The pages of the calendar seem to have turned a little too quickly on their own, and summer is here once again, pompously announcing its arrival with the scorching heat and the rising humidity. While summertime in the Western hemisphere may be a much awaited and grandly celebrated part of the year, for us, it means struggling to keep our cool in the blazing sun and at the same time sweating uncontrollably and often falling ill.
Although there had been times when we used to be ecstatic about the season, but nowadays it has almost become a survival factor. This time around you will be more fatigued, annoyed and impatient, blaming and cursing nature’s conspiracies. It has also been predicted already that there are possibilities of temperature rise during the middle of May that can even persist till June. But do not get alarmed by this thought, all you need to do is maintain some basic requirements to outsmart nature.
As clichéd as it may sound, summer takes a bad toll on the water level of your body, making it necessary that you take an extra effort to replenish your body’s water needs. As your sweat glands work overtime during this period, you need to drink at least 3-4 litres of water every day to keep yourself hydrated. If 3-4 litres of plain water seems too bland for you, you can add a dash of lime and mint to chilled water and turn into a refreshing glass of lemonade. Fresh fruit juices made from watermelon, pineapple and orange are also wholesome substitutes for plain water. Avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine as the extra sugar content dehydrates your body.
Saline contents of your body are normally lost through sweating, so you should also drink at least a glass of saline every day. Make sure you carry a bottle of chilled water with you at all times whenever you plan to step outside.
At the end of the day, do try to sip on some glucose rich fluids to avoiding the chances of becoming hypoglycemic.
Surviving a tan
Being the largest organ of your body, your skin is the most exposed part, making it prone to severe sunburn that may lead to allergies, prickly rashes and even skin cancer in the long run.
Try to avoid direct sunlight from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on summer days, when the sun is at its blazing best. Sunscreen lotions with SPF of 15 or higher are ‘can’t-do-without’ products during summer. Always remember to slather on some sunscreen to all your exposed body parts before you step out in the sun. Do splash your face with cold water every couple of hours and reapply sunscreen. You can also make use of wet tissues widely available in the market to get rid of the sweat and grime on your face and neck and give you a fresh and cool feeling.
Some are even allergic to the ultra violet rays. They should wear clothes to cover them up. Some people opt to use lotions to keep the skin supple. You may also wash your face with ice cold water once your home from outside.
Keep it loose
Tight-fitting and dark coloured clothes are a complete no-no in summer. Wear loosely fitted attires in light, airy fabrics that give your skin ample room to breathe. Soothing pastel colours have always been the colours of choice during summer and floral prints can add the glamour factor to your summer wear. Men can include candy colours and striped t-shirts in their wardrobe.
Baseball caps can provide shade from the sun and add style to any man’s signature. The good old dupatta can also be of help. Remember to protect your eyes from the glaring sun with quality, fashion sunglasses.
Surviving load shedding
Summer is also the time for intense load shedding. Cool showers can be quite invigorating during the unwelcome hours of load shedding. Your home interiors can be kept cool during the sweltering summer days with bed linen and curtain in very light colours- white, peach or baby pink. A bowl of ice, set in front of a table fan can blow cool air into the room, which can be quite refreshing. If you can place a few Beli garlands in the bowl, the fragrance will refresh and soothe your nerves.
Managing heat stroke
The unbearable heat can often cause heat stroke. A person suffering from heatstroke should be immediately taken to a shady place. If unconscious, sprinkle water on the face. As the person regains consciousness give them sweetened drinks. Rush to the hospital if the condition is severe. In order to prevent heatstroke, take plenty of water.
Our grannies have their own list of traditional, summer survival tips. It is believed that sour treats like tamarind and green mango can prove to be a sigh of relief from the heat. You can soak tamarind in a bowl of water for few hours. Sieve, add some salt and sugar and allow to chill in the refrigerator. The drink can truly recharge your body and soul. This will also help maintain the electrolyte balance of your body and keep you levelheaded. Lie down on a Shitol Pati (cool mat) during the hours of load shedding or while completely exhausted.
Be content and do not let the harsh elements of summer make you feel miserable. Remember a few of these useful tips and you will breeze through summer before you know it. The days will pass and pleasant days will be here in no time. So go ahead and beat the heat…in style!