Handling the Heat: A/C in a Bottle
I LOVE summer. 108 degree heat index and all...all hat was our Midwestern reality just a month ago. And still I love that after a short break, the heat is visiting us again on this late August day.
Why do I love it? Well - summer doesn't require an extra 10 lbs in your suitcase of extra layers and coats and boots. Summer means you can sit outside for longer than 20 min without losing feeling in your toes. Summer means lounging by bodies of water, no school, farmer's markets and the option to grow your own food, and best of all: lots and lots of daylight hours.
And, NO, I'm not one of those people who say they hate cold weather and can't wait for summer all winter and spring, and yet hide away inside their icy homes come June thinking that eating watermelon indoors is "enjoying the season." I live outdoors as much as I can - no matter the time of year. I've written most of these posts outdoors, regardless of the heat index!
I'm a girl who has endured the past 4 summers without effective or functioning A/C (between a summer archaeological excavation in the Middle East, and driving an steam-room/sauna of a car, and 2 different rental homes with extreme, perpetual HVAC problems in the summer) ... I know all too well the high comfort-cost of the summer months. But I've come to EMBRACE it!
And yet...no matter who we are, we can all use a little help in handling the heat.
Tips for handling the heat:
The colder your house or office or car is, the more shock your body will feel when you have to emerge from your cave into the heat. The stark contrast will make you feel more miserable than if that A/C hadn't been cranked so high. I learned this well in the Middle East and became far more comfortable outside when my normal indoor environment was 76 or so.
I also like to wear indoor clothes when I'm indoors, and it helps me feel more comfortable when I do go outdoors. I mean, what article of clothing can you strip off to compensate for that heat if you're already in your summery clothes while inside? Nothing - if you want to remain appropriate. So if I'm inside a store or restaurant or a house that's cold (for me in the summer, that's anything below 72!) - I always wear a jacket or sweater inside that I can strip off as soon as I hit the heat.
An Oily Solution
Now... of course, as you may have expected, there's an oil for that too.
I found this on Pinterest and tweaked it a bit. It's called "Air Conditioning in a Bottle" in the DIY blog world. It's Peppermint oil, witch hazel, and water! 3 ingredients... and anything that brought relief to me in my A/C-less car in 108 degree heat index is worth giving a try, right?
(Note: If your issues with the heat are all year round, and say, you're over 40, well... that may be a hormone-related issue that's exacerbating the problem. SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for more thoughts on that. BUT - this topical spray will become a dear friend of yours in the meantime! Use it while you pursue the root issue. Natural lifestyles are all about getting to the root of the imbalance, and supporting your systems (digestive, nervous, reproductive, endocrine systems, etc.), not just treating your symptoms!)
Peppermint literally has the effect of cooling the temperature of your skin. Menthol, the compound characteristic of all mint plants, acts on the cells of our skin to induce cooling sensations (more or less). Menthol and peppermint essential oil have tons of therapeutic/health uses, but that's a post for another time.
Spraying this on before I go for a run in the soupy humidity is a game-changer. It's seriously the difference between walking 3/4 of my 3 mile run, or jogging 3/4 of my 3 mile run. Yeah...I guess I shouldn't really call it a run. But whatever. The point is, peppermint is the exercise hero, not me. Just try it - you'll love it.
Cooling Mist Peppermint Spray
- 1 oz bottle
- 1 Tbsp witch hazel (does not need to be this fragrance or brand)
- 6-8 drops peppermint oil (depending on whether you have sensitive skin)
- distilled water
Add the witch hazel and essential oils. Shake. Top off with water.
Spray it on the back of your neck, chest, and arms whenever you're feeling overheated. Any breeze that hits your skin will set off a refreshingly cooling sensation. Great for fevers and hot flashes too. (Just make sure you don't spray it in your eyes, or get it on your fingers and rub your eyes!)
NOTE ON HOT FLASHES: Feel heat waves all year round? Young Living's got you covered there. I challenge you to do some searches online about what women are saying about Progessence Plus serum and Clary Sage oil for hormone regulation... it's pretty miraculous. I'm blown away by all the in-person stories of my real life friends, and online testimonials who were experiencing MAJOR female-specific situations before using these two oil blends. Their struggles were rooted in the same current pandemic of low progesterone or estrogen that is shared by American women of all ages. That includes my age bracket... :/ Big-time. Doesn't matter that I'm under 40. Hormone imbalance will complicate nearly everything for a woman.
So - do some research. Just keep in mind as you're searching, that the FDA prohibits Young Living and their distributors from using any language in print or online about these oils that mentions the prevention, cure, diagnosis, or treatment of any "diseases". So if people's testimonials seem vague, I guarantee you it's because most of them are probably having to re-frame what they really mean to stay compliant with commercial speech guidelines. So don't poo-poo their testimonials - read between the lines, and talk to real people you know who have used these products.