Researchers now think that we need 15 to 20 minutes of unprotected sun every day for vital health and well-being. And there is something about becoming mindful of the life-promoting energy of the sun that connects us with that force for growth in a very powerful way.
So here is a cornucopia of sun-drenched ideas for getting the most out of your sun experience. Try one or try a few–you too can be a sun-worshipper!
1. Find a pleasant place in the sun and just sit there. If you wear glasses, remove them so you can absorb the full spectrum. Feel the warmth on your skin: after 15 or 20 minutes, sniff your arm and enjoy the sun-warmed scent. If you’re afraid you may fall asleep, take a timer with you!
2. Go for a sunny walk around your neighborhood, or explore someplace new. Either way, you get sun and exercise, too.
3. Take your lunch break in the sun.
4. Make a pitcher of Sun Tea: Put 1 teabag (black, green, or herbal) per pint of water in a glass container, and leave outside in the sun to steep for an hour. Add sweetener and fresh mint, if you like, and drink a glass slowly during your Sun Minutes.
5. Play with Prisms: Buy a prism, go outside, and make rainbows. Give some thought to the wonder of bright light being made up of all those beautiful, saturated colors.
6. This fascinating favorite never fails to amaze and amuse: using a magnifying glass, capture sunlight in a small focused beam, shining it on a piece of paper or a dry leaf. See how quickly it will begin to burn. Be careful: the sun is powerful!
7. If you can’t get outside enough, or in the winter, use full-spectrum lighting. Eight hours in this lighting only amounts to about 15 minutes of UV
radiation. Sunlight offers all the same color spectrum as the chakras: red, orange,
yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and white (the 8th chakra). We need a balance of all those colors to feel whole.
8. Do some gardening. If you don’t have the space for a big garden, plant something in a terra cotta pot and tend it: it can be very soothing and meditative to pluck off dead flower-heads or pull out weeds, to water and nurture your plants. The sunlight you absorb while you do this is an added benefit.
9. Read the daily newspaper in the sun. Look at your mail there, too!
10. If you are physically challenged, open a window facing the sun and sit beside it for your 20 minutes. A friend of Annie’s takes time every morning to soak in some sun, before coffee, breakfast, or anything else. This practice is similar to the Native American tradition of making a prayer to the sunrise first thing every morning, and then again at sunset.