Have you ever been to the South in the summer? It gets hot, real hot. And not a dry kind of heat you hear about. Lol! I always giggle a little when I hear someone say it’s 120 degrees out but it’s a “dry heat”. Does it really matter at that point?! Well, here in the South we don’t need to worry about that kind of dry heat because most of the time we have high humidity, lots of it! Today I am going to give you 10 tips to help you survive a summer in the South!
I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. And yes, it gets hot and humid there too. I remember my dad turning on our AC, closing all the blinds in the house, and yelling at us if we kept going in and out of the house. I remember the exact phrase he used, “do you live in a barn”. Did anyone else’s parents use that on them?!
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1. Head to the Water!
Believe it or not, if you are close to the shoreline or water you will get a nice breeze a lot of the time which helps with the heat. The air is less stagnant. If you are inland, it tends to be a lot hotter, and you don’t always get a breeze. So, if possible, head towards the water.
2. Stay Hydrated
I know you are getting tired of hearing this but drink your water! This time of year, it is so important to stay hydrated. In the heat of summer, we can quickly become dehydrated. Our bodies “naturally” try to cool down by sweating and we can become dehydrated. So, it is important to drink a little more water in the summertime, so this does not happen. Carry it with you everywhere you go.
You should always consult your physician on what is best for you but generally, these are the guidelines for how much water you should drink a day. For men, it is recommended about 3 liters. For women, it is recommended about 2 liters a day.
3. Find Some Shade
Shade is your best friend in the summertime! If you are going to the beach for the day don’t forget the umbrella! You can always put it down if you want to get some sun, but you will wish you brought it on a hot day!
*Tip: Check the SPF protection on your beach umbrella. Not all are created equal. Some let UV rays penetrate and you do not want that.
4. Start Your Day Early
If you are planning outdoor activities, I recommend you go early in the day or late. If you aren’t going to be on the water, it gets really hot in the afternoon. Another thing to consider is that it is very common to get afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. Just another reason to plan your activities in the morning!
5. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
The UV index in the South during the summer is typically VERY high. You can get a sunburn quickly. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you use a minimum of 30 SPF when going out in the sun, apply 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and apply immediately after being in the water. They say the higher SPF you use it can sometimes give you a false sense of security. You can read that article here if you would like to.
6. Service Your AC
How often do you have your AC serviced? It can prolong its life, and it might save you a few days of living without it this summer. It is typically recommended that you have it serviced before the temperature gets hot out. So, springtime would be ideal. In doing this they might be able to foresee any problems before they happen.
7. Don’t Forget the Umbrella!
Remember me telling your earlier in the post that we get a thunderstorm nearly daily in the afternoon in the South? The hot weather and humidity are the perfect combination for them. It is a good idea to carry an umbrella in your car or bag, so you don’t get drenched. On a positive note, sometimes they pass very quickly, and you might even see a rainbow!
8. Get a Sunshade for Your Car
What are the color of your car seats? Do you have cloth or leather seats? Have you ever touched your steering wheel and it felt like it was on fire?! If you have a dark color seat or even leather seats, I am sure you have sat down in your shorts and jumped right back out because they get so hot! I know they can be ugly but a sunshade for the windshield in your car is a great solution if you cannot park in the shade. It is amazing the difference that it can make!
9. Close Your Blinds
Yes, my dad really did close every blind in our house in the summer to help keep the house cool. He kept our house buttoned up tight! I totally understand it now. It does make a difference if you can close your blinds or shutters, whatever you have on your windows if the sun is coming in that side of your home. We also keep our ceiling fans on to help circulate the air.
10. Have a Sense of Humor
Finally, try to keep a sense of humor during the summer! It can be a very cranky time of year for a lot of people. Not everyone handles it well. The heat doesn’t seem to bother some people while others can’t stand being hot at all. Try doing something nice for someone else, maybe leave your mail carrier a cold bottle of water or stop and give some lawn service workers one! Random acts of kindness make everyone happier!
What are your thoughts on the summertime heat? Are you a lover or hater of it? Do you have any tips that can help the rest of us survive a summer in the South?