For a couple of weeks now, my news feeds have been full of friends complaining about how hot it is outside. All of them live north of the Mason Dixon Line and are rarely treated to the heat-wave-type weather I live with all summer long. This post contains a round up of ways to cool off when it feels like the burning cauldron of Hell outside your door (or inside it, if you don’t have air conditioning.)

  1. Go to Starbucks. No, this is not an endorsement of the Man, but every one I’ve ever entered is so freaking cold that I usually leave with my teeth chattering. If you don’t have A/C and want to get out of your sweltering house or apartment for a while, there’s likely a little green station near you.
  2. Put ice cubes in the bath tub. Don’t get carried away and throw in so many that you freeze your naughties off. Immersing yourself in a few cubes and some lukewarm water will do the trick.
  3. Make a fan. In the South, many of the country churches and funeral parlors have disposable fans for visitors. You can make your own with a sturdy piece of paper and a popsicle stick. Just staple the two together and start relieving yourself immediately. (Instructions by following this link.)
  4. Run through a fountain. I just did this in London with a bunch of kids because it was hot. My purse was soaked; my shoes were squishing; and I was euphorically happy. I didn’t care what I looked like, and the spray and the laughter kept me cool for the rest of the walk.
  5. Replicate fountain at home with a water hose. Being sprayed by surprise is the awesomest form of cooling off, because it usually leads to a water war in the yard. The soaking is preferable to the sweating.
  6. Carry a handkerchief. In summer, my handkerchief is my “dew rag.” I use it to wipe away any unsightly sweat before I go into a meeting or to clean up when I come into a random place off the street. Stick an ice cube in there, and it’s Heaven.
  7. Wear natural fibers, and wear as little as decently possible. Cotton and linen breathe better than anything I’ve found. I wear sundresses all the time in summer, and I just don’t give a good one if they don’t look professional. They keep me cool, which improves my mood and makes me marginally tolerable to others around me.
  8. Ladies (and men if it’s your thing), dresses are cooler than pants. My husband loves “dress season,” because I almost always wear dresses when it’s hot. They make a natural breeze “down there” and circulate more air for a cooling effect.
  9. Keep blinds closed at home all day long. Closing blinds or pulling curtains will make things a mite gloomy, but it does block the sun’s rays that heat up a room. Things may be a tad cooler at night, making it easier to sleep, something I have a really hard time doing when I’m sweltering.
  10. Stand on an air vent. Marilyn Monroe made it famous. Just make sure you have your drawers on.

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