Yo! (channeling my inner Jesse Pinkman, yo). In case you weren’t already aware, east coasters and midwesterners and others suffered a MAJOR heatwave earlier this week. Not that you would know it today, as it’s almost 40 DEGREES COOLER in NYC, and raining and gray and nasty to boot. Don’t worry, though, we’ll get more heatwaves again, thanks, mid-July! So have you experienced melting? Sweltering? Sweating? And all that? Me too. Over the past six summers in New York I’ve come to appreciate central air, coconut popsicles, and have embraced helpful heat-busting trends like the top knot and short shorts. Need more? Here are four more essential (and all-natural!) ways to chill yo’self.
Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint has natural cooling properties and revives depleted energy, while enhancing concentration and positivity. So many uses for summertime! Try mixing 3-4 drops in a spray bottle with water, and spray pillows and sheets at bedtime, or spritz lightly on head, face and chest in the morning. Or: mix 2 drops peppermint and 4 drops myrtle in a refreshing bath. Or: mix 4 tsp. sweet almond oil (or other carrier oil) with 2 drops peppermint, 4 drops rosemary, and 4 drops black spruce and massage into fatigued summer muscles.
Watermelon cooler. Taste and smell are the senses most closely linked to our memories. Whenever I see the pink of a watermelon slice, I’m instantly taken back to lazy childhood summers on my friends’ pond, floating in our RiverRats, spitting black seeds at each other. Watermelon is not fruit for the sophisticate. But it’s high water content, and light, refreshing taste give it powerful rehydration and cooldown components. Post-workday or post-workout, try this: toss into a blender 1/2 c. ice, 3 c. chopped watermelon (seeds removed and reserved for spittin’), a splash of coconut water and handful of fresh mint leaves. Blend until coarsely incorporated, then pour mixture over a glass of seltzer water; top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Sitali Pranayama. This breathing exercise physically and mentally cools you off. Sometimes I do this breathing on the train when it’s crowded and sweaty and I’m feeling anxious (yes, people stare, but stay on that train long enough and you’ll see WAY crazier things going on). How to do it: sit tall, with a long spine. Curl your tongue into a tube and let it protrude out beyond the teeth a little. Take in a long inhale through the mouth, dragging breath across the tongue and soft palate, for a count of five or so. Close mouth and exhale through the nose, also slowly. Repeat this for at least five minutes, or longer if you can. This practice is known to aid in digestive and mental detoxification, reduces fever, and when practiced regularly, to extend your lifespan.
Long sleeves. Am I last to know that this is one of the best ways to stay cool when you’re out and about? Yes, apparently so. I used to think less clothing equals cooler core temp, but history and culture have proven me dead wrong. Wearing loose, natural fabrics (think: cotton, linen, silk) over bare shoulders shields your skin from UVs. This sun worshipper finally hopped on that boat.
What do you do to cool off in the heat? Happy weekend. xx