Taking the Chill Challenge, Naturally

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Beat the Heat: Create your own Hot Angry Woman summer survival kit!

It’s the dog days of summer, and the mercury won’t come down. It’s really difficult to stay cool and comfortable – I call it the Chill Challenge – especially if you’re a woman “of a certain age”. If, like me, you no longer have a working inner thermometer, are unable or unwilling to take HRT, and feel as radiant as a blast furnace, try some of the simple, drug-free coping devices I put together. Here’s what’s in my Hot Angry Woman survival kit:

  • Small plastic fine mist bottle with tap water. Keep one at home, carry another in your purse and spritz away any time you feel the dreaded Flash coming to call.
  • Cooling essential oil spray (keep ready-chilled in fridge), made from therapeutic-grade essential oils diluted in distilled water. I used a few drops each of peppermint and pink grapefruit (to cool and refresh), chamomile and rose geranium (to calm), and the resulting scent was lightly herbal. Clary sage, if you like the smell, is also supposed to be useful for menopausal symptoms, and lavender is calming – although I find it’s a “warm” scent. Experiment with your own blend!
  • The same oils went into a shaker of arrowroot powder (available at bulk food stores) to make an absorbent body duster. Silky arrowroot is talc- and cornstarch-free, and you only need to add a few drops of each oil – or leave unscented. You can refill a travel-size baby powder bottle (provided you can figure out how to replace the shaker contraption; they can be tricky).
  • A roll-on perfume oil in a light summer scent is a refreshing pick-me-up. I made my own using a fractionated coconut oil base and adding a blend of fruity citrus essential and fragrance oils. The ingredients and bottles can be purchased at health food and natural product stores as well as online. **Caution: citrus oils can cause photosensitivity; make sure perfumed skin is not exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Stay hydrated! I picked up this beautiful purse-sized reusable water bottle, just right for battling the blaze on the go!
  • It also helps to keep a small ice pack-filled cooler or lunch bag and plenty of drinking water with you in your car.
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