Making Maki is the home of Maki B. It’s where all of life’s parts meet. Figuring out the work-life balance, managing finances, navigating relationships, finding the things that give us joy, appreciating life’s journey and caring for ourselves along the way. Making Maki isn’t about finding any particular thing; it’s about always searching for the best versions of ourselves and making the most of all of life’s lessons and opportunities.

For the past few days, almost every daytime meet-up has opened with “It is hot as…” As someone who can’t stand the heat, I’m not a fan of summer weather. (Please don’t remind me of where we live; I’m well aware of our geographic location.) If I could have St. Maarten’s January temperatures year-round, I’d be a very happier camper. Despite the fact that we’re in the Caribbean, heat is heat and it can be draining, exhausting and straight up dangerous. The fact that we’re already talking about it means that we should be careful as temperatures rise. That said, here are a few friendly reminders about summer time safety.

Avoid the sun

Again, please don’t remind me of where we live. I know the sun is out here, but that doesn’t mean we have to be out in it more than is necessary. If you’re out, sit or stand in the shade whenever possible. Wear a hat if you work outdoors. Protect your eyes with sunglasses. Whatever you can do to limit your sun exposure, do it. Last, not every day has to be a beach day, but if you do find your say on the sand, sit down under a tree or an umbrella. Get your tan, but don’t get burnt. As the sun is pretty much unavoidable for us in these parts, make sure sunblock with a high enough SPF is part of your skincare routine – not just on beach day, but every day.

Keep it light

It is well documented that I live in black and navy blue. It is my personal uniform and I would never readily give it up. Despite my love for these colours, I will swap my darks for lights when the sun’s blazing. If I’m going to be out and about, I’m grabbing a light-coloured blouse or plain white T-shirt. If I’m at an occasion that requires sleeves, I’m going for an airy cotton or linen material. While the sleeves may be longer, the materials breathe better and the loose fit keeps the fabric from sticking if the sweat comes.

Stay hydrated

Water is our friend, folks. When our bodies get warm, we sweat in an attempt to stay cool. And while I love that for the most part, our bodies self-regulate and self-protect, we do have to help it out a bit. Sweat is valuable water we’re oozing out of our bodies. To make up for that loss, we should stay hydrated as much as possible. When the heat kicks up, I try my hardest to have two and a half to three litres of water daily. I don’t always hit that target, but I try my best to. I truly feel my body having a crappy response to being under hydrated so I’m committed to this one.

And then there’s alcohol

I appreciate a great drink as much as the next person, but even I have to admit that alcohol and heat don’t often mix. A few nights ago, I had a glass of white wine at an already warm restaurant and my body got even warmer. Within less than half an hour, I had to walk outside to get some breeze because I felt so warm. I didn’t even finish the wine but stayed with lemon water the rest of the night. I don’t foresee myself advocating for a Rosé free summer, but I will advocate for keeping it balanced and listening to your body. Even if you’ll be filling the summer with cold beers or pitchers of sangria, be sure to have some water in between.

The past few days have felt like solid 90-degree weather and it’s only June, so we have a few more weeks ahead of us. While we live in the Caribbean and our bodies may be somewhat used to this environment, we shouldn’t be casual about the heat. Heat exhaustion is real, especially for the youngest and oldest around us. Protect yourselves and your loved ones. Be careful and stay safe, friends.