Tracy Lee Curtis

Hot tips for beating the summer heat

I found some tips on how to stay cool in this summer heat. Here are my top 10 favorites from a list on

1. Take a tepid bath or shower just below body temperature. It says while a cold shower might sound more tempting, your body generates heat afterward to compensate for the heat loss.

2. Run your wrists under a cold tap for five seconds every couple of hours. Apparently a main vein passes through this area, so this helps cool the blood. Honestly, I just see this one as a great way to get my kids to wash their hands.

3. Eat spicy food. Curries and chiles can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, enhance circulation and cause sweating, which cools the body down. What a refreshing image. A nice spot in the sun, enjoying a plate of spicy Indian food in a pool of your own sweat. Need a recipe? I recommend the classic Hyderabadi Green Chile Curry. It requires 18 ingredients and comes with a warning.

4. If you have a basement, use it during the hottest hours of the day when the sun is highest. Basements are usually 10-15 degrees cooler than the upstairs part of the house. But this one’s tricky because the neighbors worry that you keep your children in the basement.

5. Avoid alcohol because it dehydrates the body. Avoid caffeine because it increases your metabolic heat. See now, I think no alcohol and no caffeine actually makes for a long hot summer. So I figure this one just cancels itself out.

6. Drink chrysanthemum tea. Practitioners say chrysanthemum is a cooling herb that clears the head. Anything that clears the head needs to be consumed year-round, so I’m going to continue this one into the fall.

7. Slow down and avoid strenuous activity, which will stimulate your body and raise its core temperature. Thank you! So much for going to the grocery, washing pool towels or getting the newspaper. Or leaving the house for that matter.

8. Sit back, close your eyes and picture snow. Research has shown the body reacts to these daydreams, reducing its overall temperature. I’m gonna try this when I drink my chrysanthemum tea. It’ll be like having iced tea.

9. Ditch your duvet and sleep under a sheet. Even better, put your sheets in a plastic bag and stick them in the refrigerator a couple of hours before going to bed. This is a lot of work; I don’t want to make my bed each night. It’s simpler to just sleep in front of the fridge.

10. While you’re out, keep the house curtains drawn to stop it heating up like a greenhouse. Again, the neighbors may worry that you’re creepy. But then again, you’re already raising children in the basement, eating curry in the yard, and sleeping in the kitchen, with 30 newspapers in your driveway.

So it probably doesn’t matter …