I am extremely happy that summer is here, but sad that it is so quickly coming to an end. Living through the cold, somewhat dreary midwestern winter has given me a new appreciation for warmth and sunshine. I grew up in Colorado, where there was never any shortage of sunshine, and I always took it for granted. In the Midwest, sunshine is a commodity in the winter. Generally, the outside world is gray, and it is the type of weather that makes me want to stay in bed all day. Unfortunately, I’m in school, so winter hibernation is never a feasible option for me. I get up every day and drag myself to school, cursing as the wind blows through my five layers of clothing and gnaws at my bones, and all the while, I’m wishing that summer would get here faster.
There is something magical about the warm weather and the feeling of freedom that I always associate with summer. That might have something to do with the fact that I’ve never had a full-time job. For me, summer has always meant a welcome change from the drudgery of the rest of the year. Whether it is liberation from the strict schedule of school or the prospect of an exciting adventure, summer has always been my favorite time of the year. This year is no different. I’ve been looking forward to the summer since last November, eagerly anticipating all the fun I’ll have and all the new things I’ll learn.
I always try to be outside as much as I can during the summer. It makes me happy to see the bright sunshine and enjoy its warmth. I can’t quite tell if that is the Vitamin D starvation talking or a genuine love of the sunshine, but either way, I am much happier and more energetic during the summer than I am at any other time of year. The city is alive and I feel more like a person and less like a skeleton wrapped in twenty pounds of insulation.
Now that the summer is nearing its end, I feel like I haven’t enjoyed my vacation to its fullest. I’ve been busy working and doing other things that are required of me, or so I tell myself. As school comes into sight, I realize that I’m not ready to go back to the bitter cold and long days of studying inside our dungeon of a library. So, I’ve come to a decision. No, I’m not moving to the Bahamas. I’m going to make a vow to do one hour of fun things a day that I will not be able to do after school starts. Whether it be reading a book on the beach or playing tennis outdoors, I’m going to store up some summer happiness to get me through the rest of the year.
It is estimated that over 30% of adults in the United States are Vitamin D deficient*. Deficiency can cause symptoms of lethargy and depression. Getting a few minutes of sunshine every day can help your body produce sufficient Vitamin D. So, I hope you’ll enjoy the warmth and sunshine of summer while they last!
*Holick, MF. High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clinic Proc. 2006; 81(3): 297-299.