As we near the end of spring and summer quickly approaches, the days are heating up fast. The themes of summer are abundance, joy, living life to the fullest, spiritual expansion, and nourishing the spirit. Some people notice physical changes with the start of summer. Many feel the enlightening side of summer with growth, abundance, and joy. Others may get fussy, agitated, and sleep poorly due to overheating.
Here are some of my favorite tips for how to stay cool in summer and avoid overheating.
Sleeping Habits Your core temperature decreases when you sleep so you can adjust your sleep in your favor. Try waking up earlier while it’s still a bit cool. Rest yourself at midday when it’s the hottest to drop your body temperature. If you are a night owl, you can try staying up later when it’s cool to avoid the heat.
Diet Shifts If you are prone to easily overheating, adjusting your diet with the season is helpful. Tryout increasing these specific cooling foods: celery; cucumber, lettuce, pears, watermelon, sprouts, watercress, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, spinach, swiss chard, dandelion greens, asparagus, chinese cabbage, beets, carrots, parsley, plums, persimmons, tofu, yogurt, mung beans, aduki beans, and oysters.
You can try to restrict foods that heat you up like chilies; cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, coffee, chocolate, vinegar, garlic, mustard, horseradish, excessive salt, red meats, alcohol, shrimp, cheese, eggs, and fried foods in general.
Cooling Exercise The exercise below is relaxing and cooling because it calms the nerves and activates acupressure points near your spine to release heat.
Start at the base of your skull and grasp the skin on either sides of your spine in a large pinch. Squeeze, release, and move down an inch. Grab another pinch and repeat. Pinches should feel good, not painful. Slowly move down your spine. When you can’t comfortably reach any further, start at the top of your spine and start at the top again. Continue to massage the skin along your spine in a downward motion for about 5-10 minutes or until you feel yourself relax. If you have a partner, ask if they’ll pinch the entire length of your spine before bedtime.
Most of the planet is in sync with the seasons and follows them. You can use the natural laws of summer to your benefit. This is one of the best times to spiritually expand. Here is a technique to utilize joy to help you break out of patterns that no longer serve you.
Begin by getting in a comfortable position and relaxing. Soften your muscles, as you take deeper, slower breaths. Start to notice any joy that can you feel at this second in time. Isn’t it incredible the way your body rises and falls with breath? What else can you feel at the present moment that brings you joy? Identify whatever joy you can experience and give it your full attention.
Continue to feel joy and fill the joy up with purifying frequencies while observing what happens. See if you can get your joy to expand. As it grows, notice the discrepancy between what feels whole and complete and what feel oppressed. Use the momentum of the growing joy to break free from whatever is oppressing you at this moment in time. Like muscle memory, the more you practice this, the easier it becomes.
If you are feeling any discomfort in your body, acknowledge it but don’t let that be the only thing you observe. Start to bring your attention to other aspects of your body that are preforming seamlessly. At every moment, there are thousands of body mechanisms occurring to maintain your life. The loud uncomfortable areas can tend to steal the show but they don’t have to be the only thing you notice.
If you can’t find any joy right now, that’s ok. Try to remember a time when you did feel joy. As you remember, stay in this present moment and feel the joy here and now. If you don’t have any access to joy, that is fine. Try to pretend, fake it until you make it (if these sounds like you, please schedule a treatment.) If you can’t experience joy, can you feel the thing that is blocking/preventing you from feeling pleasure? Fill that up with 100% purity and notice what happens.
If this is a breeze for you, here are a few more advanced questions to ask yourself. Without having to reach outside of yourself, at this precise time, how could you:Feel more nourished?
Connect to your limitless self?
Further liberate yourself?
Experience your spirit even more?
If you are ready to take your meditation to the next level, try getting in a refreshing lake, ocean, or river. This will add in the healing properties of water to your meditation and cool you down.
And remember to drink plenty of fluids!
I hope everyone is happy and thriving and I look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!
Dr. Heather Bird