Inspired by a recent holiday where the temperatures reached the 40's (it reminded me of how I felt during the height of the perimenopause, where it would suddenly feel like I had stepped into an oven) here are my top tips for keeping cool when the flushes hit, or if you find yourself in searing heat for any reason!
1. Keep it natural - natural fabrics will help your body breathe and therefore cool down more quickly. Think linen, cotton, silk - the lighter the weight and the looser the fit, the better. When on holiday, try a bikini instead of a swimsuit (be brave and go with it!). Or consider a naturist holiday...
2. Before booking a trip/hotel, check if they have air conditioning or fans, it can make all the difference if you have somewhere cool to sit in the middle of the day to chill out and a cool bedroom at night.
3. Any activity involving water - swimming, aerobics, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling, etc, will help keep your temperature down. Even a kids paddling pool in the garden will help!
4. Sun cream is both your friend and your enemy. You need it to avoid getting sunburned (which also increases your temperature), but wearing suncream makes your skin slick and prevents perspiration from evaporating, which makes you feel like you're perspiring more. Best to apply after any physical activity, where possible. Check the UVA rating also (goes up to 5 stars), for protection against radiation.
5. Hot meals or spicy food will make you perspire more (in order to cool down), as will any dense foods, such as meat. This is a perfect opportunity for lighter meals such as salads, with fish, poultry or pulses.
6. Caffeine is a vasodilator and will raise cortisol levels, which again will increase body temperature and perspiration (this often comes on 30 mins or so after drinking). Try an iced coffee to offset the effects a little or drink it before doing your chosen activity from number 3....
7. Alcohol. What can I say?! Just go with it and either drink enough so you don't care (I'm sure you won't be the only one) or sip your cocktail with Jackie O like pazazz, complete with kaftan, wide brimmed hat and mahoosive sunglasses. 60ft yacht optional.
If in doubt, enjoy the break and live wildly - it's the way to go!