5 tips to surviving the summer with chronic illness

1. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated. You can even use this nifty app to keep track of water consumption.

2. Take advantage of air conditioning when you can. My body tends to swell when it gets hot and humid. I’m generally a miser with the AC, but sometimes I just have to crank it down to help my pain levels.

3. Use lots of tick spray, you don’t want to be bitten by a tick, believe me.  Even when it’s 100 degrees and 99 % humidity if I am in a tick habitat I am covered head to toe with clothing and use lots of tick spray.

4. Enjoy the good weather and go swimming. You can relieve pain through water therapy. You can also get some low impact exercise though swimming thanks to buoyancy.

5. Make sure you’re still getting your Vitamin D. Sometimes in the summer we only go outside when we are slathered in sunscreen and we miss out on Vitamin D. If you’re fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen.  If you’re already tan or or Hispanic, you need maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Black skin may require six times the sun exposure to make the same vitamin D levels as a very fair-skinned person.

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