Surviving summer is always tough. There’s the heat, the humidity, and most of all, the expectation that you spend all of your time outside pretending that you actually enjoy it. Add chronic illness into the mix, and it’s tempting to find a commercial walk-in freezer and never leave it. These are my favourite products which have helped me this summer.
1. Invest in a decent fan
Even though most new builds come with air conditioning as standard, if, like me, you live in an older home, or you’re conscious of saving energy, this might not be an option. However, this DOESN’T mean that you’re tuck with the half-hearted stick fan of yesteryear which just lazily wafts air in a 30 cm radius. This summer, my family discovered the tower fan. Not only do they discreetly blend in to the room, the take up minimal space and make hardly any noise. They also come with all kinds of fancy timers, breeze settings and often have remote controls so you don’t even have to get up to change the setting once you’ve gotten comfy. A decent tower fan costs $30-$80 from the local hardware or homewares store.
2. Embrace novelty gadgets
One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was a $5 novelty misting fan from Kmart. Well, I say present, it was actually a gift I gave to my sister, but then kept stealing back so I bought one as a present to myself. Even though it was from the toy section, and I bought it as a joke present, it’s little things like this which’ve let me actually enjoy the outside world. Just fill it up with water and you’ve got this cooling mist which takes the edge off the outdoor heat and helps you to cool down quickly when you’re at the beach or a summer afternoon picnic.
3. Beauty products are cooling too
As much as I love browsing the beauty section just to see what’s new, I wasn’t expecting to find some of my go to summer solutions. $2 sheet masks, are not just great for giving your skin a hydration boost, taking funny snapchats and weirding out your pets, they’re also incredibly cooling when they’re fresh out of the packet, and you can throw them in the fridge to increase the effect. You can also get refrigerated eye masks, like the kind that you use to block out light, only filled with a cooling gel so they’re a great way to get some rest to recover from those heat headaches. They come in a lot of different types and shapes, but my personal favourites are the ones filled with the little gel bubbles because they conform to your face better, with a fabric cover so the perspiration doesn’t stick it to your face.
4. Innovating for chronic illness
Several companies caught on to the chronic illness market, and one of the products I’ve seen most frequently discussed in online chronic illness forums are the Icekap and similar devices. They’re hard to describe, but essentially they’re a neoprene beanie with pockets for icepacks sewn into the lining. They are on the pricey side, at about $80, but they go on sale intermittently on amazon throughout the year, as do other brands’ versions of the same product, so its worth keeping an eye on them or setting up an alert to monitor prices so that you can pick one up at a discount in the off-season in preparation for the summer ahead.
5. Classics are classics for a reason
At the end of the day, don’t knock what already works just because there’re now fancy newfangled gadgets that do the same job for twice the price. Ice packs and frozen towels are good for more than just injuries, they’re a great way to bring down your body temperature and get some relief from heat-induced aches and pains. A few pointers worth mentioning though, go for squishy sports ice packs over the hard lunch box bricks, there’s sometimes a small price difference but you try lying on a hard block of plastic and see how relaxing it feels. Also, try and have a few different sizes in stock so that you can easily target the locations you need it most, the mini ones are great to tuck under the arm which helps bring your temp down quickly. I also like to have one or two instant ice packs in the medicine cupboard somewhere to pack for long days out.
This post is not sponsored and all prices are in Australian dollars (AUD).