This Nairobi “Summer” is no joke! It’s literally too hot to function. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t complaining about how bloody hot it is. The days are too long, the nights are unbearable and everything is uncomfortable. All I wanna do is stay indoors and have one of those hunky servants from the old movies fan me and feed me grapes . . . if only! I know I’m not the only one who’s suffering, so I decided to put together a list of Summer survival tips so we can have a better time in the sunshine and not just complain through the clear skies, so here we go . . .
Obviously! When temperatures are high, our bodies lose a lot of water and we need to replenish on the double. Unfortunately, there is a drought in Kenya and so many of our people are suffering (details on how to help at the end of this post). But for those of us who can afford to, please hydrate. ‘Tis the season for cool, refreshing drinks 🙂 and the best time to practice the minimum two liters of water a day thing. Trust me on this. bottoms up!
DRESS FOR THE WEATHER
Keep it light, airy and free. I love cottons and linens because they allow us to breathe and are very absorbent. Think sundresses and shorts and my favourites: those tie-dyed diracs/bhatis ( I call them “mama tayari”) because comfort is a priority. And this goes for feet too . . . open shoes are best. Aerate those bad boys. Besides, if you’re like me and your feet are getting swollen if you even go near closed shoes right now, you really have no choice. Don’t forget to hat up and put your sunglasses on to protect your face and eyes. Every bit helps.
Like I said, this sun is no joke, so take it very seriously. With highs of about 32 degrees the skin is in real trouble. I find my skin drying up really really fast. I’m talking flaky, ashy levels of dryness here. Moisturising is essential but it has to be a high SPF sunscreen to really take care of business. Especially for folks like me who get sun burns like that *snaps fingers.* I usually go for Dulgon or Nivea and these are easy to find at most supermarkets. Neutrogena also has a great variety of spray ones available. So get some coverage and thank me later when you’re not peeling and sun damaged 🙂
P.S. the lips are also very sensitive to heat and sun so a good lip balm with SPF like Maybelline Baby Lips will not only keep them from chapping and cracking but make sure no discolouration happens.
Heat = dust and sweat and dirt build up. And all that = no bueno. You don’t wanna be carrying that around all day. Yuck! Keeping fresh is a must because you don’t want to be smelly or sticky. Shower/bath often to keep clean and cool. Sometimes I wish I could run home during my lunch break for a quick shower. I love the fresh and organic selection of hand crafted soaps at Luscious Touch (Yaya Center and The Hub, Karen). Perfect excuse to splurge a little on fun soaps and spend more time in the bathroom. Use deo after showers. If you get sweaty quickly do not just put some perfume on that shit. No! Use wet wipes or actually wash up then reapply deo. Keep your scents fresh and light. And always have some handy.
To risk sounding like a broken record, this weather takes a toll on our skin and we have to fight back. We just must. Exfoliating gets rid of the dead/dry/flaky build up and keeps us soft and smooth. Invest in some facial scrubs or make your own like I sometimes do here. And I must repeat this: do not forget your feet. The heat makes them all cracky and ashy if you don’t take care of them too. Get a pedicure. Pretty your feet up for those open shoes 🙂
Hair takes a good beating in such weather as well. I mean, think about it: it’s in the direct line of fire. My hair gets too hot to touch after just two minutes out in the sun. When neglected, this heat makes the scalp really dry and flaky and hair brittle and weak. It’s important to keep hair fresh and well moisturised and if you can use products with SPF in them for this as well, even better. It’s best to use light products that won’t weigh the hair down but meet the moisture needs. Protective styles like braids are also great . . . wigs and weaves may be too bulky and if not washed often they can really get stinky.
There’s nothing as uncomfortable as a heavy meal in the heat. My God. And don’t forget the “itis.” Light and fresh meals make a world of difference in comfort, mobility and overall energy. I’m no nutritionist, I’m just speaking from experience. I’ve been eating a lot of salads, sushi and ceviche and fruits lately and it really helps. Maybe all the raw fish makes me feel like I’m by the ocean . . . wishful thinking. Eat right, eat light and save room for some good ol’ ice cream because, that’s what hot days are for.
TAKE A DIP
It feels like heaven getting into a swimming pool right now. Pure relief! It’s fun, it’s necessary and good for the soul (I’m a Pisces 🙂 ). Besides, the blue hues just have this calming, soothing, cooling effect on the mind, don’t they? So find one this weekend and chill out. don’t forget the sunscreen 🙂
P.S. If you want tips on what to pack for a day at the beach/pool, Silvia Njoki shared a super post on the basic essentials here.
Go easy on the makeup because the heat and dust build up on that and it gets melty, grimy, messy. Again, just yuck. If you can go without foundation, do it. Let your skin breathe. If you do wear makeup, make sure to keep it light. And speaking of makeup and light, some highlighter/bronzer looks amazing in this weather! Try some at the high points of your face for an event and see how sun-kissed you look. Glow up! I’m so in love with this Mac X Mariah Carey extra dimesnion skin finish one my friends from Nkemi PR sent me. Beautiful! Just make sure to take off all the makeup at the end of the day to avoid breakouts. Use a good makeup remover or coconut/olive oil to really get all the gunk out.
It’s really overwhelming but once we do what we have to to get comfortable and cooler, it really is beautiful in the sun. Just make sure not to stay out in it too long, or venture out in the evenings when its a little easier on the body. I’ve seen infants and children really suffer in this heat so if you have any, please do pay special attention to them and keep them away from direct sun. Take care and have some safe and responsible fun in the sun.
I touched on the current drought situation in Kenya above. Please see details below on how you can help some of the families that have been hit hardest get help and stay alive. This is a Kenya Red Cross initiative to save lives. #WeAreAllKenyans #EmbraceAFamily. Thank you.