Dear Lifehacker, I know you've offered tips on beating the heat in the past but this week takes things to another level: the temperatures are so high, especially in Sydney, you can fry an egg on the bonnet of your car in the early morning already. How can I cope with this stupidly hot weather? Thanks, Too Hot To Function
"Stupidly hot" doesn't begin to cover it. My car's air-conditioning is currently broken and I live in Western Sydney, which means I don't even get the benefit of a measly sea breeze. This time-lapse video of melting chocolate in Melbourne sums up how crazy the weather is during the Aussie summer:
Naturally, the most important thing is to remain adequately hydrated at all times. As everyone knows, water is the most effective thirst-quencher — but it's also kind of boring if you're used to delicious tasting soft drinks. Here are some handy tips on how you can train yourself to love the taste of H2O. For something sweeter, this two-ingredient ice cream recipe is a great, simple way to stay cool and refreshed.
If you don't mind looking like a bit of a berk, you could try your hand at making a specialised homemade cooling scarf: this involves adding water absorbing crystals into small pockets sewn into the back of a tie or scarf. It sounds bonkers but is a lot more effective than wet fabric — the crystals can even be 'recharged' by simply soaking them in water.
Acquainting yourself with your body's cooling points can also help to keep your body temperature down. These are the areas that have blood vessels close to the surface of your skin such as your neck, wrists, the insides of your elbows and knees, the tops of your feet and the insides of your ankle. Applying some water to these specific areas can help to cool you down quicker.
When it comes to bedtime, try sleeping in on your side as this results in less contact with the mattress. If possible, you should also avoid doing anything too strenuous prior to hitting the sack as this will make it harder for the body temperature to fall during sleep. (Sadly, this means lengthy sex marathons are ill-advised — unless you can get your partner to do all the work.)
This complete guide to surviving the summer heat explains various ways to keep things bearable — from DIY cooling tactics to heat-free cooking and pet survival tips. You can also find plenty of additional advice via our Beat The Heat tag.
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