8 Ways to Keep Cool in the Heat ...

In spite of the fact that, merely two weeks ago, it was still spitting some snow where I live, it seems that spring has finally sprung. Actually, since spring only really lasts about two minutes in New England and the temperatures are already cresting 80 degrees, I think spring has sprung right into summer. With the weather already this hot, it looks like it's going to be another scorcher, and people are looking for new ways to stay comfortable. Air conditioners are great, but they get expensive, some people don't like to use them, and you can't run them all the time anyway – so here are some alternative ways to keep cool in the heat.

1. Chug, Chug, Chug

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One of the most important ways to keep cool in the heat is to stay hydrated. You just need to drink all the time. However, try to stay away from beverages like soda, and juices or teas with tons of sugar. They're going to make you thirstier, which will make you feel that much hotter. Stick to ice water, or make yourself some natural fruit drinks, like lemonade or smoothies.

2. Be a (Seer)sucker

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Well, you don't necessarily have to wear seersucker itself, but it is one of my favorite summer fabrics. It's all cotton, which makes it very lightweight. To that end, you need to wear lots of lightweight fabrics. Linen works as well as cotton to keep you cool. Most importantly, stay away from heavy blends that will make you sweat.

3. Take It off

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Of course, another alternative way to keep cool in the heat is to wear … nothing. Now, obviously, don't start walking bare butted down the street like that poor, naïve Emperor with a new suit and no clothes. When you're at home, though, don't be afraid to strip down. Prance around in your panties and a tank top, or go the full Monty and dare to be completely bare.

4. Take a Dip

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Swimming is one of my favorite things to do in warm weather. I like swimming in lakes and rivers and ponds, I adore swimming in the ocean, but above all else, I love swimming in pools. Call me crazy, but the smell of chlorine on a hot day completely epitomizes the whole idea of summer. No matter where you like to swim, if you like to dive in or just get your feet wet, treat yourself to some cool bodies of water – just don't forget the sunscreen! Failing that, take an icy bath in your swimsuit – it's sort of the same thing!

5. Do the Fandango

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Actually, that's just clever word play; I'm really talking about fans. Get a window fan, think about a ceiling fan, or look for a standup fan. They're cheaper than air conditioners and, if positioned correctly, can really cool you down. When you're out and about, you can use one of those little personal fans – or you can be stylish as well as cool, by purchasing a real personal fan. You know, those hot little accordion fans – one little snap of your wrist, a flutter, and you're practically Scarlett O'Hara without the weight of all the petticoats and bustles.

6. That's Mint

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Speaking of Miss Scarlett, there's a reason Southern women used to clamor for their mint juleps, you know. Mint is an excellent cooling agent. Even if you don't want to drink it, look for lotions, soaps, and things that have mint or the properties of menthol. They'll keep you nice and chill, plus they'll refresh your skin!

7. Freeze up

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Some of the best ways to keep cool in the heat are simple, free, homespun methods. For instance, you can take a washcloth or a tea towel, soak it in cold water, then toss it in the freezer. After it gets nice and frozen cold, you can wipe down your body with it, or simply drape it over your shoulders. You can also make your own A/C by putting a bowl of ice cubes or a couple of frozen water bottles in front of your fan – instant A/C!

8. Powder Your Nose – and Your Sheets

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While powdering your body can help keep you cool, let's focus on the latter part there. I read this in a book somewhere, didn't believe it at all, then tried it. It actually works! At night, sprinkle your sheets with baby powder or talcum powder – it really does make you seem cooler. It keeps your sheets crisp and cool on humid, muggy nights, which is definitely a lifesaver.

I'm so fickle. I hate being too hot, but after a winter that seemed to last a hundred years, I don't want to see snow again for a good long time. Getting comfortable is so hard! Still, I hope that some of these new ways to keep cool in the heat will provide some relief for you. Do you have any other cool down tips?

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