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15 tips on how to keep cool as mercury rises

1. Don't act like an eejit. That's the main thing to remember when the temperature is rising higher than a flea on a trampoline. Most people who suffer from the heat are just trying to do too much in unsuitable conditions. Pets, on the other hand, don't know what's good for them, so make sure to keep cats and dogs hydrated, put ice in their water bowls, and with access to flowing air.

2. Move downstairs to sleep. It always feels a couple of degrees cooler on the ground floor. A heatwave is the one time you might get a better night's sleep on the sofabed.

3. Always put on sun protection when you clean your teeth in the morning.

4. Do not feel a twinge of guilt about sitting in a darkened room watching a World Cup game while the sun is shining. We don't need any weather police here. You have the right to choose. Stay strong.

5. Want to watch the World Cup and enjoy the sun at the same time? Take an iPad, or device of choice. Go to settings and turn up the brightness to max. Place iPad in the shade and sit in the sun with a pair of shades.

6. If you are a very bad golfer, this is your moment. There is so much 'run' on the fairways, the weakest drive is ending up roughly where a Rory McIlroy drive would land in the usual conditions. Another week of this and the ball may never actually stop.

7. Fill a spray bottle with water and ice and keep it in the fridge. Use it at home or bring on car journeys to ease those unbearably sticky few minutes before the aircon kicks in. It's especially handy for babies and young children. Aim upwards to cover yourself in a blissful, cool mist.

8. Linen has been out of favour for years, but it is actually having a fashion moment. And nothing is more comfortable to wear in the heat.

9. As a child, you'll have been warned never to go swimming for at least 30 minutes after eating a meal, to avoid cramp. It's still sound advice.

10. Know your body's pulse points, such as your wrist, neck and elbow crease. Apply some ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Or run your wrists under a cold tap for a quick cool down. It cools blood because a main vein passes through this area and the skin on the wrist is so thin.

11. Face an electric fan outwards towards an open window or door instead of facing in - it will keep you cooler. Place a bowl of ice at the fan for colder air.

12. Get a hot water bottle and fill it with cold water and ice from the fridge. It provides a welcome cool spot in bed on hot nights. Or put it under your pillow for some pillow-flipping sweet relief.

13. To save on water, form a neighbourly WhatsApp group and when one household is filling the paddling pool, invite the other kids around.

14. Play 'Ancient Greece' with the kids and have them fan you and feed you cold grapes while you recline on the couch. Bed sheets make good togas.

15. Ignore the heatwave 'experts'. Trust your animal instincts. You could do a lot worse than doing what your dog is doing. Sit down and pant until the heatwave passes.

Belfast Telegraph

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