Living in the city during high-temperature season is not for the weak-hearted. These days it’s getting more and more difficult to survive summers in the city if you don’t have air-conditioning all around.
Even so, getting out of the cool office into the street is something we all have to do once in a while. And, for the unprepared, this can be hell.
By carefully looking at the nature and the way animals handle extreme heat waves, you’ll get inspired and learn a few tricks of your own. I’m going to introduce you to the most obvious heat-survival tips inspired by nature. Even more, if you know your way with heat-waves and would like to join the discussion, why don’t you add your own advice in the comments below?
Seen any documentary on buffaloes, antelopes, hippopotamus and giraffes? By noon, they all gather to the water source. Drinking, splattering around or simply laying in it. Do the same – there has to be a public pool in the neighborhood of your office. Just take a longer lunch break and go for a swim. The fresh water will revigorate you for the rest of the day, and your boss will be pleasantly surprised.
- Take the afternoon off!
Look at any documentary on nature: during summer, all animals get active in the morning and the evening, while taking the afternoon off. But not you… no! You have to work all day to earn money and pay mortgages! Or.. do you? Why don’t you ask your boss if it would be possible to come earlier to work but to take the afternoon off? You could go take a nap with the drapes shut, wake up in the evening all refreshed and even get some more work done afterwards. After all, nature adapts to the season and weather, why won’t you?
- Take it slowly!
We are humans, our lives are a lot more complex than those of our fellows animals. We are bound to have to get out in the heat, as we can’t stay in the air-conditioned office all day long. Why don’t you take a peek to animals in the desert? Whenever in the sun, they react slowly, economically. No unnecessary movements, no waste of energy. Moving energetically will make your body burn more calories and thus increase its temperature; as if the surrounding one wasn’t enough. You’d better, then, make no useless efforts. Save your breath, save your energy, just stroll ass calmly as possible carefully avoiding the sun or hot spots.
By controlling the rhythm of your breath you can actually reduce your temperature. Ever noticed how panic or stress make you sweat? The opposite works as well – calming yourself down regulates the breath and heart and make your body cooler.
- Light Colors!
During summer, animals change their furs to lighter colors than the winter ones. You studied this in your secondary school – any fabric absorbs some light and reflect some. White-colored fabrics absorb the least and reflect the most, while black does the opposite. Since light is energy, the conclusion is that dark/black colors will absorb the most energy and will get a lot hotter. Conclusion? To keep cool, dress in lighter colors.
Have you ever seen a bald savannah buffalo? No, you didn’t. First of all it wouldn’t be very decent, and the others buffaloes would laugh at it 🙂 – Jokes aside, however, furs, feathers or shells protect the animals bodies from the scorching heat. No matter what you’ve seen on Fashion TV, you’ll never survive desert heat wearing nothing but a bikini. You need protection, light-colored clothes that cover your body and absorb sweat. The most effective clothes materials for standing the heat are wool(yeah, wool is a great insulator fabric, used by bedouins in the desert), linen, silk and cotton. Forget the synthetics, as they’ll only make you hotter and sweaty. Look for large garments, with lots of folds where air can help act as a natural insulator.
- Drink slowly!
Whenever we are thirsty and hot and we open a new bottle of water or soda, we have the instinct to drink fast in large gulps. Don’t! Although thirsty, your body will be surprised by the sudden excess of water and, as a consequence, it won’t assimilate it but rather will turn it into sweat. You instantly get sweaty, your forehead wet. And it won’t do anything for your thirst. Instead, follow the lessons of nature – drink slowly, in small sips. Take breaks between them and drink only as much as you need to. By avoiding getting sweaty you’ll increase your comfort, remain calmer and generally feel better.
- Eat healthy!
Last, but not the least of my nature-inspired advice would be to watch your diet. Junk food, sugary sodas and alcohol will only make it harder to bear the heat. Alcohol dehydrates you and make you thirstier, sugary drinks as well, while junk food(especially meat) is a lot harder to digest in the hot temperatures, and requires more effort and energy(meaning increased temperature). What you need instead is to eat healthy, with more vegetables in the menu, and drink water or tea. Avoid alcohol, caffeine or other energy kicks. What you need in this hot weather is calm, not energy.
To sum it up, we are part of nature, we influence it, get influenced by it and, most importantly, can learn lots of useful stuff from it. Living the natural ways is probably the most underrated secret of a successful and peaceful living.