Summer – friend or foe?

We love the Summer and those sunny days, but sunshine and heat is a double-edged sword. We need it because vitamin D is important to us, but too much of it and we risk skin cancer. 

So, what are the facts?

Vitamin D is created when your skin is exposed to the Sun’s ultraviolet B rays. It is best known for keeping your bones healthy by increasing the absorption of calcium. 

However low levels of vitamin D may lead to the bone thinning disease called osteoporosis. Research also indicates that insufficient vitamin D may play a role in other diseases including Multiple Sclerosis and certain cancers.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common and it is estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. 

Why does this happen?

Today’s modern world where many people work longer hours in an office based or factory environment deprive many people of the sunshine that they need. Couple this with a decline in outdoor activities, the rise and popularity of video gaming and it is not difficult to see that as a society we are no longer the Sun lovers that we used to be.

How much sunshine do we need?

The answer is surprisingly little.

Some research indicates that a even just a few minutes of sunshine in the mid-morning or the mid-afternoon can be enough. This should not be beyond the majority of us but we are warned not to spend too much time in a hot midday sun.

It’s more difficult when winter arrives however because we tend to dress for the cold weather and very little skin is exposed even to a winter sun, so dependent upon where you live, the winter some may be too weak to make sufficient vitamin D.

Vitamin D all year round.

In the summer you should be checking your UV levels to ensure that you don’t get too much sun exposure but in the winter UV levels can often be too low to make much vitamin D especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

In winter it is good to expose your arms or lower legs for between seven and 40 minutes and the darker your skin, or the further away from the equator that you live from the equator, the more exposure you will need during the winter months in order to maintain adequate vitamin D levels.

If you feel you are not getting sufficient vitamin D then certain foods can help. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines can help, as well as red meat and eggs. A further source of vitamin D can be found in dietary supplement supplements which are available from most chemists.

We hope this information has been helpful, and now that the summer is here please take care and don’t forget the sunscreen regardless of your skin type. 

Remember, Mayfair we care. 

Why we need purpose in our lives.


Research indicates that happiness depends on having meaning and connection in our lives but how do we get this? We are off for a few ideas as to how to achieve this.

What is your life’s purpose?

Part of the problem is that very few of us ever can fully answer this question. We are on this earth for an unknown period of time and during that time we do some things that are important, and some things that are important.


Please note that it is the important things that we believe give our lives meaning and happiness. This can be true, but sometimes the little things will contribute in a disproportionate way as well.


Make a difference

Perhaps instead of asking what life’s purpose is, we should be saying to ourselves what can we do with our lives what is important and can make a difference.


Importance can mean different things to different people. It can mean going into politics, or campaigning for climate change; or it can be something as straightforward as coaching juniors at the local sports club or giving your time to a local charity or community group.


You see, it does not have to be related to the work that you do, it can be a pastime, a particular interest or volunteering with a local club or charity which gives you the most pleasure and a sense of wellbeing because you feel you are giving something back to the community.


Simple kindnesses

As far as work is concerned, please remember that many of us do not work in the job of our dreams. That is something which is reserved for the lucky few.


For the rest of us we can achieve fulfillment by perhaps helping a colleague who might be struggling at work or carrying out simple kindnesses such as calling in to say hello and have a chat with an elderly neighbour or giving someone a simple, unexpected gift.


Try saying thank you to a shop assistant and meaning it; or complimenting somebody on their appearance or congratulating them for something they have achieved.

The list of small kindnesses such as this is endless and can make such a difference both to you, having shown this kindness, as well as to the recipient for having received it  - they may be having a bad day and can suddenly feel 10 feet tall!


Become a kind person that makes a difference and be a happier one. That’s got to be a good purpose in life.


Remember, Mayfair cares

Is being a perfectionist good for you?


Are you one of life‘s perfectionist?


·       Consider yourself a perfectionist if:


·       You can’t stop thinking about every little mistake you make.


·       You can’t stand being second in anything you do.


·       Any project that you undertake must be absolutely right.


·       You expect the highest standards of other people.


·       You will never ask for help because you feel it is a sign of weakness.


·       You will persist with a task long after other people would have considered the task complete.


·       You are a fault-finding who corrects other people when they are wrong.


·       You are highly aware of other people’s demands and expectations.


·       You are very self-conscious about making mistakes in front of other people and dwell on it afterwards.


Perfectionists will also have a keen eye for detail and push themselves to achieve personal goals, their work will exceed expectations and their ambitions will know no bounds.


Research has indicated that perfectionism can be linked to emotional, physical and relationship problems including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and marital discord.


What people think about perfection

Many perfectionist traits are also linked to successful high achievers due to their high standards and high expectations. Highly successful actress Gwyneth Paltrow is one such perfectionist who has also suffered marital and relationship discord.


However, the strive for perfection has brought about much debate over the years. Consider these three very different outlooks:


·       “Perfection is the enemy of success. “ Winston Churchill.


·       “When you aim for perfection you discover that it is a moving target. “ Geoffrey F Fisher


·       “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralising”. Harriet Bralker


Each of these quotations indicates that true perfection does not exist.


In the first one Churchill believes that time will be wasted by striving for perfection, whilst in the second quotation Fisher suggests that perfection is always just out of reach.


The final quotation by Bralker confirms this by suggesting that the pursuit of absolute perfection is demoralising, (perhaps because it is unattainable) and excellence should be good enough.


As indicated earlier, striving for perfection which is always just out of reach can cause mental illness. There is wide research that suggests that both perfectionism and mental health issues have been on the increase over the last 20 years. This has coincided with the rise of social media where everyone lives out their perfect lives, with their perfect families and their perfect careers in their own perfect world.


Such access to these social media examples put enormous pressure on the individual with perfectionist tendencies and we will examine this in a future blog


Remember, Mayfair cares