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What NOT to Do to Stay Cool in a Heat Wave

As I am writing this, Los Angeles is in the midst of one serious heat wave. It is our third day of screaming hot temperatures and we have at least one more day to go. Needless to say the hubby and I are getting creative on ways to keep it cool around here. So many times we see articles about what we should do to keep cool when the blazing summer heat hits. Often times there are things we should STOP doing to get the best results.

  • DO NOT open your curtains and blinds. A dark room is a cool room. The curtains or blinds will keep the cool air in and the hot air out. If you have white, light-weight curtains, temporarily hang something darker to keep things cool, especially in a east facing window in the morning, and a south facing window in the afternoon.
  • DO NOT turn on all your lights and electronics. They all generate heat. In a closed or small room this can accumulate quickly. Instead of television, read a book or play a board game with the family.
  • DO NOT drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks. While you may think that, when they are cold, they will cool you down, you are mistaken. The initial experience may be refreshing, however these beverages are dehydrating. In a heat wave you do not want to be dehydrated. Stick to water and add some fresh fruit for a tasty beverage.
  • DO NOT eat meals that are heavy in animal protein. Proteins take more energy to digest. When we eat them our bodies heat up. When we are hot we want to reduce our metabolic heat, so stick to minimal protein and eat lots of cool fruits and veggies.
  • DO NOT sleep upstairs. Heat rises, so if you are in a multi-story home, go to the lowest level. Basements are great and stay relatively cool. Camp out with the family downstairs or even take it outside if you have the space.
  • DO NOT use a fan to blow the air in from a window. I know in my house, it is sometimes hotter inside than it is outside. Put a box fan in front of the window so the air inside the house is going out the window. (NOTE: If the air outside is cooler on the north side of your home, use a fan to pull it in with another fan on the south side of the house blowing it out. This will create a cross breeze of cool air.)
  • As a special note: Please, DO NOT leave children, the elderly or animals in a vehicle alone in the heat, even with the windows down. This is not a safe situation for any of them and can quickly create a health emergency.

Do you have some DO NOTs to do during a heat wave? I’d love to read them in the comments. If you are interested in some yummy things to eat and drink when the heat is getting to you, check out this post.

About the Author Corrie Ann

Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer at

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