How to Move Through a Heat Wave When You Can't Open the Windows

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There’s a huge heat wave moving through my little corner of the world and it may be moving to your town too. I wanted to share some tips on how to handle this heat when you can’t go outside.

It’s been 110-112 degrees Fahrenheit nearly every day for 2 weeks and it’s still going…so needless to say I’ve had lots of chances to practice the following tips. I haven’t been able to open any windows or go outside because it hasn’t cooled down enough during this time. Hopefully it won’t be this hot for you, but if it is I hope these tips will help you!

Keep It Dark:
Keeping the heat from coming through your windows will help to keep your home cool. It’s a little weird to have everything so dark during the day, but it will save you in trying to play catch up with the greenhouse effect that happens if you keep your shades open during intense heat.

Hydrate Your Home:
If you are running your air conditioning for long periods of time, it will dry out all the air in your home. It will also dry you out, your skin, your sinuses, and everything in your home…including your furnishings. It’s important to hydrate your home so you don’t end up sick, itchy, or have damaged moldings, mantels, and furniture in addition to all the heat.

There a couple of easy ways to hydrate your home:

  • Humidifier: Using a cool mist humidifier can help to add moisture back into your home without adding heat to the room at the same time. Depending on the size and reach of your humidifier you may need to have more than one to moisturize your entire home.
  • Simmer Pots: This works great to add moisture to your kitchen and surrounding areas, especially if your home has an open concept. However, it does require turning on your stove top which will add additional heat to your home. If you do this early in the morning, it may not add too much additional heat and you can use this method to clean the air in your home too. (See below for more details on cleaning the air in your home.)

Clean The Air:
If it’s too hot to open the windows and you’re breathing recirculated air all day for several days in a row, you’re going to want to clean the air in your home to help remove bacteria, toxins, and pollutants.

Here are a few easy ways to keep the air in your home clean:

  • Simmer Pots: By placing herbs, sliced citrus, and spices into a stock pot filled with water and simmering over low heat, you can clean and moisturize the air in your home. This will increase heat in the home, so doing this early in the morning will be your best bet if possible.

I like to use:
1 large fresh lemon, sliced
1 large piece of fresh rosemary
3-5 pieces of fresh lavender
5-7 pieces of dried whole cloves

  • Essential Oils: If you don’t have any fresh herbs or citrus to make a simmer pot but you have essential oils, use those to clean and refresh the air in your home. You can use the simmer pot method if you don’t have your own essential oil diffuser. If you have a diffuser, set it up and let it work its magic.

Here’s some great essential oils to clean and purify the air in your home:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot

Bring Plants Into Your Home:
Plants not only clean and purify the air in your home they also pump oxygen back into your home at the same time. Win-Win! One of the big issues with extreme heat is that there’s not fresh oxygen coming into the home because it’s too hot to open the windows even in the early morning hours. But…plants to the rescue because these beauties do double duty to make you feel and breathe better.

Here’s a few great options you may want to bring into your home:

  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber Plant
  • Ficus
  • Golden Pothos
  • Heart Leaf Philodendron
  • Aloe Vera

Stay Hydrated:
Increase your water intake and try to eat and drink hydrating foods like:

  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Smoothies  
  • Green juices that include Celery and Lemon

Make sure that your furry children have lots of fresh water too, they are also feeling the intensity of the heat wave.

If you can, leave some water outside for the furry and feathered friends who may also need some extra reprieve during the heat.

Being inside for too long isn’t natural and can lead to edginess, short tempers, and a low grade anxiety that runs under the surface of the skin. Exercise can help to move these feelings out of the way so you can feel more like yourself again. Try to get your workout in at home to help to decrease stress but also to mitigate some of the cabin fever you may be experiencing from being in doors for so long.

Self Care:
Try to do things that help you feel calm, comforted, and supported.

  • Movie marathons
  • Binge watching a new series
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Investing time in your creative projects

I hope these tips help to make your heat wave experience a little more bearable.

Sending you love from my hot, hot, hot corner of the world,

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