Summer is often thought of as a time for fun, play, and adventure. If you’re a parent, the kids are out of school and itching to go exploring. For those in colder climes, summer is when the snow is finally gone for good and it’s time to enjoy the parks and hiking trails. When it comes to those living with a chronic illness, summer can feel like both a time for renewal and frustration.
It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game. When it seems like everyone else around you is coming out to romp around in the sun, the physical limitations of chronic conditions such as Lyme disease or diabetes can feel overwhelming. If you’re able to center your focus on the benefits you can personally get from these next few months, though, you can leave those negative emotions in the dust.
Getting Vitamin D
It requires a bit of a balance to maximize the health benefits while avoiding potential health hazards, but the summer sun is an excellent source of vitamin D. It’s especially important if you tend to spend the colder months indoors due to aching joints or the muscle tension that being cold can cause. Proper sun protection is a must, but getting a few extra minutes a day with direct sun exposure to your skin may improve your health as well as your mood. These benefits can even provide the mental and emotional energy to enjoy the rest of the summer fun.
You’ve heard it all before about how exercise helps with the symptoms of chronic illness, but it’s tough to wake up early just to hit the gym before the sun is up. Working out can take on whole new meanings in the summertime with fun outdoor activities such as hiking, berry picking, leisurely strolls through the neighborhood, and walks with the dog. If you live in a place where the temperatures are creeping up a little too much, make sure you always have plenty of water and are aware of heat-related complications that may crop up.
Extra Time With Loved Ones
Whether the kids are out of school or you just take advantage of more sunny hours in the day for a patio happy hour with friends, that extra time with your loved ones is priceless. Your support system has likely gotten you through some rough patches in the past. Hopefully, you can enjoy those long summer days to reconnect with them in fun and meaningful ways.
Whatever your situation with a chronic illness, there are an infinite number of ways to have a healthy and happy time during this beautiful season.