Surviving Sweltering Summer Temperatures

Summer in St. Louis isn't an experience I would recommend to a friend. It's my hometown--and I guess you could say that, even with asthma, I'm accustomed to the muggy, hot weather. I wouldn't go so far as to say I enjoy it. However, I own a big floppy hat, buy sunscreen in bulk quantities, and wouldn't dream of a home without air conditioning.

It's very hot outside

It's presently our first excessive heat warning of the summer. Highs over 100F air temperature (near 40C for the rest of the world), with humidity at least 30-40%, it feels like walking out into a sauna. This is also a time of the year when we tend to have poor air quality, often yellow or orange on the air quality index. All of this adds up to me curling up in the air conditioning.

I feel like I get worse cabin fever in the summer than during a snow storm. I think it's harder for me to know that the roads are drivable. It's just my lungs and my aversion to heat exhaustion keeping me indoors.

Hot weather tips for people with asthma

My favorite ways to pass the time during dangerously hot weather:

  1. Knit. I'm a pretty serious knitter. This is a go-to activity whenever I'm sitting still. Substitute your craft of choice.
  2. Clear out the closets of clothes I don't wear. I might as well tidy up my wardrobe to include only what I actually wear and like. Ditto for the bookshelves and tchotchkes. If I'm going to be spending time indoors I might as well be surrounded by things I enjoy.
  3. Go through the "to file bin" and file important papers in their spot. While I'm going through here I also look for things that can be fed into the shredder.
  4. Read a book. It's a great time to catch up on books I've been meaning to read. I sometimes even borrow audiobooks from the library to make other tidying tasks go more quickly.
  5. Binge watch TV. I borrow seasons on DVD from the library or put autoplay on my favorite streaming service and hang out on the couch.
  6. Prep meals ahead of time and freeze them. I like to take advantage of the garden harvest and farmers market finds to prepare meals for later. While I don't tend to do the actual cooking during especially hot weather, I will do all the peeling and chopping and measuring out things. I write the dish name and what is left to do in permanent marker on the Ziploc or a piece of tape on the container.
  7. Video chat, call on the phone, or write letters to friends who live out of town. It is always nice to take this chance to catch up with friends who I haven’t seen in awhile.
  8. Clean out my inbox and other digital file stores. Just like a freshly cleaned house is oddly satisfying, getting my digital house in order makes me feel good.
  9. Check out a museum or catch a movie at the theatre. Several of the museums in town are free or have discounted admission on certain days. One of the movie theatre chains does discounts when the heat index is above a certain value. I take this chance to give my home’s air conditioner a break while taking in a film or an exhibit I’ve been meaning to see.

Is it fall yet?

Over all I’m ready for green air quality and much more pleasant outside temperatures. Summer just isn’t my deal. How do you like to beat the heat?

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