Food52 in 5

4 Speedy, Sweat-Free Tricks to Cool Yourself Down

July 12, 2018

What do you do when sticky, smothering heat zapps your energy? When only hot air blasts out of your car vents and you’ve sweat through your shirt before 10 a.m,? You could fight with bottles of ice water and big-brimmed hats, or lie down in defeat, hoping shade or a violently twirling fan will offer some relief.

Or, you could hack your way into beating the heat in just five minutes. Yep, you read that right: five minutes. Read on to learn how.

1. Target your coolest spots.

Pouring water or rubbing ice over your wrists or neck feels amazing—but why? It’s because those are the areas where blood vessels are closest to the surface of your skin, making it easier to cool off your blood (and body temperature) with cold water.

A cool, damp towel (maybe one you've stored in the fridge) on your neck is the most effective place to trick your body into chilling out since the brainstem, which regulates body temperature, is located there. But if you’re sitting at home, don’t forget other pulse points, like the tops of your feet, or the inside of your knees and elbows. A couple of minutes will make a noticeable difference.

2. Work from the inside out.

While you’re tending to your pulse points, munch on some frozen berries or grapes. They’re a refreshing alternative to ice cream while still giving that coolness you’re craving.

But if you *are* looking for ice cream...

3. Your fridge is your friend.

OK, so don’t stand in front of it with the door open. But if you throw your creams or lotions inside in the morning, you’re in for a cool, soothing treat after work. Another idea? Store damp washcloths in there, too. They’ll feel like heaven on your neck.

4. Take a breath.

Sitali, also called the cooling breath, is a new technique I’ve been trying out. To do it, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, form your lips into an O, and curl your tongue like a taco. Inhale through your mouth until your lungs expand, close it, and exhale through the nose. After two to three minutes of this, I feel cooler and calmer.

What's your favorite way to cool off in a flash? Share in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • BerryBaby
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Smaug July 14, 2018
Where I live it's frequently quite hot- it'll hang around 100 for days on end- but the summer humidity is quite low; fans work very well. Warm showers can be surprisingly cooling.
BerryBaby July 12, 2018
Cool pack on the back of my neck. Works for me!