Summer is here! While the thermometer and electric bill are battling it out to see which one climbs the highest, you’re making plans to spend time outdoors, take a vacation, and maybe even do a little gardening if you have time and can take the heat. Summer brings with it many different opportunities, but there are also many different challenges in the summer.
First, the challenges. Obviously the heat is the biggest. Depending on where you live, you may face temperatures of over 100. In some cases, it’s actually pretty unsafe to go out in the middle of the day and do strenuous labor because you can end up with heat stroke. If there’s no breeze blowing and it’s really humid, it’s especially horrible. But you can overcome this challenge with a little bit of planning. Be sure your air conditioner is ready for the summer by cutting down any weeds or grass growing up around it. You can even use the garden hose to wash out gunk from inside the unit. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating the right way (counterclockwise to pull down cool air).
Sunburn is another issue we deal with during the summer. Spending a lot of time outdoors also means spending a lot of time in direct light, and you may end up looking like a lobster the next day if you don’t prepare. First, wear a wide hat to avoid sunburn. Also wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or higher, especially if you’re going to be out for a long period of time. Some face moisturizers include a low level sunscreen, so you can protect your face from sunburn every day. If you’re going swimming or will be out around the water, you might want to get waterproof sunscreen that won’t easily wash off.
One last summer challenge: boredom! Not your boredom, since you’ll most likely still have work (even teachers often look for summer employment), but your kids will soon find themselves without much to do. Even if your kids are going to camp or doing some other summer activity, there will still be plenty of days when they’re home. Plan some activities for them to do during the day if they are old enough to stay home by themselves. If they aren’t, plan ahead for daycare or other supervision.
While there are challenges, there are also a lot of opportunities in the summer. You get to spend more time with your kids since they’re out of school, and there are many great summer activities. Concerts, festivals, outdoor theater…the list goes on and on. Take time to plan a few little weekend family trips if possible. The local zoo, aquarium, beach, or even spending the day flying kites at a local park can be a lot of fun.