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Daily rhythm in hot climates


Acadie
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One gift of the pandemic winter was that I got outside more--dh and I walked every day, usually in the afternoon. The exercise was great but we both felt a sense of emotional urgency too. Our winters are cold and grey, and with so much time at home it was a mental health necessity to get outside in the afternoon, when temps had warmed as much as they would for the day. Without a daily commute and tons of time schlepping people here and there, my experience of the season felt more grounded in the natural rhythm.

Now it's hot and I have the opposite impulse, to get up and out early to walk or do yard work, hunker indoors midday, and then go out again in the evening around sunset. @Sneezyone's summer dinner thread got me thinking about grilling or doing more dinner prep in the morning, too, and I thought of what my sister said about living in Athens in summer--early in the morning delectable smells wafted through her apartment building, because everyone was cooking dinner before the heat of the day set in. 

How else do people in hot/Mediterranean/siesta-based climes structure their days? I love the idea of shifting my daily routine by season more than I have in the past, and I'm curious about the traditions and collective wisdom of people and cultures adapted to the heat. 

 

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We are having a really hot above average temp summer so far.   I get the kids outside in the morning and then again when the sun sets.  When they were little it was playing in the backyard in the morning because it was shaded and then in the front in the evening with more shade.  Now that they are bigger we were doing walks in the morning, but switched to bike rides as it is a little bit less miserable with the heat.  Then we do it again in the evening.  We also do the same with the dogs.  Take them out early on a walk and then again when the sun sets.  Just potty breaks in between .

Edited by mommyoffive
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In my hot area people do just what you said, shift the outside activities to early morning and evening.  It is not unusual during the summer to find groups of kids at our local park after dark (it's well lit), and many people are out at 5-6 am to walk their dogs before the pavement gets hot.  Water activities (swimming, tubing, water parks, water bouncy houses, etc) are also popular.   There are a few places that have indoor field-type activities (indoor soccer for example).

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I live in a very hot climate. People try to do their outdoor activities early in the morning or after the sun goes gown. We have daylight savings time here which gives us more time after the sun goes down. We have a backyard pool and swim most nights starting about 6:45 and the sun goes down about 7:30. I don't want to be in the pool when it's sunny. 

We're in the hibernation stage where you don't see your neighbors at all because everyone is avoiding the heat. Everyone reappears in October. 

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I live in Hotlanta, and we've had a beautiful spring, but knowing the temps are coming I've been setting my wake-up alarm earlier and earlier. My goal is to wake up at 6:30. Right now I roll out of bed at 7:15. I'm backing up the time by fifteen minutes every two weeks.

I'm jealous of people who are early risers naturally.

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7 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I live in a very hot climate. People try to do their outdoor activities early in the morning or after the sun goes gown. We have daylight savings time here which gives us more time after the sun goes down. We have a backyard pool and swim most nights starting about 6:45 and the sun goes down about 7:30. I don't want to be in the pool when it's sunny. 

We're in the hibernation stage where you don't see your neighbors at all because everyone is avoiding the heat. Everyone reappears in October. 

We normally have that from October/November- March/April.   But now that it is so hot I am not seeing my neighbors or all the kids much either.  Everybody is inside avoiding the heat

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We get up early.  Breakfast,  then walk. Afterwards chores and getting household things done. I take kids to the pool mid morning where I sit in the shade and do planning. Home for lunch. Then we hunker down in the air conditioning for the afternoon: quiet reading time, tv, piano practice, cooking, phone calls, etc.  After dinner we spend time outside again.  Errands fit wherever needed.

That's the general summer routine at our house. 

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When I lived in Florida, many activities went until 9 or 10 at night.  It wasn't unusual for people to be sitting on porches and swimming in pools and all that late. It stayed light out very late in the summer. Good times.

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3 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

I live in Hotlanta, and we've had a beautiful spring, but knowing the temps are coming I've been setting my wake-up alarm earlier and earlier. My goal is to wake up at 6:30. Right now I roll out of bed at 7:15. I'm backing up the time by fifteen minutes every two weeks.

I'm jealous of people who are early risers naturally.

I'm definitely feeling the impulse to get up earlier. Dd15's last day of school was today, so no more driving in the morning which means I could actually get things done!

58 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

When I lived in Florida, many activities went until 9 or 10 at night.  It wasn't unusual for people to be sitting on porches and swimming in pools and all that late. It stayed light out very late in the summer. Good times.

This sounds so appealing, and it's so different from this winter when we were all ready to pack it in by 7 pm 😂

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I live where it is very hot and very humid. I can go for a walk, but now I'd come back drenched in sweat.  Even just being outside doing nothing in the shade = lots of sweating. So, we just stay inside and walk around inside. Not much fun. 

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I grew up in a very hot place.  We got up around dawn, did yard work and any necessary outside stuff.  Came in, closed up the house and shut the blinds to ease the air conditioner.  Kids played indoors or out, but adults made sure any real chores were done early so nobody had to be in the sun longer than necessary.  Naps happen.  Around 4-5pm, it was time to go swimming or hang out outside, but bedtimes are later to be able to enjoy being outside in the evening/early night, playing guitars and relaxing.

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22 minutes ago, Acadie said:

A friend who grew up in Iraq remembers her whole family taking bedrolls up to the roof on hot nights, watching the stars and telling stories until they fell asleep. 

What an amazing memory. ❤️

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I tend to cook my big meal for lunch and do easier stuff or leftovers for dinner.  I just have more cooking energy in the middle of the day and we're all home.  If I'm out in the garden when it cools off in the evening, I just don't have the steam to do involved cooking at night.  We're all home anyway, so it just works.  I started cooking this way years ago because I taught so many evening classes that it just worked better for my schedule. 

Now that it's so warm, I tend to push my evening walk to just before sunset.  I try to get out and garden in the morning, but lately the cicadas are making it miserable.  It's been raining all day and it's so nice to get a break from Brood X screaming in the trees. 

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2 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

When I lived in Florida, many activities went until 9 or 10 at night.  It wasn't unusual for people to be sitting on porches and swimming in pools and all that late. It stayed light out very late in the summer. Good times.

Yup. We'd all sheepishly say we really SHOULD get the kids inside and in bed...but it's so hard to do when it is just finally cool enough for them to actually play. Neighbors show up after dinner outside, no earlier than 6:30, then hang out in lawn chairs while kids play until dark, around 8pm. Sometimes someone would start a fire pit thing, even though it was hot, for fun and we'd stay out later. But usually, mosquitoes would chase us in by then. As soon as the dusk came they come out in force and I swear NO bug spray totally works on them. Even if it keeps them from biting you still feel and hear them all around you - yuck. 

I'd ideally be up earlier and have kids outside, then back in, then out again. But DH is a night owl and it throws us all off. It is an issue..sigh. 

So we do inside stuff in the morning, work out inside, and then swim after lunch for a few hours before going back in. Then maybe outside to do lawn work or ride bikes after dinner. 

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