On this second day of summer, the thermometer is telling me what I already know. It’s dang hot! I’m thinking hot enough for a sunstroke as I watch the apricots fall from the tree, the honeybees cling to the exterior walls of their hives, and the chickens pant so hard their tail feathers are moving in and out.


I can’t do anything about the high pressure ridge causing temps to soar over Northern California, but I do have some tips for keeping cool and avoiding sunstroke and sunburn. Plus, the tips will work anywhere it’s hot.


1. Avoid going outside from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (the hottest part of the day) to do chores. Instead, tackle chores during early morning hours (and even then, put on your sunscreen).


2.  Freeze a bottle of water and as it melts, refresh yourself with frequent sips; in fact, always drink lots of water on hot days.


3. When the sun is at its zenith, tie a wet bandana around your head and another around your neck. Repeat as often as needed.


4. Make a pitcher of sun tea and drink it out of tall glasses with cool slices of lemon and sprigs of mint.


5. Move a comfy chair into a quiet, cool area of your garden and read a favorite book.


6. Sit near a fountain where you can listen to water falling. While you are enjoying the peace, engage your hands in quiet work like breaking beans, embroidering a tea towel, or labeling packets of seed.


7. Turn on the ceiling fan and take a restorative nap. Farming¬† and gardening involve hard labor. Chores will wait–one of the reasons farmers eat lunch midday and lie down, doing their work in early morning and late afternoon.


8. Take a cool, refreshing spa bath with scented bath oil or soap. Wash your hair. You’ll feel ever so cool and clean.


9. Drench your T-shirt with cool water before putting it on. Then, lie on a mat and do some deep breathing to quiet your heart, lower your blood pressure, and slow your metabolism. Ideally, you might enjoy doing some stretches in deep shade, especially near water.


10. Suck on frozen juice popsicles or ice cubes.


Summer may bring hot days, but don’t let the heat take its toll on your health. With a little imagination, anyone can find creative ways to beat the heat until the sun goes down, thereby avoiding potential risks for sunstroke, sunburn, and heat exhaustion.









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