As I write this article England is in the throes of what can only be described as a heat-wave. It’s the glorious weather we can only dream about, and plenty of us pay good money each year to ensure we get some by holidaying abroad. But somehow when you are working, and trying to sleep at night, it’s all not so funny. So how can you thrive during summer rather than just survive?
Heat exhaustion is not just a possibility in foreign climes, it can happen just as easily at home… Typical symptoms are nausea, dizziness, cramps, thirst, tiredness, headache and even a fast pulse. It is caused by the body losing too much water and salt, through sweating, either due to extreme heat or maybe from playing sport in very hot weather. To guard against it happening, ensure that you stay well hydrated, try to eat more water rich foods in your diet (think cucumber and watermelon), and stay out of the sun during the height of the day between 11am-3pm, and seek shade where possible. If you do get caught out, then remove unnecessary clothes, lie down, get into as cool a place as possible, drink water, and try and cool the skin.
Mosquitoes bites and the like can make a summer miserable, obviously there are sprays and creams (some natural with ingredients like citronella, and others with chemicals like Deet) available, but there are other things you can do. Mosquitoes have a great sense of smell, and they particularly like the smell of sweat and lactic acid that we exude when we are hot, so regular showering with unscented products is a great idea. Dark clothes tend to attract heat, and along with it the biting insects, try lighter colour clothes that have a tight weave that mosquitoes cannot bite through! Mosquitoes are also attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, so when you are stationary, such as having dinner outside, try using a fan to propel the bugs away from you (as they are weak at flying).
Lets face it, its not easy to sleep in these temperatures whether home or abroad. If you go out to work the chances are your windows are shut during the day, you may find it helps to also close your blinds or curtains. A cool shower before bedtime can help to reduce your core temperature, as can putting on nightwear that has had a brief spell in the fridge (in a bag).
We often forget that sunburn can just as easily happen to us on a day in the UK and let’s face it we are much less likely to apply suntan lotion in the UK than when we are actually abroad.But sunburn can leave you feeling miserable for days, as well as increasing your risk of skin cancer, so is defiantly best avoided. Many of us purchase the right products – a good broad-spectrum sunscreen that has the right SPF for your skin type as well as UVA protection. But often things go wrong in that we do not apply anywhere near the quantity we should or often enough, or after swimming.To give you an idea the average adult would need a minimum of 6 teaspoons (30ml) of cream to cover their body per application. This means one person sunbathing daily could get through 4 bottles in a week!