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5 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer Without Air Conditioning

5 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer Without Air Conditioning

Summer is in full swing, and the country is feeling it. La Niña is predicted to warm up virtually all of the continental United States, which means this summer will be a fight to keep cool. Rather than cranking up the AC, however, you can avoid sweltering by using some economically savvy and hot-weather-friendly tips to beat the heat. Here are five ways to stay cool this summer without air conditioning.

1. Cool down your body from the inside out

A great way to bring yourself some relief from the sun is to drink and eat cold things to make yourself feel colder. Drinking plenty of water will help keep you hydrated, but ice water will chill you down as well.

You don’t have to limit yourself to water, either. Ice pops, slushies and smoothies can be delicious snacks as well as helpful on a hot summer’s day. There are plenty of ways to add flavor to ice and make it more fun. Consider pouring a flavorful ingredient, like lemonade or tea, into an ice tray and use it to cool down drinks without watering them down.

Drink plenty of fluids, particularly cold fluids, to help your body maintain a comfortable temperature. It’ll help you produce sweat, which is your body’s natural defense against overheating, and it will bring at least a temporary chill.

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2. Refrigerate your sheets before bed

A particularly effective way of fighting off the heat at night is to make use of your sheets.

Soaking a top sheet or fitted sheet in water, wringing it out, and then leaving it in the refrigerator for a few hours before bed will give you an excellent cooling device as you sleep. The cold sheets—and you will want to use linen or some other light fabric that will quickly dry and not stay wet for this—will feel great against your skin throughout the night.

If you’re not interested in refrigerating your bedding, small washcloths are a less cumbersome and more targeted cooling device for keeping cool. Make your to place them on pulse points on your body, which will cool your body down faster. Your neck, wrist and elbow are all examples of good spots to cool you down.

3. Use fans strategically

Fans don’t cool air; they just move it around. However, a bit of know-how can still ensure your fan is used most efficiently to keep your body cooler. Positioning fans in hallways and windows can bring cool air in while pushing warm air away, and makes things feel cooler.

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Putting a bowl of ice water in front of a fan spray a gentle, cold mist around, and will work greatly to your advantage in order to make everything feel cooler.

Finally, your ceiling fan’s direction can determine just how effective it is at cooling you down. In the summer, having your fan move counter-clockwise will keep you cooler for the summer as it creates a cooling breeze in that direction (moving it clockwise will circulate warm air).

4. Pay attention to your windows and doors

Your windows play a critical role in determining the temperature of your house; a few smart adjustments can bring the temperature down by several degrees.

Setting up a cover or shade over your windows will prevent heat from getting in in the first place, as will keeping concrete away from your windows. If you can’t install an awning outside every window or redesign your yard, however, good blinds will also be effective in keeping the heat out. Make sure your curtains have a white back, as that will reflect the most light.

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Honeycomb blinds do more than other blinds to trap heat against the window, preventing it from circulating in your house. Investing in good curtains will keep light and heat out efficiently.

Finally, make sure that your windows are all sealed up and properly installed. Gaps and cracks can let out cool air, which will make keeping the house cool much harder.

And of course, don’t forget about your doors. Cracks round the edges and through the key hole let cool air escape. This may sound counter intuitive, but sealing yourself in your home is the best way to stay cool on a hot day. You should even consider a keyless entry system on your front door. These don’t let any cool air escape and are simple for a locksmith to install in any home.

5. Avoid using heat-producing appliances

When it’s sweltering outside, the last thing you want is to have it sweltering inside. But turning on your oven or stove will do just that, no matter what. Having a 400-degree anything in your house is bound to heat things up, so when possible, avoid cooking with these tools in the summer.

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Instead, opt for outdoor grilling, which keeps the heat out. A slow cooker will also keep heat to a minimum while still providing you with decent variety for meals.

Certain light bulbs are also more likely to generate a lot of heat. 90 percent of the energy used by incandescent light bulbs is given off as heat. Switch to CFLs for cooler lighting.

If you have the right temperature, try air-drying your clothes as well. Dryers are also a big source of heat, and your clothes won’t be so warm when they’re done.

Air conditioning can get expensive, particularly when the temperatures keep rising as they will this summer. Maximizing use of these techniques will reduce the need for air conditioning or eliminate it altogether. Staying cool this summer doesn’t have to be an expensive task.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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