It’s bloody hot isn’t it? There’s something different about the UK’s warm weather that makes it slightly more unbearable. I’m not sure if it’s the air pressure, the clamminess, or the fact that society goes into meltdown (no pun intended) as soon as there’s a dramatic weather change from our standard grey skies.
This summer I was more conscious than ever that the heat was going to be a struggle. I’ve put on a bit of weight – which isn’t a huge problem – but it does mean I’m less comfortable in the sun than I used to be. My thighs rub, summer clothes don’t fit me and part of me wants to just sit at home and sulk.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about leaving the house when you really bloody don’t want to. I think this becomes even more difficult during the summer months due to the added pressure. FOMO kicks in and the heat indoors is often unbearable but it’s a catch twenty-two because outdoors can be just as overwhelming.
So, I thought I’d add some extra tips for surviving the summer heat – inside and outside the house!
Keep the curtains closed during the day
Whilst this sounds like the moodiest advice, opaque curtains stop the sun from coming directly in and keep your room much cooler. You can still have your windows open, the air will filter through, but you’ll escape the sun’s
direct glare and your room won’t heat up as much throughout the day. This is particularly important if you have south facing windows which catch the most of the sun.
Stick to small electronics and appliances
If I use my PS4 throughout the day my room turns into an utter sweatbox. We forget that appliances and electronics have a big impact on indoor temperature. TVs, gaming consoles, lamps, sound systems, PC – they all contribute to making your living space hot and uncomfortable. Stick to smaller devices for entertainment if you’re staying indoors – e.g phones or an ipad. If you can’t do this, make sure you’re regulating your time and switching between rooms. I’d also recommend switching off main appliances at least an hour before bed to let your room cool down.
Use a mint or tea tree based shower gel
Nothing will refresh you better than mint, but tea tree is a close contender. Shower gels and scrubs made with real peppermint oil have an incredible cooling effect, leaving you feeling extra fresh on sticky days. Try to avoid ‘mint choc’ style shower gels as they rarely have actual mint in them.
Carry a face mist
I treated myself to a mandarin face mist from The Body Shop and I haven’t looked back since. My only regret is not getting the mint version. The face mist is ‘make up friendly’ and gently cools you down with a light spritz of mist. Small but mighty, these travel sized sprays last surprisingly long.
Shop large and light
I have no summer wardrobe. I rarely go on holidays and I live in the UK – can you blame me!? That said when the sunshine does appear I like to shop a couple of sizes up and focus on lightweight, ‘floaty’ material. Sheer can often be a great middle ground for those who aren’t totally comfortable showing off, but still want to feel a bit of a breeze on their skin. I like to opt for sheer, oversized shirts with a print because I find that prints can be quite distracting from the fact you can see through my shirt!
Combat leg chaffing
As mentioned, it’s not the appearance change of putting on weight that has annoyed me – it’s the practical side. My ‘chub rub’ is worse than ever and I’m stuck between either wearing jeans so that my thighs don’t rub together or admitting defeat and suffering through the pain of chaffing whenever I wear a summer dress. Neither is a great option so I’ve been trying a few things to combat the pain.
Roll on deodorant and anti-chaffing gel are excellent for arms and leg areas. You simply have to roll it on to areas that rub together and sit, undignified with your legs apart until it dries. I must be honest, I’ve been using roll on deodorant because it’s much cheaper than anti-chaffing gel and it works just as well. However, I don’t think it’s the best thing ever for your skin.
The second thing I’ve been loving is the cycling short trend. I’m not quite brave enough to wear them on their own, but slipping on a pair of cycling shorts under a dress makes all the difference to my inner thighs. It just adds a little bit of cushioning when you walk and makes a huge difference.
Make sure your shades have UVB protection
I’m a sucker for cheap sunglasses, but they’re not great at protecting your eyes. Whilst sunglasses stop you from squinting they don’t block out all of the harmful sun rays. If, like me, you live in sunglasses due to migraines look out for lenses that specifically protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Most fast-fashion sunglasses don’t offer this protection.
Keep an eye on rashes
As mentioned, this summer I’m getting hot and sweaty in all the worst ways. Whilst it’s not very glamorous, we need to talk rashes for a second. Red, angry rashes flare up from nowhere in the sun and are usually down to bug bites, allergies and sweat. Gross to some, but absolutely normal all the same.
This summer I had a weird rash from a bug sting. At least, that’s what the walk in clinic think it was. My leg was red with a few patches that didn’t disappear under a rolled glass. The patch was radiating heat, a common sign of infection. Before I had a chance to visit the walk in clinic, I soothed the redness by raising my leg, applying a cold compress and just before bed I used a calming lavender lotion to try and calm the redness. Nothing worked.
When you notice something like this, it’s important to tell someone else to keep an eye on you, just in case you lose the capacity to do so yourself. If you’re having an allergic reaction to a sting or pollen, things can take a turn quickly. Be mindful of other symptoms such as swelling around the rash or your mouth, dizziness or vomiting. Consult a medical professional as soon as you begin to feel concerned.
Try a low soap shampoo
If you find yourself going for showers more often in the heat, keep em quick and make sure you’re not drying out your hair with tons of soap. A sulfate-free shampoo is perfect for hot summers that make you feel as if you need to wash your hair more often than usual. I love the Lab35 low soap shampoo range. They work just as well as regular shampoo but they foam up less. Regular shampoo has so much foam that it actually dries out our scalp and when combined with the bleaching summer sun it can leave you feel as if you have straw for hair.
So basically this is everything I’m currently doing to alleviate any hassle this summer. Before I go I must also say – if you claim ‘it’s not that hot in the UK‘ – it is. We’re a mild country. We can’t cope with heat or extreme cold. Our entire infrastructure is set up differently to that of a hot country. There’s no air con in our buildings, on our transport, in our homes. Just imagine spending 28 days without rain in a country like that.
Have a great summer you lot!