The reason a lot of us live here in Florida is because we were tired of the coooooold up North. I get that. I did that. In December when I’m decorating the outside of my house for Christmas, dressed in flip flops and shorts, I know exactly why I am here. But in July when it feels like I’m walking through mud, I’m not quite sure.
It’s only the first week of June, and already we are wilting, along with our grass and shrubs. And May was no picnic, either. There are ways to try to stay cool. We all know them, but let’s review them…and try them. We must survive until house decorating time in December.
The first article I came across wanted to tell me how to survive summer without an air conditioner. We live in Florida. That is insane. I didn’t bother to read it. Instead I Googled some useful tips about how to keep your cool in steamy weather.
BetterHeath gave me a list of people most at risk. I was thinking babies and people with health issues. But no. The list was half a page long – single spaced. I guess the bottom line is we are all at risk.
The biggie is to drink plenty of water. Even if you don’t feel thirsty. Stay hydrated. My favorite is that heat and exercise are a deadly combination. That’s ok with me. I just won’t exercise until October. Unless it’s still hot.
Several sites recommend avoiding alcohol because it can make dehydration worse. I’ll take my chances.
The most obvious tip was to stay in cool and airconditioned areas. We all thought of that by ourselves. Of course, swimming and cool baths and showers are on the list. Your oven does heat up the house. So either grill outdoors or prepare something cold or no-cook. I don’t have any suggestions on these, but Google probably does.
Lifehacker has a tip for cooling your car down quickly or at least to make it more bearable. Here’s what you do: Roll down one window then open and close the opposite door a few times to cool the car down. I have not tried this one. Let me know if you do.
And if you can’t find a cool enough place, know your body’s cooling points like your wrist or neck. Apply ice cubes wrapped in a towel (I use a can of cold soda) on these pulse points, and you’ll cool down.
But you’ve gotta be alert and know the signs of heatstroke. Be careful of headaches, cramps, swelling of the hands, feet and ankles. A couple more are unusual fatigue and exhaustion or a general malaise. Dizziness or lightheadedness and incoherent speech can be tip offs, as well. So can dry, red and warm skin…or pale and cool skin.
So let’s make sure we stay cool. And if you know someone who is more susceptible to the heat, check on that person this summer. It’s the right thing to do. All I know is — I’m dreaming of a cool Christmas. Would have gone for white or cold, but we’re still in Florida, folks.
Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email email@example.com.