Heatwave: How To Take Care Of Yourself In Hot Weather

Temperatures are rising and we're facing a heatwave! Here's how to take care of yourself and your flat in hot weather. Tips to stay cool:

People are trying to escape the heat by going to the beach.
Source: Imago / i Images

2021 has served us all kinds of weathers and temperatures so far. It's been freezing, it's been snowing, it's been way too hot and way too cold for too long. Many people have been craving hot weather for a while now and it's finally arrived: many countries are facing a heatwave. High temperatures surely are a challenge for our bodies. It's getting increasingly difficult to stay concentrated, we're constantly sweating – also under our face masks – and some people even experience circulation problems.

Though you can't stop the heat, you can use some of our clever tips on how to stay cool – and how to cool down your apartment!

The sun shines through a window and increases the temperature in a room.
Source: IMAGO / Shotshop

When it's getting hot outside, many people tend to leave their windows closed all the time, in order to "block out" the heat. However, it's not the heat on its own that's making our lives miserable during a heatwave; it's the mixture of heat and humid air. If you keep your windows closed at all times, your home gets more and more humid over time, simply due to the fact that you yourself raise humidity through your breath and sweat.

What can you do against this?

Some people try to keep their home cool by using sun umbrellas.
Source: IMAGO / Shotshop

In some countries, it's completely normal to have air conditioning everywhere. In others, only some buildings have AC, like malls and office buildings. If you have air conditioning at home, it should help keep the humidity down.

If you don't have that luxury, regularly open your windows to let humid air out. That'll also ensure that fresh air circulates in your home, which has a positive impact on your physical well-being.

If you don't have a fan yet, now might be the time – though it doesn't theoretically cool down the air, the air ventilation makes it seem like it.

Another thing summer brings into our homes: fruit flies. Here's how to get rid of them!

Fruit flies are annoying during summer.
Source: IMAGO / teutopress

How to Get Rid of Annoying Fruit Flies

In order not to provide a habitat for fruit flies, it is best to dispose of fruit that has rotten spots right away. You should also take out the garbage more regularly than usual, at least the organic garbage. Additionally, proper and thus effective ventilation gives the small flies less room to settle. If possible, cover fresh fruit. Another disgusting detail: A single fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at once!

However, if you already have small flies at home, here's what you should do:

You can make a fruit fly trap by using dish soap.
Source: IMAGO / Bihlmayerfotografie

#1 Dish Soap Helps Against Fruit Flies

An old household remedy against the annoying little flies is dish soap. You can use it not only to wash dishes, but also to fight against fruit flies.

Here's how you prepare the fruit fly trap: Just fill a small container (for example, a bowl) with water and add some vinegar and dish soap. A tiny drop is enough, you don't need to overdo it! Afterwards, the little critters will fly in, so you'll get rid of them.

Tip number 2 will also work:

Apple vinegar works as bait for fruit flies.
Source: IMAGO / blickwinkel

#2 Apple Cider Vinegar

If you want to try another method, this might be the one for you! Simply fill apple cider vinegar into a small container and then close it with cling film. You then poke a few small holes in the cling film, through which fruit flies can get into the container. This way, the fruit flies can get into the jar, but they can't get out again! Ingenious, isn't it?

As soon as barbecuing season stars, unwelcome guests join us whenever we eat or drink something delicious: wasps. Here's how to get rid of them:

Barbecues attract wasps, but you can get rid of them easily without harming them.
Source: IMAGO / Westend61

How to Get Rid of Wasps

Whether you're about to have a delicious barbecue or want to enjoy a slice of fruit cake, we can count on having wasps as our guests right away! They like both sweet foods like cake as well as savory dishes. If you want to eat undisturbed, you should always keep a spray bottle outside. If you spray wasps with it, they will think it's raining and retreat. This way you don't hurt the wasp and protect your food at the same time!

What else helps to keep wasps away?

When wasps see cakes they want a bite.
Source: IMAGO / imagebroker

Even More Tricks to Scare Off Wasps

There are certain smells wasps don't like, for example the scent of lemons and cloves. Do you have some cloves left over from last Christmas's baking? Perfect! Prepare a plate with a cut lemon and intensely smelling cloves the next time you want to eat outside in summer.

Essential oils have just as much of a deterrent effect on insects. Clove oil and citronella are just as effective as tea tree oil. A nice side effect of tea tree oil: mosquitoes can't stand the smells either!

By the way, have you ever wondered why we can't fall asleep without being covered by a blanket?

Many people have difficulties falling asleep without a blanket.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Why Can't We Fall Asleep Without a Blanket?

If our body heats up so much under a blanket in summer, why don't we just banish it from our bed? The reason is quite obvious: by now, the comforter is part of our daily routine. Since childhood, we have been covering ourselves with it every night and without it we feel that something is missing. The blanket alone sends a signal to our body that it's bedtime. It makes us feel safe!

However, there is another reason for this phenomenon...

Comforters ensure serenity during the night.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Blankets Make Us Feel at Peace

To put it more precisely, our sleep is divided into several phases, and the fact that we can switch from one phase to the next without waking up is thanks to the hormone serotonin. It is considered the conductor of the sleep structure and ensures that we eventually reach deep sleep and the REM phase. Comforters support this process, as they are associated with higher levels of serotonin mainly because of their weight. People with sleep disorders even use weighted blankets – their deep pressure is said to have a calming effect on us.

So what can you do if you overheat easily during warm summer nights?

The woman doesn't want to sleep without her blanket, even though it's hot in her apartment.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

If you're finding it difficult to fall asleep when it's hot in your bedroom, try one of our helpful tips:

1) Put your pajama in the fridge in the afternoon, so it's nice and cold when it's time for bed.

2) Alternatively, make one of your t-shirts wet and put it on before you go to bed. It will feel uncomfortable for a second, but then it will have a cooling effect on you.

3) Take a nice and long shower in lukewarm water before going to bed.

4) Don't forget to vent your room both in the morning and in the evening when temperatures drop.

 You got this!

If you think a fan helps you cool down during the night, you should know that it can have a negative impact on your health:

You shouldn't leave your fan on during the night.
Source: IMAGO / Westend61

A Danger for Those Who Suffer From Allergies

A well-known problem with fans is that no new air flows into the room, but is simply circulated or stirred up. What we often forget is that at the same time, the fan moves small particles in the room – such as house dust and pollen that may have found their way into the room during the day. If these substances get into the sinuses, the night can quickly become a nightmare for those who have allergies. An air purifier can be a solution for this, but it only minimizes the risk.

Fans can become a problem at night, and not just for allergy sufferers.

Fans can make you sick.
Source: IMAGO / Cavan Images

What if You're Having a Fever During Summer?

The constant air draft from a fan may have a refreshing effect at first, but over a longer period of time it may lower your throat and head temperature. Consequently, viruses can be better preserved by a cold pharyngeal mucosa and the body produces more of its own mucus. That's why you can catch a cold overnight when the fan is running, even if it doesn't affect the temperature of the room. Consequences can also be headaches and irritated eyes due to the dry, cold air that affects our body all night.

Even if we don't get sick directly, we are not necessarily recovered after such a night:

Cooling fans can cause stiffness if they're turned on during the night.
Source: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Cold and Stiff in the Morning

The constant draft of air from fans can not only make us sick, but may also cause muscle tension and can lead to muscle cramps. Especially if the fan doesn't rotate, but only blows air on one spot all the time, this can become dangerous for the muscle area and, depending on the case, be partly responsible for morning headaches. Thus, fans can have an opposite effect on the muscles than, for example, saunas which relax the muscle with heat. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that fans also dry out your skin over time.

Off to a different topic: If you want to look stylish in the heat, we have some fun hair does for you!

Space buns are a fun hairdo for summer.
Source: IMAGO / Westend61

Space Buns

Why have only one bun when you can have two? Space buns are a fun alternative to the bun hairstyle. You can either style them loosely for a relaxed look, or tie them together tightly for a fun office look.

You can upgrade your bun by wrapping a bandana around it.
Source: IMAGO / Westend61

Bun With a Bandana

This hairstyle is particularly stylish: we love summery scarves anyway, because they just look chic and trendy – with any many pattern and in every color. A bandana is practical because it pushes your hair back and looks especially beautiful with a ponytail or a loose chignon at the back of the head. When buying bandanas, make sure that they are sewn from a lightweight fabric and that they are not too short. This will make tying easier and the scarves will not unravel so quickly. There are also some with a wire, so they fixate your hairstyle particularly well. If you pull individual strands  out loosely, the whole look is even more playful!

The half bun is still one of the most popular hair trends for summer time.
Source: IMAGO / Westend61

Half Bun

If you want to wear your hair down during summer, try the half bun. It keeps hair strands out of your face so they don't get all sweaty and the hair style looks super stylish on top of that. To achieve this look, simply divide two thicker strands on your head and pin them together into a loose chignon. Secure the chignon with a hair tie or clips.

With these tips, you'll get through summer both cool and stylish!

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