I WAS out cycling the other day with my lifelong friend, Tommy Maxwell. We  go right back to our Cupar street childhood, where even then we navigated the city streets on our trusty metal steeds.

Whilst cycling along the banks of the River Lagan, we stopped several times along the water way to take in the beauty of nature which was, I described to Tommy, "Great medicine for us all".

The Beatles’ classic song Here Comes The Sun came to mind as it was a glorious day. I believe this song is an ode to the beauty and power of the sun – and with good reason. The sun provides us with much-needed Vitamin D, which is essential for our physical and mental health. The sun also has a way of lifting our spirits and making us feel more alive.

However, with our busy schedules and modern-day lifestyles it can be easy to forget to take a moment to appreciate the sun's warmth and power. That's where mindfulness comes in. By incorporating mindfulness into our daily routine, we can cultivate a deeper appreciation of the sun and all the benefits it provides.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with intention and without judgment. It can be done through meditation, yoga, walking, cycling, or simply by taking a few deep breaths and focusing on the sensations in our body. By bringing mindfulness to our relationship with the sun, we can tap into its energy and power on a deeper level.

When we take a moment to bask in the sun's rays, we can use mindfulness to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. We can feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, notice the way the light dances on the leaves of the trees, and listen to the sound of the birds singing. By tuning in to these details, we can cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation.

Of course, it's important to be mindful of our sun exposure as well. While the sun provides us with essential Vitamin D, too much exposure can be harmful to our skin. By being mindful of our time in the sun, we can strike a balance between soaking up its benefits and protecting our skin.

When we combine the magic of mindfulness with the power of Vitamin D, we unlock a potent combination for our health and well-being. Vitamin D plays a critical role in maintaining strong bones and immune function. It also helps regulate mood and reduce inflammation in the body. By getting enough Vitamin D, we can feel more energised, focused, and emotionally stable.

By being mindful of our exposure to the sun, we can ensure we're getting enough Vitamin D while also protecting our skin. The NHS, recommends 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure, without sunscreen, two to three times per week to help our bodies produce enough Vitamin D. 

In addition to getting enough Vitamin D, there are many other benefits of spending time in the sun. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight can help regulate our sleep patterns, improve our mood and reduce stress. The sun's rays also help our bodies produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that's linked to feelings of happiness and well-being.

When we combine the benefits of the sun with the power of mindfulness, we unlock a potent combination for our health and well-being. By taking a few moments each day to appreciate the sun and tune in to its energy, we can cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the world around us. And by being mindful of our sun exposure and getting enough Vitamin D, we can ensure our bodies are functioning at their best.

Let’s get outside into the garden or take a seat in the back yard. Go for a walk in the park, or explore our beautiful countryside, cycle, swim. Enjoy the magic of each moment and may the sun always shine on you.