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Self-care comes in many forms, but sometimes the most effective is protecting your body against the elements. Summertime is here and that means longer days and (necessary) beach time, but heat exhaustion and sun exposure can pose serious health risks. As southerners living in the sub-tropical climate of New Orleans, here are a few of our favorite tips for staying cool. Feel free to apply these wherever this summer sun finds you!

1. Make sure you’re staying hydrated with plenty of water or electrolyte drinks. You can avoid the sugar-infused store brands by making your own at home. Try our go-to recipe: Combine one quart jar with water, a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt, 1-2 teaspoons of magnesium powder and the juice of half a lemon. Refrigerate or serve over ice.

2. Snacking on water-rich foods like watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumbers, smoothies, and chia seed pudding will help you feel refreshed and hydrated during long days outside.

3. Adding an herbal infusion drink to your daily regimen can offer nourishing minerals through hydrating herbs. Our current fave is a cold-infusion of marshmallow root and hibiscus flowers. To Make: add 3T marshmallow root and 1T Hibiscus. Fill with cold or room temp water, stir, cap, and let infuse overnight. In the morning, strain the now viscous elixir and enjoy! 

4. Make cooling down easier by applying an ice pack, cold water bottle, or an ice cube directly to your pressure points (ankles, wrists, elbows, neck, and temples).

5. On especially hot days, fit your workout in first thing in the morning to avoid the heat. Or avoid intense workouts altogether and instead focus on gentler routines like yoga or breathwork. Alternate Nostril Breathing is a practice that combines both. This yogic breath control practice helps to cool you down, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.

6. Lastly, we love to soak up the sun, but when trying to stay cool and not get overheated, it’s best to avoid the outdoors during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm). When outside don’t forget to wear sunscreen and reapply often. Always protect yourself with sunglasses and a hat against harmful UV rays.