As we continue to uncover ourselves in the mysteries of the Sun, it is magnificent to notice the joy, laughter and wonder that our life-giving star produces within us. Once we relinquish the fear of being burnt or overwhelmed by the galactic fire, we realize the services that basking in the sunlight provides to us. Though we may be eager to get into the sun as soon as the cloudiness has cleared away, it is of great importance that we respect the vastness of the solar unknown. And so, here it is; tips and topics of contemplation for when you’re ready to rehabilitate yourself to the sun.
1 – Protection
First and foremost; I would never recommend for anyone to go out and buy the highest SPF products before indulging in a sun-session. However, if you have never really sun-bathed or tanned in direct sunlight, or if you have any severe skin ailments, I would advise you to refrain from spending too much time in the sun unprotected by your trusted SPF or oil-based skin-products. Our society has become used to being indoors throughout most of the day, because that’s where the milk and money is. For this very reason we need to aspire to have sun exposure in moderate degrees as we get used to being outside again.
2 – Timing
To ease back into the light, we must be light-hearted and kind to ourselves. I understand that “the hotter the sun is, the quicker the skin may change colour” could be a logical way to think, but it’s not necessarily the wisest observation. It is not the heat of the sun that causes the skin to darken, but rather the UV rays, which is quite obvious considering sunbeds have been well known as the closest alternative to simply laying in the sun. Though laying in the sun is the best, most natural way to add that radiant glow to our skin, we want to choose a time that our skin is still comfortable with. Choose a time just before or after the midday heatwave. Any time from 8 to 10 AM or again from 2 to 5 PM should be okay, unless you’re already a bigtime sun-lover.
3 – Duration
The trick is to make the sun a part of your lifestyle. If you’re just preparing for the holidays and want to up your ‘tan rank’, sure, it might work better to prolong your sun-sessions. Though roasting your skin prior to vacation is probably not the best idea, since you could end up hurting the skin or cause it to flake/peel. It’s a better idea to have more regular, shorter sessions of tanning, like 10 minutes on a side every day or fifteen minutes per side every other day. I would put a maximum of 20 minutes on a side if you’re using the midday sun or if your skin is not used to direct solar exposure. If you have sensitive skin, try starting with as much as 5 minutes on a side in the earliest or latest sunlight available to you.
4 – Relax
Calming your mind and body is not only a benefit that comes with having a regular ‘medita-sun’ session, it is also pretty much a requirement. Most people I’ve come across who do not enjoy laying in the sun are quite tensed up in general and they usually have a dislike toward many other relaxation activities. Try not to allow thoughts of fear or doubt when approaching a tanning session. Remember that you are intuitively guided to protect your body and to experience growth, like the trees that may surround you in your tanning spot. Trust yourself, trust your Universe, trust your Sun.
5 – Sustenance
Sustain yourself with plenty of water before and after your sun-bath and don’t be shy to introduce a few stretches as well. Because you would mostly be lying face-down or on your back on nothing but a towel to support you, a few basic stretches and light mobilization exercises can prevent your joints from getting sore. A simple rolling of the joints and stretching as if you just woke up should suffice, since these are crucial movements in our everyday life anyway. Keeping some fresh fluids like water, tea or cold-pressed juice close-by, in the shade, is an excellent idea. On the contrary, tanning immediately after a big meal could cause some discomfort. Instead, keep it light.