• Set clocks back one hour: Eastern Standard Time begins at 2 am on Sunday, November 1. The number of pedestrian fatalities between 5 pm and 6 pm rises sharply in the days following the time change. Be especially vigilant while driving or crossing the street.
• Get a home energy audit: Ask your utility company whether it offers free or low-cost audits—or hire a professional for up to about $500. Making the suggested upgrades can reduce your bill by up to 30%.
• Plant bulbs indoors for winter cheer: Place amaryllis or paperwhite narcissus bulbs in a bowl with pebbles or marbles to keep them upright. Add enough water to make sure that the bottom of the bulb stays moist. Replenish as needed. Paperwhites should bloom within four to six weeks…amaryllis bulbs take seven to 10 weeks.
• Be alert to jaw-related pain: November is TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Awareness Month. Consult your dentist if you have jaw pain or tenderness, locking of the jaw joint, facial or ear pain and/or discomfort while chewing. Cold weather can worsen the pain.
• Keep up the exercise: Don’t be deterred by shorter, colder days. Sign up for spinning, Zumba or other high-intensity classes. Play “exergames” on video consoles such as boxing, tennis and others. Participate in a local Turkey Trot, a fun run. Check the schedule at Active.com (search “Turkey Trot”).
• Don’t gobble so much that you wobble: Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 26. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Eat a fiber-rich breakfast and lunch and a light snack before the big meal. If possible, decide in advance which foods will fill your plate. Practice kind—but forceful—ways to turn down seconds. Spend time at dinner talking instead of eating. Bonus: Conversing more and eating less will give more meaning to the holiday.
• Feast on Thanksgiving football: Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions (12:30 pm EST)…Carolina Panthers @ Dallas Cowboys (4:30 pm EST)…Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers (8:30 pm EST).