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Savor the Summer

By Celeste Cooper

Summer is thought of as the season of growth because there are longer periods of daylight and fewer cloudy days making sunshine plentiful. As the sun reflects its healing rays, our energy and our mood get a boost as our brain releases hormones to make us feel good. And, as the sun rests on our skin, vitamin D is made, which combats deficiencies that can lead to pain, muscle weakness and other health problems many of us already experience.

Being in the sun can be very good for us, but it doesn’t come without some precautions, especially for those of us with fibromyalgia.

Twenty minutes in the sun can:

All of these things are particularly helpful for fibromyalgia. Also quite good is the opportunity to get in the pool and play with our children or grandchildren, do water aerobics, or aqua therapy. But, as all things fibro, hazards can pop up when we least expect it. What looks like a gentle slope can turn into a steep drop off.

Too much sun can:

Summer activity can take a toll when we aren’t prepared. For instance, dehydration during the summer months can affect several body functions.

Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include:

Severe dehydration can be life threatening. If in doubt, get immediate help because seemingly mild symptoms can escalate quickly.

For those of us with fibromyalgia, dehydration can perpetuate:

But, we can still enjoy the benefits of summer if we play safe to stay safe.

Things we can do:

*Bioflavonoids are important super antioxidants that help our eyes and other parts of our body function better. They help maintain blood vessel walls and improve circulation, cholesterol levels, and liver function, as well as reducing other health risks and degenerative diseases. Bioflavonoids are found in many sources that are abundant in the summer months, such as red bell peppers, sweet peppers, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, gingko biloba, green tea, apples, tropical fruits, garlic, onions, spinach, citrus fruit, and berries.

Enjoy being able to go outside, my fellow fibro friends. I hope you will appreciate the detail of a flower. Looking at it closely with a camera or magnifying glass gives us an appreciation of details that often are missed. Spend time visiting with a friend. Have a picnic. Listen to the rhythms and tones of songbirds. And, as my friend Toni Bernhard says, find joy in the joy of others as you savor this summer.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies,
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald


This article was first published on ProHealth.com on July 13, 2017 and was updated on June 30, 2021.

Celeste Cooper, RN, is a frequent contributor to ProHealth.  She is an advocate, writer and published author, and a person living with chronic pain. Celeste is lead author of Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain and Broken Body, Wounded Spirit, and Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain (a four book series). She spends her time enjoying her family and the rewards she receives from interacting with nature through her writing and photography. You can learn more about Celeste’s writing, advocacy work, helpful tips, and social network connections at CelesteCooper.com [2].