Our grandmother's tips for cooling off during a heatwave

What to do when it's hot outside?
Make your own air conditioner
Peppermint essential oils
Drink hot mint tea
Warm showers
Stick out your tongue
Close shutters and curtains
Place a wet cloth at the window
Put your sheets in the freezer
Switch off electrical appliances
Foot baths
Wear loose clothes
Go green
Stay hydrated and eat little
Wet your clothes
Take out your hot water bottle
Bonus: water your plants in the evening
What to do when it's hot outside?

It's difficult to cool off when it's hot. Not everyone has an air conditioner and not everyone can go on vacation to cool off at the sea either. So, for you to remember when a heatwave comes your way, we give you 15 tips to stay cool.

Make your own air conditioner

In addition to being environmentally unfriendly, a fan does not really cool a room. Indeed, it only stirs the hot air that's already there. To optimize the freshness of the air you can place a wet cloth or a bottle of ice water in front of the fan. The air flowing from the fan will then be cooler.

Peppermint essential oils

Peppermint is extremely refreshing. All you have to do is place a drop of oil on your temples, behind your knees and in the crease of your elbows. It's also very effective in case of migraines.

Drink hot mint tea

The menthol in mint leaves acts as a decoy on the cold receptors in our palate. However, don't put the mint leaves in ice water, because the ice will lower the temperature of your body, forcing it to heat back up to its normal temperature. On the contrary, hot water will not have this effect. Your body will try to bring down the temperature and that will give you a feeling of freshness. So, do as they do in the desert: take hot tea.

Warm showers

It's a reflex that we all have after a long day of heat: a cold shower. But that's not a good idea. The body does not appreciate sudden changes in temperature, and your best ally will still be the warm shower. Water that is too cold will only force the body to warm up and thus increase its temperature.

Stick out your tongue

Why do you think animals do it - just to look ridiculous and cute? No, it's most of all to cool off. If you put your tongue in the shape of a 'u'  and breathe hard and intensely through your mouth, you'll see how it works!

Close shutters and curtains

This is probably one of the most famous grandmother's tricks. During the day, to keep your interior cool, close the shutters or curtains to prevent the sun from heating the rooms. You can then refresh the house by opening the windows early in the morning or late in the evening.

Place a wet cloth at the window

When you air your interior, don't forget to place a damp cloth at the window. The water that evaporates from the towel will absorb the heat.

Put your sheets in the freezer

Sometimes the nights are as hot as the days, and it's difficult to fall asleep. Another trick from grandma is to place your fitted sheet in a bag and put it in the freezer, first thing in the morning. Then, when you go to bed, your sheets will be super fresh!

Switch off electrical appliances

This is probably the trick we think about the least: turn off electrical appliances you don't use. During your lunch breaks, remember to turn off your computer. You can also unplug your multiple sockets and the wifi router before going to bed. Finally, run the washing machine in the evening. Not to mention the oven or the microwave…

More tips on how to keep your house cool without using the AC

Foot baths

If you have walked a lot during the day, on your way home, take a thorough foot bath in a basin of cold water with a little salt and ice cubes. In addition to cooling you down, it help deflate your feet.

Wear loose clothes

Clothing worn close to the body tends to increase our internal thermostat, because the air doesn't circulate on the skin. It's better to wear loose clothes which allow the air to ventilate our body.

Go green

If your house cannot be cooled down, hide in the forest or in parks. In any case, go where the trees are. Plants cool the atmosphere by evapotranspiration. The water they extract through their roots is rejected by the leaves in the form of water vapor. An oak tree, for example, can process up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water per day, according to the French National Forest Service.

Stay hydrated and eat little

Staying hydrated is essential. In summer, you have to drink 2 liters (half a gallon) of water a day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty, because you need to compensate for the loss of water in your body. Also, take the opportunity to eat fruits that contain the most water: melon, watermelon, or strawberries. You can also drink cold gazpacho soup. Finally, remember not to eat too much at lunch. Consuming light and in small quantities facilitates the digestion and supports the regulation of your body temperature.

Wet your clothes

It doesn't have to be a wet-T-shirt contest, but wetting your clothes will help your skin to be continuously refreshed. Alternatively, you can put your wrists under cold water for two minutes.

Take out your hot water bottle

Don't store your hot water jug! Fill it with cold water and small ice cubes instead. That way you can use it to refresh yourself.

Bonus: water your plants in the evening

Your plants need more water in the summer, just like you. However, avoid the mistake of watering them during the day, because the water will evaporate faster due to the heat. It's better to do it in the evening, when the sun is gone. You can also immerse the feet of the plants in a layer of water in your sink.

More tips on how to nourish your plants during hot weather

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