It has been the most gorgeous few days in Leeds. Temperatures have been in the late 20s and the sky has been clear and blue.
I have been reveling in the weather…hopping on and off the Leeds Water Taxi, enjoying a drink on a deck chair by the canal, taking a walk as the sun sets, enjoying the heat on my skin…
It it has not always been this way.
Two years ago I was living in London and a run of days like this were days I dreaded. I wouldn’t even pop out of work at lunchtime without having put sun cream on. I would hesitate to have an alcoholic drink for fear of dehydration. After an hour even near the sunshine I would fret I had sunstroke. If out and about with friends in the park or a pub I would insist on sitting in a location where I had some shade. When others would be delighting in the sunshine I would complain about it. If I had to get the bus in the height of the heat I would change seats to avoid the direct sun and cross the pavement to stay in the shade.
In 2016, at the start of my last summer in London, I decided to try something different so I started telling myself I loved hot weather. I would have some time with bare arms before reaching for the sun cream. I would nod enthusiastically when people in shops and in the work kitchen would say “isn’t it such a lovely day”? I practiced sitting in the sun. And it worked! I am now a fully signed up member of the sun worshiping club.
It wasn’t however just changing my thinking…I started being more relaxed in my own skin and dressing properly for the weather! I don’t remember what I wore in summers gone by, but now…I have become comfortable in jump suits, vests and off the shoulder Bardot tops. This season I have bought the shorts below – unthinkable a few years ago.
Deliberately changing a series of negative thoughts and starting to love the skin I am in…maybe the techniques I used to learn to love summer could be applied in other areas of my life too?