how to survive hot summers
with temps surpassing 40º in the UK and my European friends woefully unprepared to deal with hotter and hotter summers, I thought I'd share how we do it back home.
- Change your wardrobe. Don't wear jeans or thick, tight clothing in summer. Light colours help, but it's less important than the fabric being loose and breathable. Imagine you get a gust of wind; can you feel the wind? Linen fabric and synthetic activewear are great for this.
- Cover all your skin when going out into the sun, either with loose breathable clothing, or sunscreen.
- "But I'm only going to the tram" – if you don't like dying of melanoma, sunscreen yourself before walking under the radiation of the nuclear deathstar in the sky.
- Wear a summer hat and/or sunglasses.
- Always be sipping. Doesn't matter if you feel thirsty or not, carry water bottles everywhere, fill them on taps, sip often. If you don't the symptom isn't necessarily thirst; it's feeling tired, sluggish, brainfog etc., eventually sunstroke.
- Learn how to make hydrating serum (1L water, 20g sugar, 5g salt). In case someone has sunstroke give them serum; it hits faster than pure water. (also good for other forms of dehydration.)
- Tea and coffe hydrate you, even accounting for diuretic effect. Alcohol dehydrates; if drinking alcohol, drink at least the same amount of water with it.
- Give up not sweating. Sweating is good. It's a very efficient evaporative cooling system (that's why you need breathable clothing, and sipping water).
- Cold meals, refrigerated fruit and ice drinks are great. Counter-intuitively, hot drinks cool you down too, by hyping up the sweat system. Same goes for hot-spicy food. (this literally cools you down, look it up.)
- Don't go outside when the sun is high. Don't eat in outside tables when the sun is high. Don't go to parks, pools or beaches when the sun is high. Wait until the deathstar isn't killing you.
- Lower your expectations of productivity. It's the apocalypse, fuck work. Procrastinate in the hot hours. Kill time. Nap. Implement the siesta as an institution.
- The buildings here are more prepared for cold weather than hot. You might want to invest in good fans, or even cold floors. High ceilings are fresher.
- The higher the air humidity %, the less effective is sweating at cooling you. Be extra careful on high-humidity high-temp days.
- summer nights can be surprisingly chilly. don't get caught unprepared in your super-breathable, breezy hot girl look during a temp drop with rain and wind outside 3am.
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