Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If You Can't Beat the Heat, Join It

One of the very few things (ok, the only thing) I dreaded about our move back to Texas was the heat. Granted, I grew up in Texas heat and Atlanta ain't called "HOTlanta" for nothing, but Georgia is not nearly as hot as Texas and I'm convinced that you lose heat tolerance really fast. And with actual temperatures close to or over 100 in Austin in recent weeks and the heat index soaring WAY beyond that, I was pretty much convinced I was gonna melt as soon as I crossed the state line.

But it actually has not been bad - I've learned that you've just got to modify your lifestyle. Just like it actually makes a difference to wear a hat and layer in the winter (I speak of other places - Texas, of course, doesn't have a winter), there are a few things you can do to mitigate the heat here. Things that have worked so far for us:

1. Keep all shades drawn at all times. Sure, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder all summer long, but losing my mind is preferable to suffocating from the heat.

2. Run all fans on high at all times. You may feel like you're about to blow away every time you sit/stand still, but that's better than sweltering in stillness.

3. Run all errands in the morning. Joshie, who has a vocabulary of like 2 words, added the word "hot" about 2 days after we got here. That would be to describe the buckle on his car seat after sitting in the sun all morning. It's really best to stay away from your vehicle from the hours of about noon to 9 pm.

4. Shade helps. Parking in shade will lower your internal vehicle temperature about 10,000 degrees. Standing in shade will not lower your body temperature at all, but it will delay heat exhaustion by a good 10 minutes or so.

5. Drink lots of water. Every family member has a water bottle and I fill it up before we go to the park or outside, but it never seems to be enough water. I'm getting ready to install a water cooler in the van.

6. Wear lightweight, light-colored, breathable fabrics. I'm totally bummed that my spandex catsuits aren't going to be getting much use here, but I'm probably getting too old for them anyway. It's cotton sleeveless shirts and skirts for me all the time now.

7. Humidity matters! In Houston, where it is 100% humidity year-round, you need another shower the second you step out the door in the morning. But Austin has more reasonable humidity levels and it's amazing what a little less moisture and a slight breeze will do for you. Just another one of the million reasons why Houston sucks and Austin rocks.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I wouldn't go as far as "Houston sucks"...but the humidity does suck.