Spending your summer holiday at home is great and has many advantages: you can rediscover your neighbourhood, there’s no packing to do and no travel which can often be very tiring. And you also sleep better in your own bed – don’t you?
To really feel like you’re on holiday, it’s important for you to be able to feel comfortable and totally relax. The best way to do that is to put all your work to one side, switch off your phone and maybe even cancel the post. Pure relaxation, without anything to disturb or interrupt your enjoyment. A cosy balcony, good food, exercise and above all a good indoor climate can also help set the mood. We have tips and ideas on how to get maximum enjoyment out of spending the summer at home.
Tips on indoor living
The magic words? Periodic ventilation. In the morning, open all the windows to get a breeze flowing through and to let in the fresh air from outside. As soon as it gets hotter outside, close all the windows and lower the shutters. That way, your rooms will stay cool for longer. Towards evening when it cools down outside, open all the windows again and keep them open until the warm indoor air has mixed with the cool outdoor air and the temperature in the room has dropped to a level that is pleasant.
Relative humidity of 40–60% is recommended. You can measure this using a hygrometer. Below 40% is too dry, above 60% is too humid. It is important to know what the humidity inside your home is as permanent deviations from the recommended value can have a detrimental effect on your health. It is in summer when the air is naturally more humid because warm air can absorb more moisture. That is where a dehumidifier can help, by removing the excess moisture from the air and preventing the growth of mould. However a dehumidifier should not be used during the day indoors on hot summer days as it will produce additional heat: it is better for a dehumidifier to be left on overnight.
A tip for the summer: don’t dry your washing indoors. It will also make the air more humid. If you are able to, the best thing to do is to dry your washing outside or in the basement with a dehumidifier. However we don’t recommend that you dry your washing outside if you live on a busy road as the exhaust fumes from the traffic can penetrate the textile fibres.
Clean indoor air
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the air indoors is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors. The pollutants come from various sources. To find out more about these, read our blog post entitled «Polluted indoor air a risk to health». An air purifier is the solution to the problem of polluted indoor air. Purified air can alleviate allergy-related symptoms that are particularly prevalent in summer, help you sleep better and be more active and improve your concentration. An air purifier filters particles, pollen, fine dust and bacteria out of the air. If, like our devices, it also has an activated carbon filter, it will also remove unpleasant smells and gaseous pollutants from the air. By purifying the air, air purifiers improve well-being, allowing you to relax while you are spending time indoors.
Natural aromas have different effects. We know that from herbal medicine and from aromatherapy in particular. And in summer in particular, the right aroma in the air can not only smell good but also have a beneficial effect. For example, lemongrass will keep the mosquitoes at bay, the scent of peppermint in the morning activates the mind and can improve concentration and a hint of jasmine can bring relaxation and calm in the evening. The most effective way to inhale an aroma is in the air. The best way of filling your room with the scent from an essential oil is by using an aroma diffuser. Most devices of this type use ultrasound technology which nebulise a mixture of water and aroma oil into tiny droplets which are emitted into the air as mist and optimally distributed.
TIPS ON OUTDOOR LIVING
Furnishings to give you that holiday feeling
Anyone with a balcony, patio or garden seating area at home should make sure that it is comfortably furnished ready for their holiday. Has it got everything that you need to be able to relax? It has to be somewhere that you enjoy spending time and that is comfortable. If a balcony meets these requirements, it can be the perfect place to enjoy «la dolce vita». Plants can create that real holiday atmosphere: a small palm tree can conjure up the South Seas or a pot of lavender can immediately transport you to Provence, for instance.
If you don’t have a balcony, you could find a local public park or a meadow. Set yourself up with a picnic blanket and a picnic, sunscreen, plenty of water, a Tim and a good book or magazine or a game you can play outdoors and every summer’s day at home will feel like a holiday.
Whether you are on a balcony or patio or in the garden, a park or a meadow – make sure that there is enough shade. A tree or a parasol can provide shade outside. If you don’t have sun blinds at home, you can create shade using a parasol or awning. The most important thing is for that shade to provide protection from direct sunlight. Your skin will thank you for it. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen even when you’re sitting in the shade! Because clouds and parasols won’t block out the UV rays completely and buildings, water and even sand will reflect those rays in shady spots.
A table fan is the perfect companion for hot days. It doesn’t take up much space and it can deliver a cool breeze wherever you set it up: indoors on a bedside table or outside while you are enjoying an aperitif. Devices that have a USB connection like our Tim can even be taken with you to cool you down when you need them to. These are real «must-haves» for the summer, no matter whether you are staying at home or off on your travels.
TIPS FOR HOT DAYS
Lower roller shutters
In order to stop it getting too hot indoors, after carrying out periodic ventilation in the morning, you should close the windows and lower roller shutters as described above. The same applies outside: lower sun blinds or put up a parasol early so that a shady spot doesn’t get hot too quickly.
On very hot days, what we all want is to cool down. Not everyone has air-conditioning as it is not allowed to be installed in some places. That’s no problem as a fan is the perfect alternative – or perhaps even a better one. A fan circulates the existing air, creating a pleasant breeze that has a cooling effect on the skin. Fans come in all sizes and colours and have different levels of performance and functions – there’s a model to suit every need. Tip: Enjoy the cooling effect with your eyes closed – you might imagine yourself sitting on a beach somewhere.
Breathable clothing made of absorbent fibres such as cotton or linen, for example, provides the best protection against the sun on hot days and prevents the risk of overheating. Clothing should not be too tight and should be changed as soon as it becomes soaked with perspiration in order to prevent you from catching a cold.
It gets hot at home too in the summer and on hot days, our bodies need sufficient fluid. You should drink water but make sure that is not too chilled. Anyone who finds water boring can spice it up by adding a slice of cucumber, lemon or lime, a piece of fruit or peppermint leaves for a refreshing, thirst-quenching drink. If a drink is too cold, the body will try to compensate for the difference in temperature and warm up as a result. For that reason, soft drinks should be consumed at room temperature. For the ultimate holiday feeling, you can drink peppermint tea just like they do in countries in the southern hemisphere where it gets extremely hot. It both cools you down and refreshes you, as the Bedouins know. Alcohol should be avoided altogether as it can cause dehydration.
On hot days, you should avoid heavy meals as they put a strain on the digestive tract which requires more energy and generates heat. Light foods such as vegetables, fruit and salad are kind on the stomach, make you less tired and are both healthy and delicious.
Cooling the wrists
Put your wrists under the cold tap for a few minutes from time to time. This will stimulate blood circulation and have a cooling effect.
A hot/cold shower can help stop the body from overheating. The idea is to play hot water on your legs followed by cold water. You should do this several times and finish with cold water.
Siesta is king
And because you are on holiday, having a «siesta» is a perfect idea. Avoid the midday sun, have a brief lie down instead and then enjoy the afternoon sun later on. Take it easy – holidays are all about relaxing!
CREATE THAT HOLIDAY FEELING
Rediscover your neighbourhood
What do we do on holiday? To be precise, relax, unwind and discover new things. We can do that at home too. Rediscover your neighbourhood. Visit the tourism website for your region to find out the places where visitors are recommended to go. If tourists find them beautiful, locals should also enjoy them. Don’t forget to take photos – after all, you are on holiday!
If you can’t enjoy good food when you’re on holiday, when can you enjoy it!? Good food that tastes delicious is something that makes us all happy. When it comes to favourite food, we all have our own individual preference. It may be the Greek restaurant round the corner, a favourite meal at home or the thought of trying a new dish – the most important thing is that it tastes good. However on hot days, it is better to opt for light meals. What about making an «Insalata Caprese» like they do in Italy?
Take time for yourself
Have you always wanted to knit a snuggly blanket or carve a wooden figure? Now you have the time to do that. Do something that you have been wanting to do for a long time, as long as it’s nothing to do with work. Relax, unwind and take time for yourself.
You’re on holiday. Treat yourself to something that will make you happy. It doesn’t have to be anything big or even a physical object – simply something that you may have wanted for a long time and that will create happy memories of a wonderful holiday.
We wish you a relaxing, exciting and wonderful holiday at home!