I need to make this point clear: I am NOT a heat person. I live in Boston and while winter is nearly 6 months long, I’m in my glory. Summer here is lovely too – but it can get humid and gross. And we don’t have A/C like the rest of the country does as our homes and buildings are older.
Staying cool and comfortable is my NUMBER ONE priority in the summer. That and ice cream (who am I kidding, I enjoy Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food all year long.)
As a fat person, heat takes on a whole other level and it’s one of the most common requests I hear from More to Lovelies: How can I stay cool this summer?
I want to share with you three of my personal tips on how to keep your cool in the heat.
#1 Learn how to breathe smarter
Your body is designed to keep itself in harmony. That’s what all your systems are trying to do. But many of us (due to hormonal, health, just plain old “the way we’re wired) have a hard time releasing excess heat in the body. As a hot-blooded person AND a yoga teacher, I know the power of breathing. And yes…it’s works. Your respiratory system is your built-in A/C unit so use it!
When you feel heat building, start a cooling breath sequence. This is really simple. Take slow, deep inhales (around 4-5 seconds) and deep slow exhales (5-6 seconds.) Repeat for 1 minute and notice the effect it has. Cooling breath and paying attention to the sensation of heat will allow you to feel a bit more in control.
If you’d like a nice starting point, I have a free yoga video that covers how to breathe + move in a calming way.
#2 Invest in breathable clothing
OK, real talk — I was THAT fat teenage who wore long sleeves in the summer because I was embarrassed to show my arms. I suffered greatly. Summertime brings a whole new level of anxiety for plus size people and trying to wear comfy clothing is a real struggle.
This is why my summer attire requires two things: 1) cotton or some other breathable fabric 2) it’s CHEAP. Like Old Navy during a blow-out sale cheap. I stock up on simple and breathable shirts, tanks and skirts so that I don’t have to worry about that. I stay away from tightfitting, synthetic fabrics as much as possible. Goes for my undergarments are well. I put function over fashionable in the summer and this approach as drastically reduced my summer-anxiety.
Another favorite item is breathable sandals. My personal go-to is The Walking Company’s ABEO line (they come in wide) and last a long time.
#3 WATER WATER
I drink water near exclusively and even more so in the summer. Again, your body has a natural cooling system and requires more water in the summer. The larger your body, the more hydrated you should be to keep things in balance.
Personally, I love fizzy water and keep some stocked in the fridge. I also have 5 water bottles depending on my mood (weird, I know!) and keep them in places where I am in life. My favorite water bottle is this one. Sass it up with some fresh fruit, essential oil drops, cool shaped ice cubes – make your thirst stylish ‘cuz that helps.
Staying hydrated is one of those eye-roll tips but for real..it works. Not only will you feel cooler, but your skin will also LOVE it. And try to be nice to the environment and use tap/fountain water. I know not always possible, but it does matter.
Stay cool, Lovely!