Self-Care for Hot Days

Today in Melbourne is 31C; tomorrow is 37C. On Wednesday, Perth will be 33C. It is a warm week across the nation. So we bring you: Self-Care for Hot Days.

  • Check your icecube tray in your freezer is in action. If the icecubes are frozen, tip them out and make some more.
  • Take off your bra if you can. (Liz: This is terrible advice for plus-size women with large breasts, just do what feels most comfortable. (Steph says SORRY) On very hot days, I compromise by wearing two crop tops that I’ve soaked in water.)
  • Carry a paper hand fan.
  • Sunscreen (not an aerosol). Remember to apply it properly and often, and that sunscreen is meant to work in conjunction with the following…
  • Slip on a shirt — or a rashie, if you’re going in the water.
  • Slop on some suncreen, following manufacturer’s instructions. I know we just discussed this, but it bears repeating! Remember, social media posts along the lines of “sunscreen gave my child third degree burns!” get a lot of media attention, but correlation is not causation and user error is a thing. (Also, there’s a certain overlap between anti-vaxxers and sunscreen skeptics. Which is TERRIFYING.)
  • Slap on a hat, ideally one with a broad brim that doesn’t have artistic little holes in the weave.
  • Slide on some sunnies. (Liz’s optometrist once told her that, just as redheads have skin that’s extra sensitive to the sun, so are our eyes!)
  • There’s nothing fun about sunstroke, so don’t swim in the hottest part of the day.
  • Better than all of these options: JUST DON’T GO OUTSIDE.
  • This isn’t precisely self-care, but: make sure your pets have enough water. (But don’t worry too much about your cats, those jerks are desert animals, they don’t drink as much as dogs, and often prefer to get their water intake in secret.)
  • And remember, if the ground is too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s.
  • Does your cat need a giant ice ball? I think your cat needs a giant ice ball.

  • Stick a bunch of damp face washers in the freezer. When it’s super-hot, pull them out and apply them to the back of your neck. Or to your pet.
  • If you have air con, remember to close up your home so it can work efficiently.
  • In a dry heat, close all the windows and curtains during the morning, when it’s still cool.
  • In a humid heat, do the opposite (unless you have air con, see above).
  • Allegedly, hanging a wet towel or sheet over a fan will have a cooling effect on the room, but Liz tried this on Christmas evening, with … dubious results.
  • On the other hand, spray bottles full of water are great, and not just for letting the cat know he’s crossed a boundary.
  • Remember to hyrdrate! Keep bottles of water in the fridge, and maybe make up some iced tea or cordial. Or mix them, like the grown-up you are. (Remember, alcohol is dehydrating, keep drinking water with your beer.)
  • (Liz also likes to keep a couple of half-full plastic bottles of water in the freezer. If she has no choice but to leave the house, she fills them the rest of the way with water from the tap. The ice chills the water quickly, and ensures cold water for the next few hours.)
  • If your budget permits, consider decamping to a local shopping centre or cinema for a few hours. Libraries are another air conditioned public space. Check your LGA twitter, because they often tell you if they have anything suitable open (and free!).
  • Try not to cook oven-based foods.

5 thoughts on “Self-Care for Hot Days

  1. omg, there are sunscreen skeptics? I mean, of course there are, because people are stupid, but how? Have they never seen a drongo with a pristine white handprint in his sunburn?

    1. Melina

      Big time. Sunscreen is full of ‘toxins’ that will wreck your children’s skin/immune system/some other part of them/cause cancer. Rub carrot oil on yourself instead . . .

      (I have seen this in more than one mother’s group on FB)

  2. Melina

    My optometrist also recommended sunglasses for people with very blue eyes. And work on getting kids (if you have them) to wear sunglasses as well.

    Damp face washers in the freezer are also BRILLIANT for teething babies. I ran our washer under water for a few seconds to make it a bit more pliable before giving it to her.

    Sitting with your feet in some cool water is surprisingly refreshing for the rest of your body . . .

  3. Suspending a damp towel/sheet in front of the fan is more efficient than hanging it ON the fan, I think. A sheet or thinner cloth is better because the air can travel through it. Or drape the cloth over yourself is probably simpler 🙂

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