty of easy ways to snuggle up and stay warm. Being hot is just difficult at best. Sorry you’re suffering through the heat for now but you gave some great suggestions for staying cool. Thanks for sharing.
    Shalunya recently posted..Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye PencilMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh how I wish for the cold and snow (of course, if you’re inundated by it for weeks, then that’s also going to be awful). Keeping warm is easier because you can snuggle up. In summer, I don’t even want to touch another person’s skin. :P

  6. Victoria

    Really sorry to hear about your suffering in the terrible heat in Melbourne. I still wonder how Australian Tennis Open could be held in this heat and I am surprise no players have collapsed and died from it. KL is also experiencing some hot weather although it is only peaking at 33 degrees. I like you cannot stand heat and prefer chilly weather. So imagine the amount of complaining my husband would have to put up from me if we were living in Melbourne. LOL.

    1. Tine

      Oh I know! I was watching the Australian Open and saw a number of players vomit or pass out from the heat. I love Melbourne but it’s absolutely ridiculous that they allow the players to go on in such debilitating heat.

      The thing with the weather is, each rise of a degree makes a difference. I never used to think that there’s a difference between 35C and 38C. The temperature change is even more apparent indoors. When the cool change from 40C came and it went down to 30C, you’d think it’s still hot but it’s actually cool. I was jumping for joy in 30C heat. In Malaysia, I’d be like, 30C??? CAN DIE.

  7. Riverveda

    Frozen fruits and milk is an awesome and fresh idea that i heard about for the first time. I loved the article as you have targeted especially Australian climate. Would like to use and introduce these tips to other people too. Thanks a tone and would be waiting for number of many next sharing.

    Stella

    1. Tine

      My pleasure! Hope you found it useful!

  8. Su-San

    Sounds like me, I thrive in the cold weather too. I have a mini fan on my desk in the office :)
    18-24c is what I love most.
    I get asked as well why I can’t take the heat since I grew up in Msia.

    1. Tine

      Haha me too! I have a small USB powered fan that I blow right at my face. :P
      Yeah I know what you mean. I get the same question too. I just say, “can’t help it. Cold blooded mah” :P

      1. Su-San

        Which reminds me, need to add handheld battery powered fan to my shopping list! Malaysia, I will there soon :)

        1. Tine

          I got mine from Daiso ;)

  9. Bee Chin

    Hey Tine, can’t help to think if we could switched :) been in the freezing cold so much I don’t mind some hot sun. (Recent blood work came back showing I am extremely low in Vit D, not surprising.) I need sun, u can have some snow :)

    1. Tine

      Hahaha well, I wouldn’t want that much cold and snow either. Man, it’s really crazy in the US with the amount of snowfall and huge dip in temperature. As for Vitamin D deficiency, nah, it’s not just the sun exposure factor. Asians tend to get it. I have it too and I get the sun so often. I need Vit D supplements for it. :P

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