1. go to air conditioned places esp. in the afternoon when the build up is worst. libraries, bookstores, some cafes, community centers, senior centers. i've noticed if i don't go to an air conditioned place for a few hours in the afternoon i'm really fucked by nightfall.
2. the stuff that's getting to you is "particulate matter", little tiny particle of burning trees. It's listed as "PM 2.5" on air quality sites. n95 filter masks- a two pack is $9 at lowe's. filter out particulate . the masks need to offgas for a bit to get rid of chemical smell once u take them out of plastic. there's also these kind of resperators: http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Medium-House-Hold-Multi-Purpose-Respirator-65021HA1-C/202080143 which are $30/40 bucks at Lowe's or Home Depot. They will increase the staring you have to deal with but will filter out more
3. drink a shit ton of water. staying hydrated keeps your lungs plumped and helps them deal with this situation, and also helps you flush toxins.
4. lack of oxygen creeps up and femifests for me as fatigue/ exhaustion, brain fog, confusion, slowness and/or panic. it can also flare any kind of inflammatory condition. if you are feeling these things, that's why. anti anxiety herbs help. go easy on yourself if you're not getting as much done as you wish you were.
5. if you can access a HEPA air filter, run it with your windows shut in a room with a door you can close.
6. stay super hydrated. did I say that already?
7. inhalers, claritin and flonase can help prevent asthma attacks and ease the feeling that you can't get enough air. hit an inhaler as soon as you're feeling it.
8. take liver cleanse herbs like dandelion and milk thistle
9. taking a shower helps me feel like I'm detoxing
10. if you start greying out (feeling like you can't breathe or are about to pass out), call or go to a clinic or urgent care or the er, you might need a nebulizer.
11. you can get free passes to a bunch of museums though the Seattle public library if you have a library card. museums are air conditioned.
12. try doing steams and drinking teas made out of lung supporting herbs like mullein, thyme and elacampane.
13. http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/ is the best smoke blog I've found, with updates on predicted weather changes, maps and lots of info.
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This work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.