Whether you’re moving overseas or over a few state lines, it can be difficult to adjust to a drastically different climate. These transitions are fraught with tricky situations-from changing your health and beauty routines to learning how to drive in unfamiliar weather conditions. Adjusting fully will take time, but you can make assimilation quicker, safer, and more comfortable using these three tips.
1. Plan Ahead
There are plenty of plans to make during a move, but one of the most important is planning your reaction to a new climate ahead of time. If possible, your plans should include the following:
- Timing: If you move during extreme seasons, it will make your trip and transition that much more difficult. Time your move to take advantage of weather that is similar to where you’re living now. For example, if you’re moving from a cold climate to a warm, dry climate, move during your destination’s winter. Its winter will include temperatures you’re already used to whereas its summer wouldn’t.
- Equipment: When you move to a climate which will require specific gear-especially clothes-it may seem easier to stock up before you go. For some items this will work. For example, you’ll probably be able to find a reliable pair of flip flops just about anywhere. But, if you need a new winter coat, boots, or rain gear, you’ll find a broader, higher-quality selection at your new location.
- Transportation: Unfamiliar roads and extreme weather conditions can make getting around after a move more than a little intimidating. Employ a quality GPS and safe driving practices t
o prevent transportation-related injuries or damages. If you are moving to a cold climate with lots of snow and ice, be sure to winterize your car and maybe take a preparatory class to ensure you can safely maneuver slick roads.
Enlist the help of friends and family members who have experienced similar climates to help you prepare. If you don’t know anyone with relevant experience, join a community chat group or talk to members of your new homeowners association to get advice from the natives.
2. Fight the Temptation to Simulate Your Previous Climate
It can be tempting to match the climate inside your home to the climate you just left using your HVAC system. However, doing so can spread allergens and encourage bacterial growth, not to mention increase your family’s adjustment time.
Instead of trying to match an environment you’re accustomed to, change your bedding and clothes to work best with the new climate. If, for example, you moved to a town with higher humidity and temperature, switch to thinner sheets and clothes.
While a number of factors can affect your adjustment-including your age and physical fitness-it takes about two weeks for people to make the basic adjustment to changed weather conditions. To facilitate your adjustment, keep your home comfortable, but avoid using your climate control or humidifier to drastically change your home’s interior climate.
3. Make Health a Priority
Schedule an appointment with your doctor before moving to discuss how the conditions in your new home may affect your health. Schedule appointments for your children and any pets as well.
While there isn’t a trick for instant adjustment, you can support a healthy transition for each family member by minimizing the health risk posed by changes in altitude, humidity, and temperature.
For most people, decreased altitude shouldn’t cause any ill effects (except ear popping, which accompanies the initial pressure change). However, if you’re moving to a higher altitude, you may experience altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can manifest in the following ways:
- Decreased Physical Stamina: Altitude changes the way your muscles perform, including your heart and lungs. Don’t undertake any strenuous activities when you first arrive. Build up your tolerance slowly. Seek medical attention immediately if you have prolonged breathing difficulty or feel faint when performing normal activities.
- Dehydration: Because you breathe harder and sweat more at a higher altitude, you’re more likely to dehydrate. Assign each member of your family a water bottle and ensure everyone is getting enough fluids.
- Sleep Changes: Many people experience some insomnia or sleep apnea at high altitudes. Take a mild sleep aid to help you get the rest you need. If the problem persists, talk to a doctor.
- Altitude may exacerbate preexisting conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and anemia. If you have a preexisting condition, talk to your doctor before you travel.
Humidity changes may be the first thing you notice after a move. This is because the concentration of moisture in the air instantly affects your hair, skin, and respiration.
- High Humidity: High levels of humidity exacerbate allergies and respiratory conditions. Ensure your new home is well-ventilated to decrease these risks.
- Low Humidity: Lack of moisture can cause skin irritation, nose bleeds, dehydration, immune system compromises, and some breathing issues. Apply lotion to dry skin and drink plenty of fluids to counteract the effects.
You may need to change the health and beauty products you use to compensate for the changes in humidity levels. Consider purchasing a humidifier or dehumidifier to modify the levels within your home.
Temperature extremes can take some getting used to. Here are the basics of protecting your family’s health through the mercury’s highs and lows.
- High Temperatures: Hot weather increases the risk of heat stroke, burns, and heart attack. Stay hydrated and be sure to wear sunscreen when you’ll be in direct sunlight. Dress appropriately for the weather and cut your pets’ long fur so they won’t overheat either.
- Low Temperatures: When the temperature drops, the risk of hypothermia and other cold diseases increases. If you aren’t used to navigating icy walkways, you may also be injured by a slip and fall. Bundle up and walk carefully when you’re exposed to cold weather.
A move can offer exciting opportunities. Don’t let climate changes hold you back once you reach your new home. Use these tips to help you and your family feel at home, no matter how your surroundings change.