There are two stages in a woman’s life when hormones can make summer without central AC absolutely miserable: pregnancy and menopause. One gives you a sweet little bundle of joy when its over and the other signals that your days of making those sweet little bundles are over. I had a really hard time getting pregnant, so I thought it only fair that I should take a longer time reaching menopause. Like, my body owed me and would hold off on pulling the plug on my ovaries until late in my life.
Sadly, my body vehemently disagreed with this logic. Somewhere in my mid-30s, my ovaries and uterus kind of turned on me. When things went wonky, blood tests revealed that I was in the early stages of pre-menopause. How unfair is that? I wasn’t even 40 yet! By 39, I’d had a partial hysterectomy. Despite the fact that I kept my ovaries (and the hormones that go along with them), I started experiencing real early menopause symptoms by the time I hit 41. The hot flashes are the worst! On top of that, I take a migraine medication that makes me feel like someone turned my internal thermostat to blazing hot. Oh, and did I mention we have no central air?
7 Ways to Cool Down Those Hot Flashes During the Summer
Finding ways to stay cool during the summer has become a matter of emotional survival for me. I cannot take the heat. Literally. See, along with the hormonal and medicine-induced hot flashes, I also have seasonal effective disorder, except the season that affects me is summer instead of winter. I don’t do anything the “normal” way. The hotter it gets, the more stressed, depressed and anxious I get. Here’s how I stay cool (and sane) when the weather and my hormones are really heating up!
1- Strategically placed fans
Since I don’t have central air, I rely almost entirely on strategically placed fans to keep me cool. Right now, I have a small table fan blowing at me from behind my computer monitor (it’s also keeping my PC cool because the internal fan is slowly failing), a ceiling fan overhead and my brand new, fabulous Lasko Tower Fan next to me on the floor.
When I move into my living room later to watch TV, my Lasko will go with me and sit about three feet away from me. It’s quiet enough that I don’t need to blast the TV to hear over it. Tonight, when I go to bed, I’ll go through my routine of putting it in just the right spot to blow across the middle of my body, where I tend to get the hottest. The Tower Fan has an easy-carry handle so I can take it with me when I move around the house. The remote control comes in handy because I’m constantly adjusting the speed depending on how hot I am at any given time.
2- Opening and closing windows at the right time
I can’t stand a stuffy house during the summer, so I like to keep as many windows open as possible. While I open them up in unoccupied rooms first thing in the morning, I keep the one next to me shut during the day. Opening it at night lets the cool air in. Then I shut it before the morning sun starts blazing. In my old house, we used to have regular standard windows that went up and down. I always kept a box fan in the window and faced it out during the day, then turned it around to pull in cool air at night. In this house, all of our windows open out, so that doesn’t really work. Still, I put a fan near the window at night to draw in some of the cooler air.
3-Planning outings around the heat index
This is probably just common sense, but when your hormones are heating things up even more than usual, you get really smart about planning your outings! Crazy hot days are movie days. Cooler days are park days. I also make sure to plan as many outside activities for later in the day, when the sun has gone down a bit. I watch the weather like a hawk before making any plans! You don’t want to just look at the temperature, though. You need to look at the overall heat index as well as the humidity. An 80-degree day with 100% humidity is worse than an 85-degree day with 10% humidity, for example!
4- Cold showers!
Since I don’t have a pool to jump into when I get too hot, I take a lot of cold showers in the summer. My husband doesn’t understand how I can stand underneath frigid water for so long. The key is to start out with warm water, then slowly cool it down bit by bit. Make sure you saturate your hair with the cold water, especially if it’s long and thick like mine.
5- Ice packs
Keep a few ice packs in the freezer at all times. When you can’t take the heat, pull one out and put it behind your neck. Sometimes, just having an ice pack on my arm or behind my knees instantly cools me down. Don’t have room in your freezer for ice packs? Try this trick: run an ice cube across your inner wrist. I don’t know why, but anytime I put something cold on that spot, I feel a zillion times cooler!
6- Eat “cooling” foods
First of all, avoid turning on your oven at all costs! The last thing you need is more heating blasting into your house. Instead, dine on cooling foods like summer salads, watermelon, minty iced tea and cold soups. Okay, so I’ve actually never had a cold soup, but I imagine it would be pretty “chilling.” My favorite “cool food” is a nice big fruit salad with berries & melons topped with either cottage cheese and honey, or yogurt.
7-Find ways to de-stress
You know how when you get really mad or anxious, you start to sweat? Totally uncomfortable and unfair, right? I mean, you’re already stressed out, and now you’re hot, too! You’ll never be able to get rid of all the stress in your life, but you can come up with instant “cool down” tricks for when you get overwhelmed. Maybe try meditation, or adult coloring. Call a friend and vent, or tune out the world and tune in to your favorite show.
Or do what I do: hide in your bathroom with all the lights out (and the blower fan going, if you have one). Hey, sometimes you just need to escape to peace and quiet for a few moments, and the bathroom is one of the few places where people will follow you asking “what’s wrong?” Plus, since my bathroom has no windows, it’s always relatively cool in there. If not, well, I can carry my Lasko up and sit smack-dab in front of it!
No matter what life milestone you’re at, from that first positive pregnancy test to menopause, and everything that comes in between, Lasko fans keep you feeling cool and fresh. Yep, even in the middle of a total emotional meltdown! Isn’t it nice to have more time to focus on the sweeter things in life instead of the sweat?
Lasko has a spectacularly diverse line of fans to fit your home and budget. I LOVE my 2711 37″ Tower Fan, especially because it didn’t need tools to put it together. Me and things that need major assembly are not a good mix. Talk about getting emotionally hot under the collar!
How do you stay cool during the summer? Share below!