Prescription-Free Healing Pleasures of Summertime

Prescription-Free Healing Pleasures of Summertime

By Dr. Lynn R. Webster

Now that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has heightened its warning that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, it’s a good idea to find alternatives that come with no side effects. Fortunately, summertime can be the perfect prescription-free alternative to ibuprofen. Try these mindfulness activities for worry-free, side effect-free healing that everyone can enjoy — and that even the FDA isn’t worrying about!

  1. Let the show go on. Summertime is a perfect time to see a blockbuster movie. With prehistoric dinosaurs coming to life in an amusement park, yellow bespectacled plush creatures who speak a language of their own, a cartoon girl who lets her emotions rule her life, and a reboot of just about every movie from the past three decades hitting the big screen, what’s not to appreciate about a couple of hours focusing on the magic of Hollywood and forgetting about the reality of everyday life?
  1. It’s the real thing. In the frosty weather, we dream about the sounds of waves lapping the shore, the tang of salty air, and the feel of the sand on our bare feet. During the precious months of warmth, why not visit the ocean (or a lake, river, pond — or even a pool!)? You’ll hear, smell, and feel the bliss of summertime — and you might just promote healing and health.
  1. Treat yourself. Let’s face it. One of the best things about summertime, regardless of your age or state of health is indulging in the luscious, succulent foods of the season. Within your caloric and dietary requirements, give yourself the gift of indulging in a dessert that will taste good in the here and now. With each lick of the frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet, or ice cream, you can focus on the pleasure of the moment and lose yourself in the joy of the present. Can a pill do that? No!
  1. Giving time. Although the summer offers so many seasonal treats, the best part of living is when you can give something back. Volunteer to read to children, pet sit (or walk a dog), or deliver meals or pay visits to those who can’t get outside. And, if that isn’t possible, due to health or pain issues, then give thanks for what you do have and what you can do. It’s so much easier to feel gratitude when the weather is perfect, and the days are lighter, longer, and lazier. And focusing on the positive is always a wonderful change from the alternative.

As the mercury soars, and vacations loom, you can be a full participant in so many of the wonderful and memorable opportunities summertime offers — regardless of your pain, health status, and even your budget. Summertime can be a healing time for all of us, and it comes without any warnings on the bottle. So trade in your ibuprofen for a vacation from every day reality — and let mindfulness be the best medicine in your supply closet this summertime.

Read my forthcoming book, “The Painful Truth,” to be released in September 2015.

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