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How to handle a heat wave

5 ways to keep your cool in a crisis

Photo by Martino Pietropoli on Unsplash

If you’re like me, you’d rather exit life altogether than continue to slow roast in this too-early summer heat wave like a large side of wild game. Not to worry, below are a few no-fail tips for dealing with with the weather when it feels like you’re living inside a fleece-lined sleeping bag that’s been placed in a toaster.


I find it’s best to start making ice cubes in late February, and stock pile them from that point on for just such an occasion. Toss those bagel bites and 86 the duty-free vodka your girlfriend gave you for Christmas. This is more important and worthy of your frosty real estate.

Invest in window units, box fans, and Kickstarter products for personal cooling. Sure, you won’t be able to hear the television over the din, but that’s what bluetooth headphones are for. Just make sure to have an arrangement with a neighbor who’ll text you if and when your building catches fire. Set your phone to vibrate.

Keep all of your beauty and personal grooming products in the fridge, and begin completing your morning routine near the kitchen sink for convenience. Your food will carry an aftertaste of fancy face cream samples from Birchbox, but for 20 seconds each morning you’ll feel like a million bucks.

2 Arm yourself

With great heat comes great pestilence, and swarms of hellprince mosquitoes, wasps, and flies of all varieties can’t wait to feast on your flesh and blood which have conveniently been recently warmed to exactly the temperature they prefer. Make sure you’re prepared to send them back to the underworld with any combination of the following, if not the entire list:

  • wall socket bug zappers
  • the bug zapper that looks like a tennis racket
  • glue traps in the event of a power outage
  • eco-friendly spray so you kill the bugs, not your cat
  • full mosquito netting for both your bed and couch
  • citronella candles and/or perfume
  • that DIY thing made of soap and apple cider vinegar that doesn’t work
  • bricks and mortar to seal up your windows to prevent further invasion
  • personal hermetically sealed pod

3 Cut the shit

I’ve been talking a lot about things you need for a heatwave, so now let’s talk about what you don’t need: clothes. Keep a sharp pair of kitchen scissors handy in every drawer around the house, and don’t hesitate to self-tailor every hemline and sleeve to a comfortable length whenever the mood strikes. Save the scraps and make a blackout curtain to hang over the window to block out more scorching rays.


One needn’t rely on one’s own pathetic window unit air conditioner all the time. I’m not above making my trips to Target last three times as long as they need to simply to enjoy the degrees Fahrenheit afforded to me by big-budget corporations. It gives me plenty of time to fully review body wash scents.

I’ve also found MoviePass to be a windfall here. Theaters are nothing if not well-cooled, and for ten dollars a month you’ve just bought yourself two hours each day sweat-free. Quite a bargain.

When leaving home, I always travel with an oversized canvas tote which allows me to pack multiple changes of clothing for post-subway sweat once I’ve emerged from the bowels of hell. It also has room for all of my makeup which I cannot apply until after I’ve reached my destination for obvious reasons. Waitstaff and nurse practitioners are always happy to wait while I finish. It’s a good idea to keep extra deodorant, baby powder, and a full aloe vera plant in there, too.


Feeling faint is no reason to increase your carbon footprint. I try to run my air conditioner only at night when possible, and have developed a few clever coping skills to use during the day.

  • Keeping a spray bottle full of ice water nearby and spritzing myself continually.
  • Taking a really long time to figure out what to have for lunch while standing in front of an open fridge.
  • Existing naked, with an outfit placed near the door for UPS deliveries
  • Completing freelance projects from the comfort of an ice water filled bathtub.
  • Lying flat on the floor and crying.

Like a yearbook signature in 1996, stay cool.

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