It's Hot: Five Tips to Stay Cool

Confession: I once lingered in a relationship beyond its expiration date, simply because he had central air, and I didn’t.

I can explain.

I thought maybe it was love (which, incidentally, it was) … But as it turns out, the love was more attributable to his blissfully climate-controlled Charlestown apartment than his character. I’m not proud.

Sweltering summer temperatures can do that — they hinder our better judgment in our attempt to stay cool. Think about it: we eat unseemly amounts of ice cream, retreat to a chilly cinema for movies in which we have only a passing interest, and wear scant footwear to the office (I’m talking to you, flip-flops). Therefore, in an effort to protect you from similar fates and serve my karmic duty for being a former AC mooch, I’ve compiled a little list of inexpensive, easy, and unexpected ways to stay cool:

Iced Tea Toner: Steep, refrigerate, and use green or herbal varieties of tea as refreshing mists for your complexion. All you need is a spray bottle to create a stimulating (peppermint), antioxidant-rich (green), or calming (chamomile or lavender) all-natural skin toner. Bring the chilled spray bottle to the beach or enjoy post-workout.

Breath of Fresh Air: In yoga practice, the breath is manipulated to produce different results. Sheetali Pranayama is a breathing exercise practiced in many yoga traditions, including Ashtanga and Iyengar, to cool the body and mind. To try it, first, curl your tongue or form your lips as if sipping through a large straw. Next, breathe in slowly, through your mouth, for about 5 seconds. Notice the cooling sensation. To exhale, close your mouth and breathe out your nose. Repeat.

Make Your Own Shade: First, it was the fascinator. Then, Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, donned a white cowboy hat in Canada last week. Naturally, she still looked chic, albeit more casual. Prince William, too, rocked a plaid shirt and pulled off the whole look with ease. You know what they say: For every king, a crown. And for commoners, too. If you’re not the country western type, opt for a classic fedora, like those found at Goorin Brothers on Newbury Street, or a glamorous wide-brimmed floppy for gals.


Printed tunic from Tibet Arts, Porter Square

Dress for the Desert: When our body heat increases, the instinct is to wear less. However, exposing skin to the hot sun can sometimes make matters worse. Stay stylish and cool with loose-fitting clothes to mimic caftans or tunics worn in more tropical climes. I live in these printed tunics (above) from Tibet Arts in Porter Square.

Raise a Glass: Add slices of ginger or cucumber to a pitcher of water and instantly make healthy hydration more appealing. For ginger, I recommend starting with hot water (to steep greater flavor from the ginger root), then chill. Cheers!