Getting Things Done in the Heat


After a few 90 degree days here in Michigan and some accountability clients struggling with the heat, I decided to ask our southern friends how they deal with the heat.

Cooling Off

  • When you take your breaks, sit in the shade with your feet in a bowl of cool/cold water … sounds odd, but it really helps!
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Find the shade.
  • Fans with ice sitting in front of them. Or a wet towel on the fan.
  • Ice water soaked cloth around your neck. Cool water over the wrists.
  • Always carry water with you when you are outside or running errands.
  • Get your hair wet. Wear long hair up.
  • Tepid showers and cool baths help you sleep better at night.
  • Keep the shades and blinds closed on the sunny side of the house, and run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise, to force air downward. Use oscillating floor fans to circulate air if you don’t have ceiling fans. 
  • Iced tea.
  • Wear white linen and long sleeves. If you look cooler, often you feel cooler…honest…50+years living in Central Florida…also summer straw hats. Cotton is also better than synthetics.
  • Float in a pool of water or run through the sprinkler.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  • Chillow pillow cooling pad.
  • Cool treats like popsicles.

Getting Things Done

  • Work in the basement as it is usually cool.
  • Do paper work, clean photos, organize fabric and yarn, or other less “demanding” projects.
  • Only work outside in the cooler mornings or evenings.  Be willing to change your schedule, if possible. Do the heavier types of work and outside work as early as you can or as late as you can. Exercise, laundry, cooking, gardening – anything you can knock off early helps.
  • Take advantage of cloudy days.
  • Commit to a siesta in the hottest hours.
  • Supper is in the crock pot in the early a.m. or a cold plate. Don’t use the oven; use the grill, the microwave, and the top of the stove as much as you can. Cold dinners, like salads with fish or meat, may be an appetizing option, too, especially with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Smaller meals and less heavy meals.
  • Just work on keeping stuff alive outside, but work mainly inside.
  • Pace your activity. Start slowly.

Do you have any more tips?


Pix by Brea Dargis


  • Lyn says:

    Some very good ideas. Thanks so much.

  • Michelle says:

    I use peppermint essential oil on a wet cloth ot bandana. I also put it in a spray bottle with water and apply like perfume. And I put the oil on cotton in front of the fan or use an electric diffuser.

  • Beth Dargis says:

    Great tip, Michelle!

  • Frankie says:

    Having my feet in a bucket of ice water sure saved me during 1988’s summer of extended 100+ degree days while I was pregnant (“any day now!”). Fast forward and a trip out west to John Wayne territories in June taught me to utilize one of those neckerchiefs filled with the polymers that hold water. It stays cooler than my skin and helps prevent “baked brain”.

  • Beth Dargis says:

    These are great ideas, Frankie! I forgot about those neckerchiefs, my husband uses them when he works on the car in the heat.

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