We are in the height of summer yet the thick humidity of late summer is yet to come. This heat can feel oppressive both physically and emotionally, leading to feelings of irritability or heaviness. How can we stay cool in the summer without always relying on air conditioning or avoiding being outside? Chinese medicine gives us many techniques for sustainably staying cool through the dog-days of summer. Consider trying some of the tips below!
- Eat watermelon. There’s a reason why watermelons are popular to eat in the summer: according to Chinese dietary therapy, they are one of the coldest foods we can consume! Eating a watermelon is like giving your insides a nice, cool ice bath. If you want to get extra cool, try cooking with the watermelon rind which is actually even colder than its insides. Check out these recipes for inspiration! Note: many people are sensitive to very cool foods. If you have digestive symptoms like bloating, loose stools, or generally low energy, you should avoid watermelon.
- Acupressure on your third eye. If you start to feel hot-headed, give yourself a gentle massage on your forehead in the space between your eyes. This acupuncture point can calm the mind, soothe anxiety, and promote sleep.
- Drink water with lemon and cucumber. Avoid drinking too much coffee or alcohol which are hot in nature. Instead, drink cool, not cold water. Ice cold water can actually be too much of a shock to our warm stomach and intestines. It’s best to cool off slowly and in moderation.
- Notice if you’re doing too much. Part of why summer is so awesome is that along with taking trips and having fun, hopefully we have more time to lounge around and do nothing! If you find yourself too busy and active you may notice irritability, fatigue, feelings of being overwhelmed, and tendency to be hot. Give yourself permission to take a day off, lounge around, and do nothing.
- Get acupuncture! Acupuncture has many techniques for releasing heat, calming the mind, and promoting the more grounded and centered qualities that are often missing from our lives during the height of summer. Sometimes all we need is an hour to relax and cool off.