It’s July, and it’s HOT. In this heat, it can be a challenge to park the car, walk to the mailbox and then back to the front door without feeling like your clothes are beginning to stick. So I’ll admit—it’s tempting to want to run inside the house, lock the door, crank the A/C, and plop right down in front of the TV.
Really, though, we shouldn’t sweat some sweat or try too hard to beat the heat. With a little bit of planning, it can be fun to unplug the electronics and take yourself, family and pets outside – and keep your electric bill from skyrocketing!
Dress for Success: formal clothes you wore to the office or church are going to make the heat even more oppressive. Exchange those clothes for lightweight, breathable cotton and avoid dark colors. It’s amazing how a simple wardrobe change can make you feel!
Set a Timeline: be realistic. Is it over 85 degrees Fahrenheit today? Plan a hike or a picnic with a start time and end time, so you can enjoy the outdoors without risking your health.
Pack Refreshments: your outdoor trip can be extra fun when a snack is in your future! Old-fashioned baskets or newer thermal backpacks give ample room for a comfy blanket, thermos of your favorite cold beverage and a snack or meal. Bonus: bring a camera to capture some favorite scenes.
Be Fido Friendly: Bringing your four legged friend along? Plan for your breed. My 185 lb Great Dane, Winston, will happily snooze under a tree after a short walk. Smaller breeds can be very high energy, but can entertain themselves with toys or a swim in a pond. Pack extra water and plan for your dog’s preferences, and you’ll find the entire family enjoying the afternoon.
So why not pick a convenient night in the next week and set a date? Pack dinner, games and a camera, and head to your local park, playground or nature area. One family in my neighborhood, weather permitting, has family picnic night once every week—and they find themselves looking forward to it all day long. Give it a try! It can be surprisingly easy to re-charge when you un-plug.