How to keep cool in your setting
As temperatures skyrocket, and very few of us have air-conditioning, how do we keep cool while taking care of our early years? Here are TNL’s top tips:
Eat spicy foods
Let’s start with the most ludicrous-sounding suggestion. We’ve all eaten something spicy and found that we start sweating, so the logical conclusion would be that spicy food heats you up. However, it seems that chilli peppers contain a chemical that tricks your body into feeling hotter, activating your internal cooling procedures and causing you to sweat. While it may not be the most elegant way to cool down, popping some jalapeños into your lunch might just be the key to a more comfortable work day.
Wear thin, loose, light-coloured clothing
We admit, this one’s a little obvious, but sometimes it’s against our instincts. A lot of the time our “summer” clothes are clingier than what we’d wear in cooler temperatures and this will inhibit sweat evaporation (the actual cooling bit of sweating), making you warmer. So avoid dark colours, which will absorb the sun more than light-coloured clothes, as well as anything that might cling and opt for looser, natural fabrics, which will let your skin breathe easier while you’re running around with little ones.
Reduce your caffeine intake
As tempting as an iced coffee on the way into your setting may be, caffeine causes vasoconstriction (the constriction of blood vessels), which warms your blood. The temporary effect of a cooling iced drink may actually make you warmer later on, as the caffeine takes effect.
Instead, try to…
Drink coconut water
High in potassium and an excellent source of electrolytes, coconut water is great for maintaining proper hydration. If you’re dehydrated then the amount of blood flowing through your body reduces, meaning your heart has to work harder and, in turn, heating up your body. So avoid a coffee in favour of a cooling coconut drink to keep yourself from overheating.
Eat your greens
It’s likely that the hot weather has reduced your cravings for hot, stodgy food and made you more likely to want cold, fresh veggies. But what are the best to eat? Watermelon, apricots, radishes and peaches are all high in electrolytes and, like coconut water, will help keep you hydrated and generally cooler. Fennel seeds are also great for lowering blood pressure, therefore cooling your body and improving heart health.
Even if you follow all these tips we understand that, sometimes, there’s just no escaping the heat. Why not incorporate more water-themed games with the children at your setting, like the below activity plans, so both you and your early years can cool off?
Got any hot tips (see what we did there?) for keeping cool in your setting? Let us know using #mynurserylife