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Monthly Spotlight: Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

What is it?

According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the summer solstice also marks the beginning of summer, which lasts until the autumnal equinox (September 22 or 23 in the Northern Hemisphere, or March 20 or 21 in the Southern Hemisphere). The day has also been celebrated in many cultures. For example, in Scandinavia, the holiday of Midsummer’s Eve is observed on a weekend near the time of the solstice. --Britannica

Prepping

  • Tune up your HVAC system
    • An inefficient HVAC system can raise your summer cooling costs
    • This includes changing the filters
  • Rotate ceiling fans counterclockwise
    • This will help circulate cool air and push it down into your room, creating a cooling effect throughout
  • Plug air leaks
    • Check your home’s attic, windows, and exterior doors for gaps, and seal them before the summer months
      • It'll also help your utility bills
  • Deep clean your outdoor grill
    • Scrub the grates with a grill brush and then soak them in a mixture of 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda
    • Dust off any cobwebs from your grill, which can cause a flare-up if they ignite
    • Clean the outside of the lid and bowl with soap and water. 
  • Clear out your gutters
    • Clearing out dirt and debris can help prevent water backups.
  • Check roof and siding
    • Check for post-winter rot, chips or cracks, and any damage that needs to be fixed
  • Prep for extreme weather
    • Should tornados or extreme heat come, it's best to be prepped
      • Water, non-perishable food, first aid, etc.
  • Look out for pests
    • Termites, carpenter ants, beetles, and more are coming out for the year. Best to learn how to protect your home for the season

Information was gathered from Good Housekeeping, HGTV, and Kiplinger.

Celebrate

You can take part in summer solstice traditions from around the world whether by traveling or by doing a variation of their traditions at home!

  • Dance around a Maypole -Sweden
  • Watch baseball under the midnight sun -Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Have a bonfire -Barcelona
  • Plunge into the ocean -Puerto Rico
  • Watch a towering bonfire -Norway
  • Hike and play golf through the night -Iceland
  • Native Games -Nome, Alaska
  • Watch sunlight interact with ancient monuments -Malta
  • Watch the sun align with Stonehenge -England

Information gathered from the Smithsonian Magazine.

Summer Activities

There are always those classic activities for the summer. Going to the pool, maybe some camping, but what else could you do to have a fun and interesting summer? Take a look at some of our suggestions below:

  • Go Geocaching
  • Take a nearby road trip to try new food
  • Go for a picnic
  • Stargaze
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Mini golfing
  • go to an outdoor concert or music festival
  • Ziplining
  • Make the ultimate ice cream sundae
  • Attend a community event
  • Have a backyard party
  • Host a scavenger hunt
  • Host a book club
  • Volunteer around your community

 

Summer Do Nots

There are a lot of things that can compromise your summer fun. So we have compiled a list of what NOT to do over the summer.

  • Being in the sun too much
    • Doing so can increase the risk of sunburn, sun poisoning, and skin cancer.
  • Mismanaging a Sunburn
    • Say no to ice cubes but yes to a cold, damp towel for 10-15 minutes a day
    • Apply moisturizer with aloe vera or soy
    • Drink extra water
    • Leave blisters alone
    • Take ibuprofen
  • Disregarding sunglasses
    • They can lessen the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium.
  • Swimming unsafely
    • About 10 people die daily from unintentional drowning.
      • Of these ten, two are children aged 14 or younger
    • So take swimming lessons, learn CPR, wear lifejackets, use a buddy system, and know the local weather conditions
  • Eating too many high-fat, high-sugar foods
    • Instead of chips and soda, try watermelon and yogurt parfaits
  • Some foods can increase your chances of sunburn
    • Try some food with anti-inflammatory properties instead
      • Berries, tomatoes, carrots, salad greens, fatty fish (like salmon), almonds, and green tea
  • Neglecting water intake
    • If too much water is lost, and not allowing the body to cool itself off, may lead to more serious health problems such as heat exhaustion and stroke
    • For every hour out in the sun, drink at least one 16-ounce bottle of water. Also, drink a minimum of 64 ounces per day all year
  • Forgetting about ticks
    • Lyme disease is a bacterial illness spread by ticks, specifically from a black-legged, deer tick.
    • If partaking in outdoor activities, wear protective clothing. Tall socks and long pants and shirts are great examples of keeping skin covered and less accessible to ticks.
    • Spraying on insect repellant is another way to reduce ticks, along with regular and thorough tick checks.

Protect Yourself

  • Wash your face
    • Opting for an antibacterial wash can alleviate summer skin issues like acne.
    • When you sweat, your skin produces bacteria that exacerbate acne.
      • An antibacterial face cleanser will neutralize these natural bacteria.
  • Sunscreen
    • A broad-spectrum SPF containing zinc or titanium protects exposed skin from harmful UV and UVB rays
    • Don’t let the clouds fool you. You still need to apply SPF in overcast conditions.
    • Remember to apply SPF to often-forgotten areas like your scalp, ears, and the tops of your feet.
  • Stay Hydrated
    • Not only keeping your water intake higher but also add water to your skin via serums or creams
  • Fruits
    • Fruits contain vitamins and minerals that fuel your body and improve the health
      • Bonus feature: fruits with high water content, like watermelon and cantaloupe, assist in the hydration process.
  • Take care of your mental health by going outside more
    • Exposure to natural sunlight increases levels of vitamin D and serotonin, which are known to boost your mood.
      • Pick up a new outdoor hobby where you can spend 30 minutes in the sunshine
  • Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
    • It is recommended that we obtain 8-10 uninterrupted hours of sleep, as sleep hygiene is an essential component of our mental health.

 Information gathered from Florida Academy and Discovery Mood.

Summer Reading BINGO!

Summer Reading Bingo is still going!

CLICK HERE to go to the bingo page to see dates, and recommendations, and download your bingo sheet. For each square completed, you'll get a door prize, for each bingo (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) you'll be entered for the grand prize at the end of summer! Good luck!