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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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