Creative hydration and other ways to keep cool during a heat wave

water splash with lemon

Across the months of July and August, temperatures average well into the 90s in Texas. In California’s cities, the temperatures fluctuate between the mid-80s and mid-90s. And in Indiana and other states across the U.S., the heat can hover around the 80s. It’s nothing we don’t already know: summer is hot.


How do you keep cool during a heat wave, especially in an office that is trying to minimize the freeze–and cost–of air conditioning? Or when your office doesn’t have any cooling at all? We have a few strategies that you can get started on to keep your office—and home—bearable this summer.

Creative hydration

Walking or commuting to work in 60-degree weather is significantly different from walking to work when it is 90 outside, and longer days keep us awake and sweating, in addition to the added heat, it especially important this time of year to drink water.

Dehydration can contribute to increased stress, and cause us to feel more exhausted.

Berries in water

Need some fresh ideas to inspire you to drink more water?

  • Start off your day with a glass of water, to jump start your hydration.
  • Eat your moisture, with water saturated foods like celery, strawberries, watermelon, and cucumbers.
  • Drink coffee and tea (without milk or sugar) especially since the idea of these caffeinated beverages as dehydrating has been debunked. Plus, recent studies have shown significant health benefits of coffee, including enhanced memory.
  • Try out unsweetened sparkling water for a more interesting drink.
  • Freeze fruit and use them as ice cubes for afternoon hydration that is fresh with extra flavor.
  • Track your water consumption with a mobile app or good old-fashioned pen and paper. We all love a good game—gamify your water drinking!
  • Always have water with you to keep it at the forefront of your mind.

Drinking water boosts energy, helps you keep cool, and is often really what your body needs when you’re feeling hungry. Consider this your step number one for a sane and cool summer.

Reconsider dress code

Formal business attire is typical in the legal industry, where professionals often need to appear in court or meet with clients in sensitive or stressful settings. But during the heat of summer, and when members of the law firm are spending much of their time working in the office, it might make sense to relax the dress code a bit in the name of comfort.

Be deliberate about windows


It’s all about timing: at what time can you open and close windows to maximize air flow and breeze without welcoming in hot air? If you’re several floors up, you can even consider leaving windows open overnight (with screens, of course ) to cool down and freshen up the office before the next morning.

Special shades and curtains are also designed specifically to insulate the inside of a room. In the winter, these drapes will keep heat in, and in the summer they can also keep the heat out. Plus, sunshine streaming through the windows, while cheerful, can be too hot!

Minimize the number of electronics

In the confines of an office space, everything and anything that contributes to the overall output of heat can make a difference. Consider which machines might be unnecessary for the better part of the day. Do you use your scanner as often in the afternoons? How long does it take to reboot the printer when needed, rather than leaving it on? If your office is trapped in the heat, these small adjustments could make a big difference.

Use cooling gadgets

A personal fan that sits right on your desk can increase the airflow around you. Sweat is how your body cools you down, and when a fan is blowing the humid air away from you, it can also help keep your body from overheating. Cooling gel pads are good for more than just sleeping through hot nights. Put one by your feet or on your chair back to stay cool.

As we experience higher temperatures across the country, and the answer can’t always be to turn up the A/C, try out these strategies to stay sane and keep cool during a heat wave.

Wind energy

Want suggestions for global warming too? Go solar, think sustainably, recycle, reuse, support green businesses, go paperless! You’re welcome.


How does your office stay cool in the heat? Share your secrets in the comments!

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