Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 168 of Your Year to Wellness; Keeping Your Cool

Staying Cool When Things Get Heated

I moved from San Diego, California to Savannah, Georgia. San Diego has no humidity but Savannah has every bit of it. At first, I thought I’d never get used to the difference. People who had already grown accustomed to the heat and humidity would laugh at the look on my face whenever I stepped out of an air conditioned building into the heat. I always looked like I had just entered a sweat lodge.
 I’ve been here for seven years and I’m still not accustomed to this kind of heat, but I’m also amazed by the fact that whenever I go back to San Diego, I have a very difficult time with the dry heat. Old friends there remark about my skin and how it glows; “It’s the gift of the humidity,” I tell them.
When I was a kid growing up and we could not afford an air-conditioner, my mother would tell us to get still and think cool thoughts. Just hearing that made me even hotter.
 I was hot and I wanted the ice cool air that could only come from one of those window air-conditioners that my friends had.
In our house, we only had a room fan and it was actually moved from room to room. My mother waited until the evenings to turn on the fan. She said that we shouldn’t waste the electricity. My siblings and I would privately make fun of her and wonder if she knew how electricity worked. We thought there was plenty and therefore could not be wasted. Years later, folks would laugh at Al Gore the same way.
But back to my point, I live in my own house now and can waste all the electricity I want, but I don’t. I find myself keeping the bedroom blinds down when the sun is high and using ceiling fans instead of the air-conditioner whenever possible. We drink lots of water and in my house; we all know to think cool thoughts.
Here are a few tips for keeping your cool as things heat up.
·         Drink more water. Whenever I get the slightest flash of heat, I grab the water bottle I keep close by and before the spark becomes a flame, I douse it with water.

·         Wear light-weight clothing. Jeans and lycra are not designed to keep you cool. If you want to breathe, wear clothes that do so too.

·         Think cool thoughts. If you get mad just reading this, you are not helping the cause. Cool thoughts have to do with peace and calm, while anger and frustration only raise the heat index.

·         Get in a pool or run through the water from a hose. The things we did when we were younger still work today. A few years ago, I introduced some kids to the joy of running through a hose. At first they thought they were being punished, but then they squealed with delight. It didn’t occur to me that my childhood game was so foreign to others. When things get too hot, get outside and play.

·         Check on the elders and others who don’t have the luxury of air-conditioning. Take them to a movie or to your home during the day. Doing for others will always regulate things for you.  
As things heat up, keep thinking cool thoughts.
Be you, be well, be wise
Bertice Berry, PhD.

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