As the weather gets warmer, people wearing binders need to be careful in the heat. We’ve put together a few tips to help you stay safe and comfortable.
1. You shouldn’t wear your binder for more than 8 hours, but when the weather is warmer, it’s a good idea to wear your binder for as little time as possible. As we’re spending more time indoors, try only wearing your binder when you go out.
2. Staying hydrated has never been more important. When wearing your binder in warm weather you will sweat more than usual. It’s crucial that you drink more to replace the water you lose, so always carry a water bottle or two with you. Keep one beside your bed or on your desk, and if you struggle to remember, set a reminder every hour to drink at least one glass.
3. If you’re travelling on public transport or spending time in the sun, try to get hold of a small fan to keep yourself cool. If you can’t find one, then a spray bottle will help too. You can also get a cloth and bottle of water, or wet wipes, and hold them to your forehead and back of your neck to help cool down.
4. Avoid black clothing. Darker clothing will make you much warmer, especially if you’re wearing a black binder too. Try wearing fewer layers, light colours, and looser fitting clothing to help the air circulate and not trap as much heat close to your body.
5. If you start to feel dizzy, sick or your heartbeat gets faster, get away from direct sunlight as soon as you can. Lay down, drink plenty of water and watch out for signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. If you think you have these symptoms, tell a friend so they can watch out for you. If you can, get to a place where you can remove your binder and take a friend in case you start to feel worse.
6. Avoid exercising in your binder, especially during sunlight hours. If you need to exercise and can’t do this without your binder, wait until the sun has gone down and the temperature has dropped. Always take water with you. It is advised that you don’t exercise in your binder, even when it’s cold outside, so be careful that you can breathe properly and aren’t getting lightheaded.
Dysphoria can make things difficult, and some people struggle to go without their binder for a while, but it’s important to try out these tips as much as you can. Not everyone feels the need to wear a binder every day or even at all. If you are considering wearing one, please do so safely.