Summer is a time of extremes; extreme heat, extreme storms, just extreme energy overall. It’s due, in part, to this flurry of energy that we have such beautiful summer outcomes. We are often gifted with a gorgeous sunset after an intense early-evening storm, a chorus of crickets emerging after the curtain of afternoon heat subsides, and a bountiful harvest after a summer of variable highs and lows. There are many things you can do to help keep your body in alignment with the seasons throughout the year, but it’s always best to pay special attention during the times of seasonal transitions.
This summer has, of course, been a special one. We feel a sort of dueling notion. At some moments we may feel as if time is crawling by at the speed of an inchworm crossing the road, and yet at other moments, we find ourselves blinking in confusion at the calendar because just yesterday I swear it was April but now it’s somehow the middle of August and I’m making Christmas plans (sorta)! However, amidst all this summer chaos (with a few sprinkles of extra bizarre) we always have the ability to focus inwardly and align our bodies to the cyclical nature of, well, nature.
Breathe: Take time throughout the day, especially during moments of intensity, to focus on your breath. No matter what is going on in your day, you’ll always have the ability to focus inwardly on your breathing as a built-in relaxation mechanism. Try following this breathing pattern:
● Exhale completely, then close your mouth and inhale through your nose and count to five. As you breathe in, imagine that pure, clean air is nourishing your lungs.
● Hold your breath and count to ten. Use this time to imagine that your cells are emptying their waste products into the bloodstream.
● Exhale counting to ten while visualizing the air you breathe out is carrying the waste products from your cells out of your body.
Engage: Summer is filled with an abundance of sensory opportunities. There are so many colors, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings (hellllloooo humidity!). Use this time to experience all that summer has to offer. Walk outside in your bare feet to feel the morning dew on the grass. Smell the flowers that wave in the afternoon breeze, or come down to the farm to smell the holy basil – it’s definitely one of my favorite scents of all time. Listen to the birds in the morning and the crickets at night. Taste the heat of the peppers we have aplenty at our farm stands (or the fresh crunch of the sweet peppers if heat isn’t your thing). Watch the sunrise over the farm every morning as all of us get to work in the field.
Stay Active: As I keep mentioning, summer is a time of intense energy. But it’s an energy that exists not only in nature but also within you. Staying active is always important, but cardiovascular workouts are especially beneficial in the summer. Working up a good sweat helps remove toxins from your body. And though it’s hot, this activity isn’t as taxing on your energy reserves as it may be in the winter when your body is moving at a naturally slower rhythm. Be careful to work up to a sweat slowly, as your heart tends to be more vulnerable in the summer.
Overall, summer is a time to be active and bold. Keeping your body engaged in a higher state of activity will help you expel all your nervous energy before we move into the more reserved state for fall and winter. And don’t forget to come by the farm during our Wednesday and Saturday farm stands to try all the best produce of the summer season.