I don't deal well with heat. I get heat exhaustion easier than most, and one of the symptoms is that I don't actually feel all that hot, per se: I just feel really shitty. I feel grumpy, and sticky, and miserable, and my head and stomach probably aren't thrilled with me, but I don't usually feel like it's necessary to take a cold shower or swim or pack myself in ice, when really that's the thing my body needs most.
I've gotten much better about being self-aware with this in recent years. That means that on a day like today, when it was 85°, I did my best to take care of myself even while working on a big project out in the sun.
Here's some shit that helps me keep a handle on heat exhaustion and not confine myself to the indoors.
- Take breaks when I need to. Andy doesn't seem to notice the heat at all, so this means taking more frequent breaks than he takes. I'm okay with that.
- Drink a lot of water. I drank a ton of water but didn't have to pee much - which means I should have been drinking even more.
- Own the fact that I can be outdoors, and I can be helpful, but I probably can't be cheerful about it. The work needs to get done, and I'll help get it done, but I don't have any energy to spare to pretend that I don't hate every fucking second of it.
- Keep good supplies on hand. Today, that meant yellow jacket spray. Fuck those guys. Any time one came near me, it got shot in the face with a steady stream of Raid.
- Make sure I have proper sun protection. The garden I spent most of the day working on gets full sun, and I foolishly left my giant ridiculous sun hat at work. Andy noted that I was looking extra hot and miserable, disappeared for a minute, and came back out with a ladder, umbrella, and bungee cord, which he rigged together to provide me some shade to work in. It was so incredibly sweet of him.
- Take a shower after sun exposure. I start out at lukewarm, because diving right into cold is too much of a shock and makes me feel shitty. I usually end up turning the water pretty chilly by the end of it, as my body acclimates.
- Sometimes I shower again right before bed, if there's still a lot of residual heat happening. It cools me down more and makes it possible for me to fall asleep. Bonus if there are nice clean sheets!