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In a few weeks I’m going camping…
Just writing that makes me start to sweat.
Clearly I have a screw loose for agreeing to do such a thing, especially after complaining about how much I hate summer. However, I am doing it and I expect it to be fun (as long as I don’t see any snakes). This is my second year in a row and last year I was unprepared for the misery that is Louisiana in July. You’d think living in Texas would have prepared me, but I neglected to calculate for the fact that I don’t go outside in Texas unless I’m at the pool or the beach. I’ve even given those up by the time August rolls around because it feels like swimming in dirty bath water (so gross).
So even though most people won’t be spending time outdoors in Louisiana this summer, and many people won’t have to deal with the extreme temperatures I deal with, a lot of people will be dealing with extra heat. Unfortunately that extra heat often impacts health. It makes our bodies swell, it makes our breathing difficult, and it makes are pain levels spike. So here’s some of my top tips for keeping cool in the summer, because I feel like I’m an expert after living in Texas for 15 years and camping in Louisiana one time (I kid, I kid).
- Try a chill towel
This has been on my wish list since last summer in Louisiana when everyone else had one and I didn’t. Sweat was pouring off me and all I wanted was something cold on my neck. This summer I’m going to be prepared because these things are amazing. All you have to do is soak it in some cold water and it keeps cool for a while.
2. Use a cooling mattress pad
I haven’t tried one of these yet, but it’s on my wish list. I hate being hot at night, and even when I’m home in my air conditioning I still get hot (especially come August/September). I don’t like anything touching me when I’m hot, but obviously I don’t have a choice when it comes to the mattress pad and sheets so the cooler the better.
3. Wear breathable clothing
This is my summer mantra. I normally hate wearing dresses or skirts, but they are more breathable than any kind of shorts I could wear. I am the queen of the maxi dress, which is the best invention ever. I also like casual skirts like this one, they are even more comfortable than leggings!
4. Don’t cook using the oven
Most ovens heat up the kitchen when they’re on, and using the stove top is a recipe for having sweat in your food, so it’s easier to cook using other methods. I prefer to use the slow cooker or the grill as much as possible. Our grill is broken at the moment, so that leaves only the slow cooker, but I make it work. This post has some of my favorite slow cooker recipes.
5. Try a cooling mat or pillow
I have a cooling pillow that I got with the purchase of my mattress. I love it, and so does my husband who refuses to travel anywhere without his, but they’re kind of expensive. So a cheaper alternative is the cooling mat which you can place on top of your pillow. You can place it in the fridge or the freezer before you use it and enjoy a nice cool surface to lay your head on.
6. Use a cooling eye mask
I love to use my cooling eye mask when I have a headache. It’s easy to just keep in the fridge or freezer and then pop it out whenever you need it. It’s amazing what a difference having something cold on your face makes.
None of these strategies will magically fix the problem of dealing with hot weather when you have a chronic illness. However, they are coping mechanisms that may make your life just a little bit easier this summer. While you’re using them you can think of me in the swamps of Louisiana sweating my face off.