I don't like air conditioning. It drys out my sinuses and gives me the chills. I use it just enough to remove the humidity, then shut it off. So in this 90+ heat wave I was thinking about how we stayed cool at home and in school when I was growing up when there wasn't any air conditioning.
My mother was convinced that it was just mind over matter. One of her methods was to sit or lie quietly (at bedtime) and think "cool thoughts" - ice cubes, swimming pool, snow, ice cream. Another brilliant manuever was to get out the iron. This is such a hot job that when you stop, the air feels so much cooler. I find myself pulling out all the pillowcases and sheets and ironing for a couple hours. Afterwards I curl up in my now cooler chair and read a book or indulge in one of my "cool thoughts" and eat some ice cream.
At school, sitting in those scratchy uniforms and listening to the nun telling us to "offer it up", we learned to move slowly, ask permission to use the washroom a gazillion time a day so you can stop at the drinking fountain, AND think those "cool thoughts". We still had gym every day, outdoor recess, and were expected to concentrate and learn.