Sunshine and happiness

“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” ~ Wilma Rudolph

I’m not your typical sun-loving person who has chosen to live life close to the beach or in the desert. As a teenager, I remember slathering myself with baby oil and putting a mixture of lemon juice and mayonnaise (highlights AND moisturizer!) in my hair before going out to lie in the sun. Lie in the sun in the dry farm grass that poked through my towel…trying carefully to avoid the cactus in the backyard. It was obviously pretty glamorous and probably why I was such a fashion icon in high school!

Since then, I have had limited exposure to the sun even in Florida where we lived for awhile. Nebraska (who would’ve known?) gets crazy hot, much like Florida, and we’ve been searching for shade all summer since we’ve lived here.

That was true (at least for me) until I started running outdoors. I knew I was deficient in Vitamin D from a blood test done a few years ago, so I’ve taken a Vitamin D supplement since. There’s nothing like the sun, though, to revive and rejuvenate me and provide that natural source Vitamin D.

I don’t think I have what would be considered Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I can feel the slide into a funk starting about February every year. That’s when winter is just getting too long for me. I crave the sun and try to get outside whenever I can – even though the sun seems so far away that I don’t get the life-affirming warmth from it that I love in the spring, summer and fall. That’s why the trip to California in early February this year was so great! It was just what I needed at just the right time.

This time of year – when the sky is changing because the tilt of the earth is causing the sun and the moon to seem closer – I love the feeling of being out in it. I especially love the feeling of running in it. I don’t know if it’s because, after all of these years, I’ve shed a few thermal layers but I’m cold most of the time now, so I love the feeling of the sun warming me to my bones and simultaneously brightening my mental outlook.

Pay attention next time you’re out in the warm sun (slathered in sunscreen, not baby oil!). See if it doesn’t help you feel so much better – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s all good!

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