Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Ways to Beat the Summer Heat


palamut bukuFor a Texas girl plunked down on the Aegean coast, complaining about 95° weather seems wimpy.  After all, where I grew up, temperatures soared above 105° for days on end.

But that was with central air conditioning.

One of the realities of my life in the Middle East is no central AC.  I know I should be thankful for the wall units we turn on for a few hours to fall asleep at night, but lately I’ve had a bad case of the “hot grouchies.”  That’s what I call the complaining, irritable spirit that sets in after I’ve melted onto the kitchen floor with no energy to do anything by 9:00 a.m.

How to cope? Every summer I’m faced with the choice:  Will I let the hot grouchies take over or will I make up my mind to enjoy a slower pace?

Here are some ways that I cope with the summer heat:

 1. Get enough sleep

Middle Easterners stay up later in the summer, and so do my kids, which translates to a later bedtime for me. To survive, I allow myself to sleep in a bit every morning.  Some afternoons, I take a nap.  It helps me make it through the day, and keeps everyone happier.  Believe me.

 2. Let go of a clean house

You may be dealing with kids who make more messes since they’re home from school all summer. At our house we keep windows open, so the house gets dusty. I try not to go beyond minimum standards for keeping the house liveable. I can either sweat and fret trying to keep things clean, or I can imitate my neighbor and say magnanimously, “In this house we don’t do cleaning in the summer.”

3. Simplify meals

We eat lots of Mediterranean style cold vegetable salads in olive oil and fresh fruits. And isn’t ice cream one of the major groups on the food pyramid?

4. Get outside at night.

In our part of the globe, people eat dinner on their balconies. The parks are full at 11:00 p.m. Adults drink their evening tea on picnic blankets and watch the kids play.  I can learn from that!

5. Let myself just “be”

Instead of striving to stay productive during the afternoon hours, I let go of long “to-do” lists and take time to lay down with a book, write a letter, play a game with my son, or let my daughter fix my hair.

6. Take time for creative pursuits

Now is a great time for to stay indoors and work on long dreamed of projects, like organizing your family’s digital photos and having some printed.

7. Spend extra time with God

A great thing about time with God is that you don’t have to work up a sweat to do it. You can rest and have your mind renewed at the same time.  Nothing changes my attitude like sitting down for 5 minutes to pray or read scripture on a hot afternoon.

 What are your strategies for coping with summer heat?


Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

5 thoughts on “Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

  1. Encouraging words. Thanks, Betsy.

  2. Thanks for the great ideas. I find that in Cyprus where the weather is high ninties to hundred something if you want to get yard work done you have to do it in the early morning. Having a pool helps. I do agree with you idea of lighter meals and even find just freshly juiced fruit or veges the best! I think summers were created for us to take time to play with our kids, or, as in my case play with someone else’s kids and give the moms a break! I’ve honestly given up on coffee for the summer. Ice water is so much more refreshing!

    • Thanks, Devri! What you say about summers being created so we can take time to play is so refreshing! I sometimes feel guilty for playing during the summer, like I should be more productive. But you’re right! Play is important too.

  3. Needed to read this as this week everything is taking so much extra effort I feel like I’m not getting anything done or just being lazy. But reality is we are getting things done.. Espeically like #5 and #7.

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