How to be cool

Today was a gross day. It rained for several hours this afternoon and then by 5 o’clock the sun started beating down like nobody’s business, making Houston the sauna swamp that it’s always wanted to be. The only reason why I was outside was because I had to represent the organization I’m an officer for at my university (The Rex Fleming Players, whoop whoop!).

When I did this last summer, I nearly passed out from the heat because I was severely anemic at the time. Instead of passing out, though, my body reacted as if I were having a vicious bout of food poisoning. Being alone at the table at the time, things were extremely rough. I honestly have no idea how I got through that afternoon.

What really needs to be addressed is how to stay comfortable in this awful hot, humid weather when you have a chronic illness.

  • Water. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Water is EXTREMELY important when you’re outside in the heat. Drink water before and after your time outside.
  • Ice. It’s a good idea to use ice for a lot of things, but you need to be careful with it. Don’t go jumping into a pool of it right if your body’s overheated. That’s a one way ticket to getting sick and your muscles shocked. Also, if you’re working out, don’t drink ice water. It’s really bad for your kidneys. Save it until your body is ready.
  • Air conditioning. It’s an absolute lifesaver. I’m really lucky that I live in one of the most air conditioned cities in America. Don’t push yourself to stay outside longer than you need to. You have other things to worry about than getting a tan.
  • Thinner clothing. Modest is most definitely hottest in this case. Don’t be afraid to wear a tank top and shorts every once and a while. Your body will thank you.
  • Sunscreen. This isn’t really a way to stay cool, but with the thinner clothing, your body is more exposed to the sun’s evil rays. Skin cancer isn’t cute, so apply as suggested by the back of the bottle. I recommend the spray on sunscreen because they dry really quickly.
  • Shade. If you must be outside, shade is your best option to stay in. If you’re in a situation where you’re unable to be near it, either find a way to ask someone to accommodate to your needs or an umbrella will do nicely.
  • Electrolytes. These are super important. I knew a kid in high school that ended up having to be life-flighted to a hospital because he actually drank too much water and didn’t have any electrolytes in his body. Wait until after your time outside is over in order to fully recharge what you’ve lost. Gatorade, Powerade, or any sports drink will do fine. Don’t drink too much of it though because the sugars in these drinks will cause things to be counterproductive. 
  • Popsicles and ice cream. Because who would want to say no to these? Otter pops are super cheap at almost any grocery store and they’re also a personal favorite of mine.
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