These are the best ways to stay cool in the heatwave – at home and work

Because lounging by a pool all day drinking Aperol Spritz isn't really an option...

The White Company bedding
(Image credit: The White Company)

Well folks, we've been writing about a potential UK heatwave for months now, and looks like all that time we spent tracking thermometers, barometers, and playing with our weather balloon* has paid off because we were right! Here we are amidst an almighty heatwave, with temperature looking it hit 38ºC this week! 

But while a heatwave is all well and good when you have nothing to do but lay by a pool or in a room cooled by one of the best fans you can buy, maybe drinking some Pimm's, popping to the corner shop for some more ice at a push, when you actually have to get on with your life and go to work, get on public transport, do the school run it can actually be a bit a 'mare. So how to you prevent yourself from melting into a flesh coloured puddle? Well you keep scrolling through these easy tips and hacks for keeping cool during a heatwave...

*Joking, obviously, thanks for the info Met office

1. Eat foods that have a high water content and stick to small meals

So we all know that during a heatwave we should drink more water, but also think about how the food you eat could be keeping you hydrated. Loads of fruits and vegetables are good for this – strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cucumber and celery are all high in water content. Maybe keep a lunch box with you, filled with these fruits and veggies so you can always have a munch when you are feeling warm.

Eating large, carb heavy meals is also a no go in this mad heat. Eating big, carb heavy meals takes more digesting which means your body is working harder to process them and hence produces more body heat. 

2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Just in case you weren't miserable enough in these horrendously sweaty conditions. Yep, apparently we should all be avoiding alcohol and caffeine as they will only further dehydrate us. What if you fill out drinks with strawberries and cucumber? Does that balance it out? 

3. Have cool baths and showers 

We aren't talking an ice bath here, but a lukewarm shower or bath can lower your core body temperature. This is especially helpful before bed so you can go to sleep feeling cool and refreshed. 

4. Splash your wrists with cold water

Since immersing yourself in cold water while you are at the office isn't the most realistic solution, you can get a similar cooling effect by running your wrists under some cold water. Focusing on cooling your pulse points (areas like your neck, wrists and feet) will quickly lower your overall body temperature. 

5. Keep your skincare in the fridge

This might only be a temporary fix to the feeling you are going to spontaneously combust, but putting things like your face and body moisturiser in the fridge does have a lovely cooling effect. 

6. Make a cold water bottle 

Fill up a hot water bottle with cold water and pop it in the fridge before you go to work, you could even put in the freezer for a few hours (DO NOT FORGET ABOUT IT, IT WILL POP). Take it to bed with you to keep you cool while you fall asleep. 

7. Take naps 

So no coffee, no alcohol, no carbs but yay we get to take more naps! Make like the Spanish and take a short siesta when you get in from work. Hot weather is tiring and most of us will struggle to get a restful night's sleep, so just take 40 minutes or so to have a lie down and catch up on some Zzzs.