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Grab Your Hat and Live a Little

giant sun hatWould you rather live with the well-documented risk of sun damage or the near certainty of headaches and hat head? Wherever you live, it's an important question—I have the scar to prove it.

And I thought I had the perfect solution when I found a visor that said right on the label, "No Headache." Right. More like, "No Ordinary Headache." Ow. I don't think I have a giant head.

I have since worn other visors and baseball caps and sun hats the size of Saturn, all with mixed results.

3 simple "sun" tips for life

Stay out of the sun during peak hours, generally 10 am to 3 pm. When you do venture out, you may have to swallow your pride and put on a sun hat. Here's the best one I've found so far: SmartStraw Sedona Sun Hat from Coolibar. As you can see, it's fairly neutral. And it has a drawstring, which helps the thing stay on. Coolibar also makes a variety of sun hats for men.

Wear sunscreen daily, even in the dead of winter. It took me years to find one that didn't sting my eyes or go on like clown white. Finally, thanks to my friend Ann, I did: EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41. Nice tint, no fragrance, available on Amazon. What's not to love?

Live a little. After developing basal cell skin cancer as a young adult, which was not life-threatening but life-altering, it took me awhile to let these words sink in. I still don't regret bundling up like a mummy for that first year, because during that time, the sun can darken scars permanently—and the one I had didn't need any embellishment. Now, it's practically invisible.

Bottom line: Life is risky. Our challenge is to discern our decisions carefully, whether it's guarding our skin or guarding our hearts or paying more attention while driving. The alternative is to turn a blind eye to risk, as though the rules don't apply to us, or to get so obsessed with not dying that we forget how to live. Fortunately, between these two extremes is a whole universe.

What one thing could you do this week to guard your health like the treasure it is, and at the same time, live a little?

P.S. For a more complete and scientific look at sun safety, here's an article from the Cleveland Clinic.

"The best things in life are free;
the second best are expensive."
– Coco Chanel

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at UltimateReminders.com/mondaymorningpeptalk.