Are You Hot?
It's 112 F but..........It's a "dry" heat
I looked at the thermometer on the north side of my shed yesterday afternoon.It read 112 F.Now,I don't care what you say about "dry heat", that is HOT! The grass is brown and crunchy, the leaves are drying and falling from the trees,that is ,what's left after the grasshoppers have eaten their share anyways, and it's only July. There are cracks in the ground so big that you can put your foot in.So, be careful not to trip or drop anything, no telling how far down it will go.There are burn bans all around due to the fire danger. No need to fire up the bbq anyways, just leave your food out in the sun and it will cook in due time.
No need to pack up and move north, at least not yet! There are a few things you can do to help you survive this seemingly unending heatwave.
So how do you "beat (or bear)the heat"?
1. Stay out of it!
I know this may sound a bit too obvious, but you'd be surprised.....Seriously, not all of us can stay out of it though and this is the difficult reality. We can try to get indoors for intermittent periods. Even if there is no air conditioning ,a fan and getting in a shaded environment can really help.
2. Lighten up the wardrobe.
Light weight clothing and depending on the conditions you are working in, layering a knit shirt under can actually hold your sweat and help to keep you cooler, especially if there is any breeze. In nonwork conditions though, just something loose and light will be most comfortable.And yes, even cooler than naked.
3.Lots and lots of liquids.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This cannot be stressed enough.Dehydration can be so detrimental to your health, you don't even want to go there. It can damage your organs! Whether it is water, sports drinks, flavored water, iced tea, lemonade, or juice drinks, they will all help to keep you hydrated. It is best to keep carbonated sodas and alcohol to a minimum though.
You have to learn to pace yourself and just simply slow down. I know we tend to want to "get it done" and move on, but if you have a heat stroke the only thing that will "get done" is you.
Keeping it cooler indoors
1.To lighten the burden on your a/c close of the vents and close the doors to rooms you are not using for at least part of the day or night. This will help to keep the space you are utilizing much cooler with less strain on your unit as well as your electric bill.
2.Use ceiling fans and be sure you have them spinning in the right direction, counter clockwise for summertime, clockwise for winter. One direction pulls the air up and around and the other pushes the air from the ceiling down and around.
3.For a smaller area a circulating fan can make things alot more comfortable. If you have a small desk fan you could use that to blow the heat generated by your electronics in another direction.
4.Clean or change the a/c filter frequently or as needed.
5.Close the curtains. If you are like me, you love to let the light in and be able to see outdoors, but sometimes we just have to do otherwise. Light colored curtains seem much more cheerful,to me anyways, so I don't feel like I'm closed up in the dark.
6.Close the door.
I know that sounds pretty stupid, but what I mean is limit the number of times it is opened. Each time that door opens you have an exchange of air. The hot air comes in and the cold air goes out.The kids will just have to learn to remember to take everything with them that they need when they go out and same for dad and everyone else. Dogs may like having a "revolving door" but even they need to stay in or stay out for a certain length of time.
Fun time cooling
On the weekends or for those of us who may be fortunate(or unfortunately unemployed)to be free all week,go swimming. If you don't have a pool of your own or a nearby beach or lake, try the community swim spots. Most communities nowadays have a family health center, a ymca or ywca, or community colleges, universities or other schools have swim facilities available. Some will be free others may have a small fee, but what better way to cool off. If it is indoors, even better, because you don't have to coat yourself with sunblock.
For those with a bit more to splurge, go to a local hotel with a pool and spa facilities. Close to home ,but still a get away for just the cost of a hotel room for a night.Relax and take advantage of all the amenities. You'll feel relaxed and be recharged for the coming work week. Sometimes just a little get away like this can be so beneficial. Just what the doctor ordered!
If you're not into swimming and such maybe a day at a local museum,gallery,theatre or such will be more to your liking. You will cooled by the a/c, get to see all sorts of interesting things, be around other people of like interest and should have an enjoyable time. Follow it up with a tall cool beverage and conversation.