Sure, an air conditioner has long been a necessity in a country like ours, but not everyone has access to one, whether it’s because of budget constraints or plain old bad luck (i.e., your old one broke and you can’t get it repaired or replaced right away due to ECQ).
Still, we’re all searching for relief from this ghastly heat, right? For instance, I know of some people who’ve stuck their heads inside freezers for a bit. I’ve personally added ice cubes to my bath too, and it was….an interesting experience.
Fortunately, with a little creativity (and adjusting your expectations a bit), you can cool down, even without an air conditioner. Here’s how:
1. Take a cold shower.
It’s best to cool off your head first if you feel really hot, so start by getting your hair wet. If there’s a water shortage in your area and you can only use a pail and a dipper (i.e., a tabo), you can add a few ice cubes to the water first.
2. Use peppermint bath products.
For extra oomph, invest in some minty bath products. There are plenty of peppermint shampoos on the market that are great for cooling the scalp. Body scrubs and body washes are great too.
You can even make your own peppermint body scrub at home by mixing coconut oil with Epsom salt and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
3. Keep your blinds down and your curtains closed.
This is to keep the sun out and to give hot air somewhere else to go. If you can get some heat-blocking curtains off Shoppee or Lazada, that would be even better.
4. Drink up.
Cold water, that is. Constant hydration regulates your body temperature and helps you produce sweat, which cools you down. Ideally, you should aim to chug about 2.2 liters of water a day if you’re female. Otherwise, add about another liter of water.
Not a fan of the taste (or the lack thereof)? Jazz up your drinking water by adding lemon or cucumber slices and mint leaves. You can also go for sparkling water if you prefer something fizzy.
5. Put your refrigerator and freezer to work.
No, I don’t just mean sticking your head in there either. (Though that’ll do in a pinch, I suppose.)
What you can do is put a stack of wash cloths or cooling packs in there so you can grab and go. Furthermore, you can try putting your clothes for the next day in the freezer for a burst of freshness. This is especially beneficial if you find yourself perspiring immediately after a shower.
Another option is to put your fitted sheets and pillowcases in the freezer in the daytime. You can simply take them out and put them back shortly before hitting the sack.
6. Try the Egyptian method for staying cool in bed.
Alternatively, you can do what the Ancient Egyptians did. They dwelt in the desert long before someone even came up with the idea of air conditioning, so they would soak their blankets in water to stay cool throughout the night.
These days, you can simply soak a large towel or blanket in water and then squeeze it dry. It should be damp, not dripping.
Next, put another towel or blanket under you and then sleep with the damp towel or blanket over you. The latter will keep you cool all night and should be dry by morning.
7. Drape a cool washcloth on your body’s cooling spots.
Remember those washcloths we kept in the fridge? (See item no. 5) Drape them over your neck, wrists, and forehead for instant relief.
Ice packs are a great option for this too.
8. Set up an improvised air conditioner with a fan and a bowl of ice.
Fill a mixing bowl with some ice or an ice pack. Position it in front of a fan so that the air cools down as it whips off the ice. Go on, try it. It’s magical.
9. As much as possible, sleep low.
Heat rises, so this would be a great time to set your mattress on the floor. During the day, you can also opt to stay on the ground floor of your house or even in the basement.
10. Indulge in some frozen treats.
As if you needed another excuse, eh? Eating popsicles and ice cream are great for cooling down, though you should try not to consume too much sugar lest you get dehydrated further.
Prefer a healthier alternative? Frozen fruit like grapes, mangoes, and strawberries are great too, and have zero additives or chemical sweeteners.
Stay cool and healthy!