Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Keeping Cool

It's summer here in Australia.  And in South East Queensland, it's been hotter than usual. We've had two really hot days - and temperature is expected to come up to 33 degrees C again tomorrow. (Actually, I've lived in hotter places, but with air conditioning and not with this amount of humidity.)

On the plus side my portable air conditioner is working - not especially effectively simply because it's only a little air conditioner and the hot humid air is just too much for it.

So, how to deal with the heat?

One tip I got from an article about helping pets survive the heat: wrap an ice brick from the freezer in a towel and put it inside your pillow slip of a night time. It really does make a difference. A flexible ice pack is better if you have one.

Another is to keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge - just have a squirt from time to time to cool down.

Find a reason to go to an air conditioned shopping centre in the hottest part of the day. I'm meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow, then going for a walk in the shopping centre. Another good option (better actually, because it's free) is to go to the library and read some books or magazines for a few hours.

Eat cold. Eat salads and cold meat or canned legumes, etc. Eat fresh summer fruit straight from the fridge. Turning the oven on makes the whole kitchen hot, and the rest of the house hot as well. Even if you love baking, as I do, a very hot day just isn't the time.

Drink cold - iced water, iced tea, iced coffee.

Cool showers and baths can help.

Despite my need for exercise - I'm not working out until the temperature gets back below 30 deg C. I'm well at the moment, but want to stay that way, which means I'm not going to push myself too much at this stage. Working out when it's really hot just doesn't work for me.

I'm doing things in the early morning and late afternoon and evening. During the heat of the day, I lie on the lounge, in front of the DVD player, with an ice brick in my pillow case and a fan aimed at me. I could push myself to do housework or other things through the heat of the day, but I know from experience that I would pay for it later. So I'm saving energy through the hottest part of the day, because I don't want the horrible fatigue I know I would have if I tried to do too much when it's hot.

The weather's set to cool down a bit by the day after tomorrow. So I'm most of the way through the really rough patch. But in the meantime, my biggest challenge is to keep cool.

The weather's one of the things that affects lupus, and that we can't control. The best any of us can do is to find ways to minimise the consequences of extremes of temperature.

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