We’re a part of nature, and the heat of the summer can flare our internal heat as well, exacerbating any inflammation, redness, irritability, anxiousness, sharp or burning pain, skin rashes, insomnia, constipation, acid reflux, small intestine issues, UTIs, and heavy periods. Not fun. But there are things we can do in our daily lives that will make the hot weather more (or less!) bearable.
First, here’s how to increase the heat (or what NOT to do.) I’m including this list because if you think about it, you might realize that your intuition is steering you away from these things already, and your own inner wisdom deserves some credit.
- Exercise vigorously, especially during the hottest part of the day.
- Eat the heaviest, greasiest foods you can. Fry everything and skip the fruits and veggies.
- Drink lots of coffee and alcohol, especially hard liquor and red wine.
- Lie in the hot sun and avoid water like the plague.
- Use heating spices like cinnamon, dried ginger, chili powder, cayenne, and chipotle with every meal. Go nuts with garlic and onions too.
- Schedule every minute of these super-long days. Move even faster than you usually do, and don’t give yourself any downtime at all. If possible, put even more pressure on yourself and hold yourself to ridiculously high standards.
And here’s what to do instead:
- Exercise during the coolest parts of the day: early morning and late evening.
- Enjoy lots of seasonal vegetables (at least 50% at every meal), especially the watery ones like zucchini, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, daikon radish, and seaweeds.
- Eat more raw food, and spend less time cooking (longer cooking times increase the heat).
- Season your food with cooling herbs like mint, parsley, cilantro, basil, cumin, and coriander.
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Spice it up with a mint leaf or a splash of lime juice. Or if you want to really get crazy, allow yourself fizzy water. Or coconut water. Or watermelon juice. Or this smoothie.
- Spritz yourself with rosewater.
- Annoint yourself with peppermint essential oil. Put it on a fire point like PC 8, located in the center of your palm, where your middle finger lands when you make a loose fist.
- Allow space in your day for spontaneity and time to take it easy. Practice self-compassion.