In our neck of the woods, it feels like we have 2 seasons, snow for 9 months and summer for the remaining lovely 3. Summer in Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes country is like an extended vacation with bursts of color gracing our once bleak landscapes. We try and squeeze as many activities as we possibly can into our waking hours. We embrace every moment of sunshine living breezy lives with open windows, and dining al fresco. It’s pure bliss. But sometimes, we find ourselves run down and overwhelmed with all the movement, all the celebrating.
Summer is the most yang season and relates to the element of fire. It is a season of heat, light and movement. We reflect the cycle of the sun, waking earlier as it rises, and going to sleep later after it sets. Our environment is going full tilt with the plants and trees growing fast and furious. We need to take measures to balance this yang nature so that we don’t burn out.
Here are a 5 tips to keep you going during the busy summer months so you don’t miss a beat!
- Yes – drink water, an obvious one. Hydrate with fluids that are replenishing and healthy. Avoid the sugary drinks with artificial ingredients. If you’re chugging Gatorade because you think its a healthy sports drink – guess again. It’s not much better than drinking a can of soda. Water wins to rehydrate over both of those beverages. Hydrate through your food choices as well. Choose foods that will build the yin, the moistening and cooling aspect of your body. Suggestions are watermelon, peaches, lettuce, cucumbers and many other fruits and veggies. And lastly, hydrate from the outside in as well. Use a natural lotion or moisturizer on your skin that may be parched from the summer sun.
- Wake up and take a few quiet moments. Start out your day with 5 minutes of deep breathing and then 5 minutes of journaling. Center yourself before you hit the ground running.
- Be aware of your schedule. Don’t try and squeeze too many activities in a short amount of time. Set a number of activities you allow on a daily basis and do not go over it. Make sure you schedule breaks as well. Kick up your feet and sip a glass of tea.
- Be present. Be in the moment. When we rush, we are frequently thinking of the future, what we have to do next. That comes at the expense of enjoying the wonderful happenings around you at the moment. To help out with this, take mindfulness moments. Set an alarm on your phone 3 times a day and when it sounds, take 3 deep breaths and focus on the present moment. Perhaps repeat the mantra “I am Present” with each breath. I like to set my alarms at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm.
- Make sure you get enough sleep! These precious restful hours are oftentimes the first sacrificed when we are trying to fit more into our day. Guard those hours and cherish them for what they are, restful hours where our bodies get a chance to restore and heal. It’s also the yin time of our day, which keeps all of our summer yang activities in balance.
Now get out there and enjoy the heck out of your summer!