Ugh, you know the drill. Put on sunscreen, reapply. Where’s my hat? We’re riding in a convertible? They chose Miami Beach for the convention? Every day, every month, you’re vigilant, hyper vigilant, and then, the wall hits. You look around you. No one else cares about sunscreen or hats or burning. It’s the same feeling you get when you’re trying to watch what you eat and everyone else around you is in great shape and eating pizza and wings like they are going out of style. Am I the only one concerned about the sun? It gets exhausting.
The mental game
You have what I like to call, “SPF”. No, not the other SPF, but what I call Skin Protection Fatigue. Your diligence and vigilance is wearing you out. Everyone around you seems to be ok with driving in the fast lane at 75mph and you are squirming at 56mph. You are tempted to start missing days. You start wondering if it’s really worth it. Maybe the pain of surgery and post op. is behind you a bit. Maybe you are letting your guard down and no one around you puts up their guard at all. I get it. I have been there. You may be the only one in your family who has had skin cancer. Possibly, no one at work has either. Maybe others have and they are just silent about it.
The why? question
So, what do I do when I experience SPF? Really, it’s like anything in life. When one can answer the “why?” question, then it makes all the “what’s” and “how’s” much easier. Check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE. This has helped me with answering this question. Deep down, when I experience SPF, I begin to ask myself the “why?” questions and this helps me. My “why?” question center around purpose and legacy and I understand that I cannot fulfill my purpose if I am not healthy or worse. When I am tempted to slack off in protecting my skin, when I am suffering from a case of SPF, then I remember why I do this in the first place. Once I am back centered to the big picture, then the details are easier and I don’t even notice that others don’t seem to care about harmful UV rays.
My unique situation
I want to walk my daughter down the aisle. I want to hold a grandchild. I want to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl (well, two of the three seem possible.) I want to serve others in my ministry. These are the reasons that I get re-energized to put on sunscreen every day. These are the reasons I try to eat healthy foods and walk 10,000 steps a day. These are the reasons that I lost 70 pounds. My past experience, unique present and future hopes and dreams are my own and, therefore, I take care of my skin when it seems no one is taking care of theirs. What is yours? What will help you during the dog days of summer when you’re at the bottom of your sunscreen bottle and all your buddies are golden brown? It helps me by asking the right question.