As we are increasingly experiencing higher than normal temperatures, let’s look at how to stay cool and calm!
Our incredible bodies naturally maintain an average temperature of between 97.8°F and 99.0°F. The brain’s hypothalamus and Autonomic Nervous System regulate it using our skin, sweat glands and blood vessels throughout the body.
In extremely hot and humid weather you may experience ‘heat stress’.
Have you also noticed that when you are feeling stressed you feel uncomfortable and hot too? We’re familiar with sayings like ‘hot-tempered’, ‘hot-headed’ and ‘hot under the collar.’
So the following 8 tips will help in both instances of extreme heat and also stress.
1 – Sitali Breath
- Sit up so that your spine is upright and straight with shoulders relaxed.
- Settle with some deep breaths to begin.
- Then bring your focus to your tongue and see if you can poke it out and curl it. If not, just bring the tongue out between the parted lips.
- Inhale through the tongue like you are sipping in the air with a straw.
- Close your mouth and draw your tongue in and hold the breath for a moment.
- Exhale out through the nostrils.
- Do this for 5 minutes to help you to calm down from stress and cool off your body whether it’s general over-heating or following exercise.
2 – Belly Breath
- Again, sit with an upright spine and relaxed shoulders.
- Focus on a spot just below your navel.
- Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air.
- Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon.
- Allow the exhalations to be as long and slow as you can.
- With every long, slow exhalation, you may feel more relaxed.
- Try this any time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- An easy way to chill any time!
3 – Your Pulse Points and Aromatherapy Oils let you Stay Cool and Calm
The body has several pulse points where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the skin’s surface.
At these points you can splash water. For example, go to the bathroom and run your wrists under the cold tap, or splash water across the back of your neck.
You can also dab aromatherapy oils at these pulse points.
There are specific oils with cooling properties such as peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and sandalwood. More really useful aromatherapy ideas in these two blog posts:
4 – How Evaporation Helps you to Stay Cool
You can also place ice-cubes in a tea-towel and stroke them across your pulse points (see 3). As the blood vessels are close to the skin surface this helps cool you down more swiftly.
Or soak a wet scarf or bandana to wrap around your wrists or forehead. At night, in extreme heat, you can soak a sheet with water and lay beneath it to cool down.
5 – Foot bath
This is very effective! Fill a washing-up bowl with cool or cold water. Add a few drops of lavender oil or something similar that you like. Sit with your feet in the water for as long as you wish.
It’s a great one to do if you work from home and sit at a computer! Although I recommend taking time out to do this, it’s also great as a means to stay cool while you continue your work.
6 – Keep hydrated
Start by drinking water and add some lemon juice or cucumber to create a drink that will replenish you.
Coconut water and fresh vegetable juices are also good for this. They contain vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that are useful for replenishing the body as we lose more through sweating in the heat.
Stay cool and calm with a tisane – usually known as a herbal tea. Try refreshing mint or ginger or relaxing chamomile.
When you bring your mindful presence to the process of drinking, it gives you the opportunity to experience moments of calm throughout your day. Pacing yourself is important in extreme heat. And your mindful awareness allows you to savour every sip.
Quick note for your garden wildlife:
Remember to keep your bird bath topped up daily. And a dish of water at ground-level for hedgehogs.
7 – Seek Out Nature
There are shady woodlands, cool-running rivers and the ocean. If you can, let nature help you to stay cool and calm. Seek out some shade either in your garden, local park or area not far from where you live.
There’s nothing quite like nature to uplift your mood while at the same time calming stress!
8 – Be Mindful and Stay Cool and Calm
When you pay attention to how your body is feeling you can then respond swiftly to your needs. So with mindful awareness, take care and pace yourself, especially when summer temperatures rise.
Stay cool and calm and remember your moments of stillness create a ‘place of serenity’ within you!
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness & Meditation Guide