While the global health situation is cooling down the air is heating up, and this can only mean one thing: summer is right around the corner! Technically, it's summer already, but let's not be nit-picky, shall we. The important thing is that it's time to go outside and meet friends again, stay up late and enjoy refreshing bevvies in the sun.

Obviously, it is great that the curve has flattened, which allows for restrictions to be loosened and in turn more freedom, but I want to stress that this does not mean the virus is no threat anymore. Please still be careful and stick to your government's safety precautions to get the most out of your summer this year. Good, I cannot be held accountable anymore, let's crack on.

Right in time for the European summer, I want to share the things I love during the hot season aka things that help me survive the unbearable temperatures.

Skin Protection

In summer, sunscreen for me is as important as the air to breathe. Being the fair type that I am, putting on protection every single morning and prepping my skin before going outside is vital. That might sound a bit drastic, but honestly, if I don't do it I turn as red as a lobster thrown into boiling water. Getting sunburnt also makes me feel like one.

If you have a darker complexion you can count yourself lucky, but I'd still recommend putting on sunscreen everywhere your skin will be exposed to the sun, as the UV-rays are going to damage your skin even if you don't get a sunburn.

My current favourite is the Hawaiian Tropic Satin Protection Ultra Radiance with SPF 30 as it doesn’t have the typical sunscreen smell and leaves your skin looking super glowy and radiant. For my face I use a moisturiser with SPF, which is as - if not more - important than the regular sunscreen.

A Good Tune

Music makes everything better. There’s nothing like a banging playlist to amplify that summer feel when you’re out on the terrace tanning and sipping on a cocktail.

I could probably put together three different summer lists classified by mood and genre, but this one is the kind of music I'm listening to most at the minute. The songs on the list belong to my absolute favourites, and while some of them are obvious summer hits, others have always at least felt like summer to me.

Find the list on Spotify and Apple Music.

(album cover artwork: Sharlene Perkins - @sharleneartsy on Instagram)

Drinks for Day and Night

Staying hydrated is always important, however, during summer our bodies will probably need more water than usual, and sometimes we simply forget to drink enough throughout the day which can cause headaches and might leave us feeling exhausted. A fun way to ensure a sufficient fluid supply is to prepare some drinks that are more exciting than plain water. My favourites are:

  • Cooled water with chopped fruit or veggies Just chop up your favourite fruits or vegetables (apples, lemons, watermelon, cucumber, etc.), throw them in water, add some mint or basil and chuck it all in the fridge to let sit and cool overnight. For sweetness add syrup (optional). If you want more flavour, simply use tea instead of water.

  • Iced coffee Not just available at Starbucks. Brew your regular coffee, put in the fridge overnight and serve the next day with some milk and ice cubes.

For a chilled summer evening on the weekend, you might want to resort to an alcoholic drink to sip on while watching the sun set or chatting away with your friends. My absolute favourite summer cocktails always have been and probably always will be:

  • Moscow Mule Vodka, ginger ale, cucumber, mint, crushed ice or ice cubes Put some cucumber slices in an empty glass and crush slightly. Load up your glass 3/4 full with ice, pour 50ml (one and a half shots) of vodka, then fill up with ginger ale. Stir together and garnish with thinly cut cucumber slices and mint. For more spice use ginger beer instead of ginger ale.

  • Aperol Spritz Aperol, Prosecco, sparkling water, an orange, ice cubes Load up your glass with ice cubes and combine Aperol and Prosecco in a 1:2 ratio. Top up with a dash of sparkling water (optional) and garnish with an orange slice.

  • Lillet Wild Berry Lillet Blanc, Schweppes Russian Wild Berry, frozen raspberries, ice cubes Put a few ice cubes in your glass together with some of the frozen berries. Then pour the Lillet Blanc and the Schweppes Wild Berry in a 1:2 ratio.

The Fridge

Keeping your cool can be a real task in life, but especially so during summer. On the hottest days of last year I would just lie on the bed like a starfish, dangerously closely resembling Patrick Star slowly drying up under the heat of the lamp in Shell City.

The only thing you can do in these moments is lose all your clothes, open wide the window and wait for the night's soft, cooling breezes to deliver your suffering soul.

What last summer's living hell has taught me is to always keep an arsenal of cooling supplies ready for use. What I mean by that is to stuff your fridge and freezer with all things imaginable so you always have a cooling aid at hand when you need one, such as:

  • Water spray I'm pretty certain everybody has heard of these little life-savers. If you haven't, I'm surprised you're still alive. You can buy them everywhere you can get toiletries.

  • Skin care Yes, keep your moisturisers, toners, face mists and rose waters in the fridge to give you extra freshness when doing your skin care routine.

  • Wet cloths Perfect for starfish-situations. A damp cloth alone will probably do as well, but for a better cooling effect put them in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.

  • All kinds of drinks Always put your drinks back in the fridge, don't let them sit outside. I know some say that hot drinks can really help when the temperatures are unbearable, but honestly, drinking hot tea at 30 degrees will put you off it for the rest of your life.

The list goes on. Basically, you can put everything in there that can serve as a cooling aid. I once put my silk jammies in there before going to bed, no joke. You best believe it was the best night's sleep I'd had in a while.

I'd love to hear your summer favourites. What's your trick to stay cool during the hot season? Do you have a favourite summer song or cocktail? Book recommendations? Let me know in the comments!