A woman looks up to the sun, arms outstretched, in a field of sunflowers.

Why I Love Summer Even With Lupus

The winter months are hard on me. It's cold and dark, and the weather can be formidable. While I don't have Raynaud's, like some people with lupus, I still struggle with circulation and keeping my extremities warm enough. Plus, I just don't like it.

So I'm dreaming of a warm summer – it's kind of like a coping mechanism for me. Summer isn't everyone's favorite, however. Around 80 percent of people with lupus experience photosensitivity and need to be very careful to prevent the sun's ultraviolet rays from triggering a flare.1 While everyone has their preferences, I find summer to be a better time for me mentally and physically.

Why I prefer summer over winter

I would rather find a hundred ways to protect myself from the sun than struggle to pull on long pants and then thick socks early in the morning when my hands are still stiff and my body aches.

I would instead slather sunscreen all over my kids and then recline in my nice, shaded patio chair instead of having to put on their winter coats, hats, gloves, and sometimes snowsuits – and then bundle myself up.

I would rather clean mud off my kids and floor (or let my mopping robot do it!) after a fresh rain or sprinkler party than deal with melted snow that has turned into slippery puddles.

I would rather care for my malar rash than joints that hurt from the cold temperatures.

For my body, it's easier to do summer activities vs. winter ones. I find them simpler and less work than the elaborate indoor activities that tend to fill our colder days. It's less physical strain on me; I just love being warm from head to toe.

More things I love about summer

I love waking up and only needing to throw on shorts and a tank top - easy peasy.

I love that we watch less TV and spend more time outside in the summer.

I love taking refreshing showers instead of ones where I shiver afterward from the cold.

I love not having to constantly refill my humidifiers or feel dried out by the heat from my furnace.

I love setting the air conditioning at 78 degrees F (my family affectionately refers to me as a lizard); it makes me feel like I've been insulated in a cozy blanket no matter where I am in the house.

I love moving around freely and comfortably instead of hibernating in my bed for warmth. Movement is better for my body.

I love going swimming in the summer. It's one of the best forms of exercise for people with lupus, especially if you have joint pain.

I love going out first thing in the morning with great weather. My body gets tired as the day goes on, so if I need to do something, 9 a.m. is my best time. At that time of day, I've worked out most stiffness, I'm fully alert (usually), and I'm ready to jam.

I love wearing baseball caps and not having to style my thinning hair.

What season do you like best?

I'm ready for summer. Now that I have two kids, trying to leave the house and find everyone's gear creates chaos and stress. I'm looking forward to the days when we throw on sandals and go out more carefreely. I wish I could live in perpetual summer.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks, such as mosquitoes and ultra humid days. Additionally, some people with lupus literally can't stand the heat or sun. So, tell me, what is your favorite season, and why do you love it?

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