Keeping cool - a thought for caregivers and anyone else who wants a happier life

It’s a hot hot week. It’s been the first, and often main topic of conversation with most people I’ve talked to this week. We’ve been doing everything we can to keep ourselves and the house cool:

- Blackout blinds on the windows – the temporary ones that fit by suction cup so they can be removed the for majority of the year when they’re not needed are great

- Having windows open or closed depending on whether the outside temperature is lower or higher than the inside

- Minimal clothing – thank goodness for working from home!

- Opening the loft hatch (only one head bump so far)

- Fans and coolers

- Keeping hydrated – lots of water

- Sitting outside in the evenings

- Meals that require little or no cooking time

Any other tips would be gratefully received – e-mail me at with the subject line “Feeling hot hot hot” with your best advice.

There are lots of warnings about why it’s important to keep physically cool and avoid overheating because heat stroke or exhaustion can result in someone becoming very unwell, very quickly: irregular breathing, confusion, seizures, unconsciousness. Some of these may have lasting effects.

Keeping cool emotionally

Why should it be any different for our emotional state? Emotionally overheating can also lead to illness, to an inability to cope, to damaging lasting effects. So what can we do to keep cool?

Look after ourselves! How each person does that is different, and possibly depends on a number of factors, including weather. It can be daily or weekly routines or something occasional. It includes what we eat and drink and the exercise we do. It includes things that make us happy and relaxed. And it includes giving ourselves permission to do it!

What do you do to look after yourself? What will you do over the next few days?

When my in-laws started to need care, I knew how to look after both them and myself – because I’d got it so wrong in the past, when my other half was signed off work with stress and my life was turned upside down too. These blog posts are mostly based on the things that helped me, the lessons I learnt the hard way and what I realise with the benefit of hindsight would have helped. I’ve collected some of the other key learning points and tips and made these available to download at

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