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Last updated on June 20th, 2001 by Karen Shelton

Introduction

Darlings-hot weather is here again, and before long even our own hair and skin will seem too hot to endure. Obviously, having short hair will help greatly in keeping you cooler and more comfortable, especially if your hair is thick. But as you well know, even sporting a cute, short, 'do doesn't guarantee you'll stay cool this summer. What to do??

Well, as usual, your loving Diva has some answers to help you cool down! Try some (or all) of them and see if your outlook doesn't improve.

Treats From the Freezer

Of course, these treats are not to eat, but to help keep you cool. Get yourself a couple of terrycloth headbands, soak them in water, and wring them out. Put them in the freezer. On those unbearably hot days when you simply have to do the grocery shopping, run errands, etc. in the blazing sun, pop one of these frozen babies on to keep a cool head!

If you or your kids favor Popsicles, hang on to those sticks. Fill an icetray or a few paper cups with water, and prop the Popsicle sticks up in them. Once they are frozen, pop them out use them as an instant handheld "ice wand" to rub on the back of your neck, your forehead, etc.

Bag It!

When you're traveling, keep a wet washcloth sealed in a ziplock bag (you can also add a few icecubes to keep them cooler, or simply keep them in an ice chest) for each person in your party. When the hot n' stickies hit, there's nothing like being able to take a cool, refreshing mini-bath!

Mint-It's Not Just for Juleps Anymore!

Our old friend the mint leaf can greatly help keep you cool in the dog days of summer. Keep yourself a pot of it growing in your kitchen or back porch, or buy some at the grocery store and keep it handy. Add some crushed mint leaves to your lemonade, iced tea, or even bottled water for a refreshing, cooling drink. Some other great cooling ideas using mint follow:

  1. Freeze leaves in ice cubes for iced tea, lemonade, limeade, or mint juleps.

  2. Keep a spray bottle of mint tea in the refrigerator. Treat yourself to a cooling spritz on hot days.

  3. Add leftover mint tea to bath water, or hang a muslin bag of mint under the running water.

  4. Garnish fruit salads, meats, vegetable dishes, and ice cream with mint.

  5. Scent your home office with peppermint. Those in the know about aromatherapy say it helps you stay alert.

  6. Digestive aid - mint tea is a great, natural way to relieve cramps, bloating, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome.

  7. Headaches & colds - some studies have suggested that peppermint is effective in treating headaches and colds.

  8. Motion sickness - a drop on the tongue can provide relief from motion sickness.

  9. Use the leaves in potpourri and herb bags.

  10. Stimulant - mint tea stimulates the nerves, giving a quick "pick-me-up".

Keep Yourself and Your Pets Safe From Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is also called heat prostration. If you work hard or exercise in hot weather, especially during the hottest hours of the day (10:00am to 2:00pm), it can bring on heat exhaustion. Sweating too much can make your body lose too much salt and water. This makes your temperature rise and heat exhaustion may follow. Older people and children are far more prone to heat exhaustion, and of course, our dear pets. This is because they aren't able to adjust very quickly to changes in the weather.

To prevent heat exhaustion, try not exercise or work hard during the hottest part of the day, and wear loose-fitting, light-weight, light-colored clothing. Protect your head and neck with a hat or umbrella when you are outdoors, and don't forget the sunglasses! Drink plenty of liquids like water, fruit juice, or sport drinks. Take frequent rests in the shade or another cool place. Stay in the air-conditioning whenever possible. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, and colas as they cause dehydration. Remember to apply sunscreen before every outing, and re-apply after swimming. (The Diva says that there is no wrinkle cream in the world that will remove wrinkles, but wearing sunscreen every day (even on cloudy days) will keep them from forming!)

If you have been out in the heat and feel confused, tired, dizzy, have a headache, upset stomach, vomiting, your skin is cold and wet, these are signs of heat exhaustion which can be very serious. Contact your physician or come into the emergency.

As for pets, never, never, NEVER, under ANY circumstances, leave an animal in a parked car in the summer heat! Keeping a window open will not help. It feels to the animal like being in a hot oven. Beware-the Diva has on many, many occasions called for help for animals in parked cars, causing their owners embarrassment and in some cases, fines. Don't make the Diva angry. Outdoor animals need shade, cool grass to lie in, and PLENTY of cool water. Keep indoor animals indoor with the air-conditioning on, and plenty of cool water available.

Keeping Cool at Home

These tips can help keep you cool at home this summer:

  • Keep electric lights off or turned down.
  • Keep the drapes and blinds closed during the day, open the drapes when the sun is setting.
  • Take cool baths or showers; use cool towels.
  • Stay in air conditioning at home.
  • Wear loose fitting, light cotton clothing. Put the heavier clothes away away, this includes denim.
  • Sit with feet in cool water.
  • Keep towels in coolers filled with ice to use, if needed, on body parts.
  • For sleeping, you might try applying a cold pack to neck/chest. Cover cold pack with a sock to protect skin.
  • Do not eat heavy meals; avoid baking in ovens.
  • Avoid or minimize physical exertion.
  • Do not let anyone sit in a hot car, even for a few minutes.
  • In the 24 hours before vigorous outside activity in extreme heat, the individual should drink 48 ounces of water IN ADDITION TO WHAT THEY WOULD NORMALLY DRINK. (For children under the age of eight, or individuals with renal disease or congestive heart failure, the personal physician should be consulted.)
  • For individuals who will be experiencing intense physical activity/exertion, check with a physician for specific tips on handling the heat.
  • One hour before and during outside activity (before heavy perspiration starts), drink 15-20 oz. water, PowerAde, Gatorade, All Sport or a similar electrolyte solution.
  • Make your own fan and fan yourself. (The Diva is a great fan of fans! They are practical, pretty, and a nice fashion statement.
  • Slow down and take your time. Exert little energy during the hottest times of the day. (What's your hurry, anyway?)

So, there you go-these are the Diva's best tips to keep you cool and comfy on these long summer days. And you shorthairs-remember to keep that 'do trimmed religiously! Not only will it help keep you cool, but you'll look fabulous while others are drooping in the heat.

Tah-tah, sweeties!!

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