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An expert’s guide to surviving summer

ILLUSTRATION BY TWYLAMAE

WORDS BY GIULIA BRUGLIERA

Pens out.

Ah yes, welcome to summer. The season that Instagram would have you believe is abundant with açai bowls, bikinis worn too high and a disproportionate number of young female models at the beach.

In real life, summer is much more awkward. It’s full of awkward flirting, pounding hangovers and disgustingly excessive consumption of both food and drink. It’s a season not in which we thrive, but through which we must survive.

So please allow me to present to you an expert’s guide* to surviving the uncomfortable three months that many call summer.

(*Please note I am the expert. The expert is me).

Onwards!

The hangover

Summer hangovers are inarguably the worst of all hangovers. Period. As any scientist/smart person will tell you, the symptoms of a hangover are largely brought on by the dehydration caused by alcohol. So naturally this is unhelped by the 30C nights we experience during summer. Fortunately, summer also blesses us with an array of seasonal gifts that greatly aid a hangover. Let me introduce you to the following.

  • Hydralyte icy poles. These are honestly life changing. Yes, they are designed for kids but they are glorious in the summer when you can’t bear the thought of water. Pro tip: eat one in bed before you go to sleep and wake up hangover-free.
  • Face mist. The heavens opened up and God gave directly to the people when the world first brought us face mist. Essentially, it’s special water in a bottle that ‘mists’ (not spritzes) and feels divine on thirsty skin. It’s also got rehydrating properties, meaning it will give you that Kardashian glow.
  • New season sunglasses. NB: For this to work, they must be new season. The logic is this: tinted sunglasses are more fashion forward, thus more distracting for those around you, meaning no one will even notice you’re hungover (genius). May I suggest these cat eye frames? Alternatively, opt for a bright af T-shirt.
  • Water-slicked hair. Nothing will make you look fresh faced like dunking your head into water and slicking your hair back with super strong hair ties. NOTHING.
  • A flexible water bottle. I mean this in the most literal sense of the word. A good water bottle should hold your water yet flex around your beach bag when you’re done drinking – get yourself a bottle that will do both. Try this foldable water bottle and let us know your thoughts.
  • Swimming clothes. No, no, not bathers. We’re talking clothes that you can swim in, so hungover ol’ you doesn’t have to get changed for the pool/beach/garden hose. These Poolboy Shorts ought to do the trick.

The binge watch

A natural companion to the hangover (but notably not a prerequisite), the binge watch is one of the greatest guilty pleasures of summer. Because really, when the sun is shining it’s hard not to feel guilty about it.

Fortunately there are a few ways to mitigate the guilt of spending a nice sunny day indoors. A few pointers, if I may.

  • Snacks. Arguably the most crucial factor of any successful binge watching session. Popcorn is good, but may I suggest levelling up with corn chips and a fresh guacamole? You could even take it all the way and load up a full-blown charcuterie board. You do you. Chase your dreams.
  • Movie/TV selection. I put to you this is merely the second most important aspect of a successful binge watch, but important nonetheless. It’s also the hardest to get right. It’s too easy to find yourself in a state of indecision and anxiety choosing between Rom Com and Thriller, making the whole binge watching endeavour feel futile. But alas, I have found a nifty coin that will make the decision for you. Now put your feet up and relax bb.
  • Trackies. These are a non-negotiable for binge watching (unless of course, you opt for sleepwear). Minimise the guilt and feel less slobbish by opting for a tapered pair that is also acceptable to wear outside the house. Here! I found some for you. Pro tip: go the whole hog and add some socially acceptable slippers too.

The first date

You’ve heard of ‘cuffing season’ right? It’s what the Internet has re-named winter, as boys and girls look for a partner to tie down or ‘cuff’ for the season.

Well, summer is the opposite. In these few months, the people want to be social. Very social! Meaning yes, there are a lot of first dates. These can be fun, but mostly they’re just very awkward, so please use the below to help you through.

  • Buy something new. They say if you feel good, you look good and if you’re anything like me, you feel good when you look good. So go on, treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive either. This little summer dress will set you back an easy $30 and will give you enough space for a little champagne bloat.
  • Write down your regrets. Regret can be a powerful thing, consuming your mind for the next few days as you replay an awkward interaction in your mind over and over again. Like when your date went for the kiss and you felt a handshake was appropriate?? Trust me, a regrets list (like this) does wonders for helping you move forward.
  • Bring a mirror. Honestly, when it comes to summer dates, you never know where you’ll end up and therefore, whether a will be mirror available. I’m not saying this out of vanity. It’s more to enable you to subtly check whether there’s leftover food in your teeth after your picnic on the beach. See? There are no mirrors at the beach.


Christmas lunch

If you get to nap after Christmas lunch, congratulations. You win! For many, however, separated parents, partners or grandparents mean the better part of Christmas is spent in the car travelling between locations. This, sadly, means no nap for you. Try these instead.

  • A pants expander. I don’t know how the Nobel Prize is awarded but I feel like the inventor of the pants expander is a deserving recipient. The pants expander looks a little something like this and allows you to undo your pants (or skirts) without really undoing them. This means more breathing room, more oxygen to your brain and an increased ability to go longer without a nap… without straight up unzipping your fly.
  • Jokes. Christmas is a weird time. People who have almost nothing in common come together once a year, meaning it’s easy for conversation to run stale. This, in turn, may cause relatives to ask a stream of questions centred on your own inadequacy. What better to divert conversation than jokes? Everyone loves a joke. Even the Christmas crackers want you to make a joke! Everyone will soon be laughing and not at all asking you why you still live at home.

Yes, summer is a trying period. To get you through it with ease, Factorie has put together its own Summer Survival Kits for Binge Watching, First Dates, Christmas Lunch and Hangovers. Or feel free to email me for any further expert tips.

I’m available all summer. 

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