How Walmart+ saved me during the worst heat wave of the summer

·7 min read

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Savior of summer: Walmart+, the life-changing delivery service. (Photo: Getty Images)
Savior of summer: Walmart+, the life-changing delivery service. (Photo: Getty Images)

Summer is not my season. I mean, it would be if I lived in, say, Jennifer Lopez’s latest Miami mansion tucked between beach and pool. I’d spend mornings on the sand, afternoons in the deep end, and evenings with my toes grazing the water, Ben leaning in a nearby doorway, marveling at my age-defying beauty. Alas, I am a mere mortal with a modest landlocked home, and nothing but a garden hose to provide relief when temps soar.

There’s more to it, though. Super-hot days sap my strength and make me blue. I recently learned that I’m not alone. The New York Times reported that seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which traditionally referred to the “winter blues” hits some people during another season: Summer. Winter SAD is about lack of sunlight. Summer SAD is about oppressive heat. It manifests in mood drops and lethargy.

So when a serious heat wave hit the northeast, where I live, during a particularly demanding work week, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt depleted, down, and useless. Yet I had to remain super-productive at my job, while doing all the normal life stuff—cooking, cleaning, errands.

What ultimately saved me? Walmart+, the delivery service I had signed up for months back. Not familiar? Walmart+ is kind of like Amazon Prime. For a small flat fee — $13 a month or $98 a year — you get free shipping on unlimited orders — including orders on groceries. You receive your stuff fast — overnight, or in some cases, the very same day. There are no added fees. And signup is easy; a risk-free trial gives you 15 days, and a quick three-question survey will tack on two more weeks.

Cool runnings

AireMax Portable Air Conditioner

This portable cooling unit also works as a heater. (Photo: Walmart)
This portable cooling unit also works as a heater. (Photo: Walmart)

Sometimes it takes an emergency to motivate me to take the plunge with an essential expense — and 98 degrees, with a heat index of 102 is just that emergency. I check the forecast, and things are about to get even worse, so I sign on to walmart.com and finally (finally!) search for the standing air conditioner my bedroom needs. With weird, small, high windows that won’t accommodate a normal unit, the room has always been a challenge in summer. We generally employ an elaborate — and inefficient — system involving an AC in another bedroom and two fans in doorways, meant to transport cool air. As you can imagine, it’s not exactly Einstein-level thinking. Time to take the leap.

I find this portable AC with great reviews, which can handle up to 500 square feet — and, thanks to Walmart+, it can be in my hot little hands (literally) the next day. I feel better already.

Shop it: AireMax Portable Air Conditioner, $400, walmart.com

Spring Bloom Wavy Luxury Spa

Soft, absorbent and quick-drying. Check, check, check. (Photo: Walmart)
Soft, absorbent and quick-drying. Check, check, check. (Photo: Walmart)

Not to complain more about my odd-old-charming house, but because it’s low-lying, indoor humidity is a big problem. In summer, after showers, towels take forever to dry. I know this is part of the reason the heat is so bad (“it’s not the heat—it’s the indoor humidity!”) A friend recommended these quick-dry towels, but I had not gotten around to buying them. Now I grab them, in the prettiest pale blue. The color I will (one day!) paint my bathroom walls. It’s good to have goals!

Shop it: Spring Bloom Wavy Luxury Spa (six-piece), $33 (was $45), walmart.com

Movsou Portable Neck Fan

Looks like headphones, works like a mini double fan. Literally so cool! (Photo: Walmart)
Looks like headphones, works like a mini double fan. Literally so cool! (Photo: Walmart)

Okay, bedroom and bathroom are radically improved. These days I’m still working from home, at the kitchen table — not the coolest locale; the room is sunny and is air-conditioned only by association (as my bedroom used to be). So my own personal comfort is a concern. I find this wearable USB-charged neck fan on walmart.com. Wha? Who even knew such a wonder existed?

Shop it: Movsou Portable Neck Fan, $29 (was $37), walmart.com

I rationalize this somewhat indulgent purchase by saying I will share it with others in my household, but I know, without a doubt, this item is mine alone. To assuage my guilt, I send one as a gift to my daughter who is experiencing a heat wave on the opposite coast. Also? This brilliant device is on sale, down from $37 to $29.

Hunger games

Strawberries are optional but oh-so-welcome. (Photo: Getty Images)
Strawberries are optional but oh-so-welcome. (Photo: Getty Images)

You know how it’s hard to find something you feel like eating in extreme heat so you just wander to the freezer and grab the Super Fudge Chunk ice cream and dig in with a tablespoon till you can’t even feel your feelings anymore? No? Just me? Well, whatever, those are the tendencies I’m dealing with when I place a grocery order. Did you even know Walmart+ enables you to get same-day delivery of fresh foods? It’s true, and it’s life-changing.

I order, among other things, watermelon, arugula and feta cheese for my favorite sweet-spicy-salty summer salad.

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Doctors say pour liberally — this is the “good fat” they’re always raving about. (Photo: Walmart)
Doctors say pour liberally — this is the “good fat” they’re always raving about. (Photo: Walmart)

I stock up on healthy snacks like hummus and carrots to break up visits to my ice cream stash. I load up on tuna and sardines and bread for no-cook meals. And I re-up my supply of good olive oil.

Shop it: California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (25.4 ounces), $10, walmart.com

Indoor spa day

The weather woman on the local news promises high temps through the weekend. I have Saturday afternoon off, and I’m determined to give myself an official break, even if I can’t comfortably leave the house. After the big AC purchase (worth it!) I need to stick to a tiny budget for my micro-staycation, so I get creative.

The Vanishing Half : A Novel by Brit Bennett

A great story is just as good in an air-conditioned living room as it is on a sandy beach. (Photo: Walmart)
A great story is just as good in an air-conditioned living room as it is on a sandy beach. (Photo: Walmart)

First up, a great novel. I’ve heard amazing things about The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett (HBO bought the rights immediately). It’s about a pair of twins who go different ways. I pop it into my Walmart cart.

Shop it: The Vanishing Half : A Novel by Brit Bennett, $19 (was $27), walmart.com

Dream Pairs Women's Arch Support Soft Cushion Flip Flops

The footwear equivalent of a lush spa robe. (Photo: Walmart)
The footwear equivalent of a lush spa robe. (Photo: Walmart)

Next up, a treat for may always aching feet. I snap up a pair of these five-star-rated arch-supportive flip-flops. They’ll be great out in the real world. Meanwhile they lift my mood from the bottom up, with cushy, cooling comfort as I pad around inside.

Shop it: Dream Pairs Women's Arch Support Soft Cushion Flip Flops, $30, walmart.com

Cleen beauty Glow Mist with Coconut Water and Hibiscus

Smells like vacation, feels like the kindest, gentlest wake-up call ever. (Photo: Walmart)
Smells like vacation, feels like the kindest, gentlest wake-up call ever. (Photo: Walmart)

I scroll for one more tiny delight. This coconut-hibiscus cooling facial mist, plus a couple of cucumber slices on the eyes, is as much of a beauty treatment as I can handle right now. And at $7, the price is right.

Shop it: Cleen beauty Glow Mist with Coconut Water and Hibiscus (4.4 ounces), $7, walmart.com

Sweet relief

Four days after hellfire touched down, a massive thunder storm erupts. Heat wave broken. I’m trapped inside for another reason (um, biblical bolts of lightning). But I don’t mind. Indoors has become a haven, not just from the heat but from all manner of uncooperative weather.

With the help of Walmart+, I have not only conquered this dramatic summer week (brought to you by climate change), but I’ve also propped my home to take me through my SAD season feeling strong, centered, and cheerful. Now, from under a cotton throw in my well-chilled bedroom, I find myself praying for continued rain. I need to see how this book ends. I guess the rest of the world is right: Summer is awesome.

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