SummerIt is the time of year to get out and soak up the sun! Put on some shades and head down to the beach; catch an outdoor concert; go to a community fair (there are plenty of them). There is camping, swimming, hiking, barbequing.

But summertime also means using a little common sense and taking precaution.

thermometer_clip1The sun can be quite intense at times and the heat can rise beyond the temperatures of our thermostats as humidity is rather sneaky about creating sweltering conditions.

As someone who works with, and is also personally associated and attached to those considered vulnerable, I know all too well how tricky this time of year can be. From being a senior to someone living with HIV or any other type of disability, these hot summer days can be a little much.

Remember to stay hydrated, get rest, stay shaded (hat or umbrella), try to keep cool, eat healthy and make sure to put on the sun screen when outdoors. These things are easier said than done, I often find myself forgetting and paying the price; and let’s face it, the hot weather is not really within our control.

As someone living with a brain injury, fatigue is often a constant and lurking nemeses of mine, and  during this time of the year, the heat certainly does not help. Same with eating, it’s not always easy when the temperatures tend to suppress one’s appetite.

Most usually I try to watch out and pay attention to my routine, but in the summer months I tend to do this a little more often; thinking about what I wear in comparison to the temperature outside, and the knowledge that I’ll also be inside with air condition at times. Being more aware of drinking water, putting on sun tan lotion and acknowledging the fact that I require a little more sleep at times, or even breaks just to rest. And then there is trying to find the balance between not eating too much or too little, never mind the fact that I might forget to eat at all.

I know that all of us can enjoy these summer days just as much as the other, some of us just need to put a little more thought into what we do.

York Public Health & Environment Canada do their best to keep us up-to-date on Heat warnings and information, all which can be found here: Extreme Heat/York Region

By Mark Koning

Mark is the Communications & Administration Coordinator with the AIDS Committee of York Region. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto) He also lives with and is the Survivor of a brain injury.