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Not-so-crazy ways to cool down in summer

A person standing in cool water
If you're near a lake, ocean, or river, cooling your feet is a great way to cool down. And if you're at home, try putting your feet in an ice bucket.

Stuff from the fridge, a neck fan, feet in a bucket, and other unusual ideas

You know the basics of how to stay cool at home: Shut out the sun and warm air by closing and covering windows during the heat of the day, avoid using the stove or oven, and if you're using air conditioning, don't set it lower than 25°C. But what happens when all those smart moves still leave you overheated?

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Well, if you're willing to loosen up and try something new, we have a few ideas for you.

Keep your moisturizer in the fridge

After a day in the sun and a lukewarm shower (see below), you're going to need moisturizer. Treat yourself to a skin-tastic cool down with moisturizer that's been chillin'.

Eat spicy foods

The idea here is that spicy foods raise your internal temperature to the point that sweat starts to form on your brow, face, and neck. But while what experts call "gustatory facial sweating" can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at the dinner table, the sweat it produces cools you down in the summer.

Hot black tea served with mint
Inspired by a go-to option in the heat of the Middle East, hot tea with mint can help cool your body down.

Brew a hot drink, and think mint

Ice cold drinks can be glorious, but hot drinks, such as tea, can be better at cooling you down. As with spicy foods, they can create surface sweat that cools you as it evaporates. And studies have shown that mint teas may work best.

Put your feet in an ice bucket, lake, or ocean

Ever spent the day sitting in a partially submerged lawn chair at the water's edge? Then, surely you know that cooling pulse points in the feet makes you feel a whole lot better in the swelter. At home, put those feet in an ice bucket or in iced water.

Freeze rice in a sock

OK, so this is a little weird. But if you want an alternative to using ice (and the water created as it melts), stuff a clean sock with uncooked rice and freeze it. It's an ice pack that nicely moulds to your body and is leak-free.

Personal battery-powered neck fan
Neck fans are growing in popularity and can be charged for several hours of remote use.

Buy a neck fan

There are rave reviews online for some models of rechargeable neck fans that some report can last three to four hours. One reviewer said a neck fan helped her survive multiple days of 38°C at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Oh, the things we'll do to catch the likes of Bad Bunny, Gorillaz, Rosalia, and blink-182.

Put your sheets in the freezer

If you're having trouble sleeping because of high temperatures in your bedroom, and you don't have a basement to sleep in, put your sheets in a large plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. If you're a good sleeper, those few minutes on chilled sheets might just be what you need to drift off.

Make that shower lukewarm

Cold showers are gaining popularity for a number of reasons, but when the air is really hot, a lukewarm shower is better. If you do it right, you won't start sweating moments after you emerge from the shower. Some experts recommend starting with a warm shower then gradually lowering the temperature to help your body acclimatise.

A woman practicing yogic breathing
Yogic breathing, particularly with the curled-tongue sitali technique, can help cool you down after a workout or on the hottest of days.

Try yogic breathing, with sitali

Yoga enthusiasts get a whole lot of comfort out of breathing techniques, including a way to cool down. Try employing what's known as sitali breath: curling your tongue, imagining that it's a straw, and inhaling slowly through your mouth before exhaling through your nose. If you can't curl your tongue, try sitkari: breathing through the gaps in your teeth. You may not want to try either of these on a crowded bus, but home alone, breathe and repeat until your body cools down.

Hug a cool one in bed

Fill a hot water bottle with cold water and ice cubes, or wrap a thin towel around a frozen water bottle. That makes for cool company that beats trying to find the cool spots under your pillow or in the corners of your bed.

Try a cooling ice vest

A bit of a go-to for motorcyclists seeking to stay cool on hot summer rides, cooling vests range from bulky options equipped with multiple pockets for ice packs, to vests you soak in water then, according to enthusiasts, can keep you cool for several hours.