Keep Your Cool: Embrace the Changing Seasons

Keep Your Cool: Embrace the Changing Seasons

As the seasons change, so does the need to switch things up a bit. The casual, carefree days of summer inspire us to lighten up and enjoy the outdoors. Colder temps make us wrap up in warm, cozy fabrics, light the fire and hunker down inside.

As we adapt our lifestyle routines, it makes sense to do some rearranging to better weather shifts in temps. They may seem like small changes, but they can make a big difference in your comfort and safety. In some cases, they may even be a lifesaver. Here are some tips to make the switch easier.

From Balmy to Brrr

When the days grow shorter and the mercury starts to fall, it’s a good idea to remember this check list.

Don’t Underestimate the Weather
Put emergency supplies in the trunk of your car at the beginning of fall. A blanket, de-icer, drinking water and flashlight are must-haves in case a snow storm leaves you stuck on the side of a road. In certain parts of the country, you may need to switch to winter tires or outfit your tires with chains. And don’t forget to put your window scraper back in the car.

Winterize Your Home
Check the seals around all your windows to make sure warm air isn’t leaking out and cold air isn't coming in. Have your chimney cleaned to remove soot and debris. A clean chimney helps reduce the risk for a house fire. It also keeps smoke and fumes from flowing back into your home. Stock up on firewood if needed.

Bundle Up
Pull out your down comforters, wool clothing and winter sports gear. Inspect your wool items for moth damage. Check the soles of your boots to make sure they have enough tread to prevent slips and falls. Restock your sock drawer.

Eat Hearty Foods
Gather your cold weather recipes for stews, casseroles, soup and hot chocolate. Stock your pantry with staples including flour, rice, pasta, pasta sauce and shelf-stable milks that don’t have to be refrigerated. Fill your freezer with meats. The advance prep will save you time and help in the event you get snowed in at home.

From Blizzardy to Sun-Kissed

When the days grow longer and the mercury starts to rise, get ready with this checklist.

Prepare for Scorchers
Always give yourself access to water. Drink plenty of fluids. Keep bottled water in your car. Park in the shade as much as possible. Have your air conditioner inspected and be prepared if it goes out. Keep a watch on your pets, children, elderly friends and relatives. Heat can be extra dangerous for them.

Keep Cool and Summer On
Freshen up your bedding. Replace warm comforters and heavy blankets with light weight versions. Clean and replace window screens that are dirty or damaged. Check out your lawn equipment to make sure it’s ready for use. Throw away expired sunscreen and replace it with a new supply. Stash umbrellas in your car, home and office to stay dry during sudden summer downpours and so you always have portable shade.

Lighten Up Your Wardrobe
Clean all your winter clothing before you put pieces away. Store your sweaters and all wool items with moth balls in a trunk or drawer to prevent mysterious holes. Break out your cool and comfortable summer gear. Check it for excessive wear, and buy new T-shirts, shorts, bathing suits and sandals if needed.

Eat Fresh Foods
Keep extra water bottles in the refrigerator for quick grab-and-go refreshers to stay well hydrated. Stock up on fresh summer vegetables, fish, and fruits like ice-cold watermelon!

Help Your Body Adjust

When the seasons change, spend more time outdoors to help your body get used to shifts in the temperature. In the fall, go for a hike or bike ride. During spring, try planting a garden or visit an arboretum.

Fill your home and wardrobe with colors that tie in with the seasons. Red, orange and purple are great colors for fall and winter. Green, blue and pink look fresh for spring and summer. You’ll feel more in synch with nature and the changing seasons.

Want more tips? Check out this article on ways to lower stress with organization.

Sources: Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022; Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022; 20 Ways to Help Your Body Adapt to Seasonal Change, leaving site icon USA Today, 2019

Originally published 10/17/2016; Revised 2021, 2023