Beating the heat is no easy feat. I am not ashamed to say it - I struggle with these high temperatures. I feel like I'm walking around in a stupor most of the time. However, it doesn't look like the heat is going anywhere anytime soon, so I started asking around for ways people are surviving this tropical heat wave.
1) A spritzer. Now, this can mean literally a spritzer full of water to spray yourself down and keep cool, or it can mean the kind of spritzer you guzzle down and ask for more - either way, the cooling effect is temporary and the after effects of spritzer number two can be quite severe.
2) Swimming. This seems like a no brainer, but sometimes when it is so hot, the last thing you feel like doing is the shimmy-shake to get into your bathing suit. However, the cooling effects of immersing yourself in water are 100% (as long as it is not a hot tub or a kiddie-pool that has been sitting in the sun all day - that's like roasting yourself alive). The added bonus to swimming is that you are exercising as well as keeping cool - increasing the odds that you will no longer have to do the bathing suit shimmy-shake.
3) Cool treats. Now, this completely undoes everything you may have accomplished shimmy-shake-wise in #2, but sometimes nothing will do the trick except a Slurpee or a popsicle. However, running after the ice cream truck could count as exercise, right?
4) The sprinkler. I don't care how old you are, there is little that is more refreshing (or smile-inducing) than lofting yourself through a sprinkler. Of course, nowadays we have to worry about our cell phones in our pockets, or losing our car keys, so maybe the activity cannot be quite as spontaneous as it was when we were kids.
While talking to people about ways to beat the heat, not everybody had a solution. However, several people had surefire ways NOT to beat the heat.
1) Play a sport. Time tables and schedules created back in April did not account for our current heat wave, so if you're a ball player, soccer player or other outdoor sport enthusiast, then you are definitely not going to beat the heat running around like a maniac wearing equipment and non-breathable jerseys.
2) Run errands. Even if you're in an air conditioned store and have an air conditioned car, you are still taunting the heat gods by venturing outside to do something other than sit still or immerse yourself in a body of water. You will definitely not beat the heat by abiding by your to do list.
3) Go camping. Whew! A tent? Above 30 C. Seriously? Enough said.
4) Clean your house. The dust bunnies will be there when the heat wave is over. Trust me. Pulling out the vacuum is in no way going to beat the heat. Just let it be, man, just let it be.
I hope this little bit of advice helps you stay cool in the many hot days to come. Please write in if you have any suggestions for me to include in a future column.
Tara Seel is a contributing columnist to The Daily Graphic.