A woman meditating outside in the sunshine.

How I Embrace The Summer Days

Summertime is here!

The season of growth, slowing down, taking time off, enjoying the longer days, and more time outdoors. It is usually a season that gives me more energy, vitality, and lightness.

Thus, I decide to fully embrace all that it brings and more. Below I want to share what it means to me. Firstly, maximizing the benefits of this time of year, and secondly, following the season’s flow and listening to my needs.

Optimize my vitamin D exposure

As you most likely know, vitamin D is primarily produced in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet radiation (the sun). It is one of the most important immune regulators in the human body and plays diverse functions!

In the Paleo Approach, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne states that it controls the expression of more than two hundred genes.1 She also explains that it helps control cell growth (which is essential for healing), and it is crucial for the function of regulatory cells (especially important for people with autoimmune conditions).1 Moreover, it regulates the formation of antioxidants and it is also involved in hormone regulation and thus our circadian rhythms.1

While a lot of us are deficient in vitamin D, too much can also be problematic. It is best to work with a practitioner to get your level tested and see where you stand and what your needs might be.

Thus, knowing all of this, I make sure to be exposed to the sunshine early in the day, throughout the day and to allow my body to absorb the vitamin D before putting on sunscreen and my skin turning pink. I also usually feel a big mood booster when I spend a lot of time in the sun, which then makes me more resilient towards external challenges.

Follow the lightness 

I allow myself more time to enjoy the longer summer days. This means taking time off work when possible, to pause, take a break, breathe and enjoy some light activities.

The lightness comes in the form of not feeling forced to do anything, following the flow of the season, adapting to my needs and wishes. For example, some days I will spend all day with friends, socializing, laughing, eating out; other days I prefer the quietness of going within, doing light and gentle exercise, going out in nature, eating healthy food, etc. I aim to really listen to what my body and mind need this season, so that I can feel a constant stream of energy, calmness and positivity.

Over the years, this mindset and shift in focus during the summer season have really helped me to manage my AS symptoms well. I embrace the lightness in that I feel lighter and gentler with myself, my thoughts, and my actions.

What are your summer plans? How will you take care of your body this season?

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