Finally! The sun is out, the garden is growing, and the energy of summer tends to infuse many of us with extra pep, better digestion, and feelings of joy. In Chinese Medical theory, every season has correspondences with emotions, organs, tastes, even colors and sounds. In the summer you can expect to feel pretty good! The Yang quality of the sun’s energy has similar effects on us as it does on the earth: sunshine and warmth are translated into movement, growth, and expansion. Emotions like joy high and you may feel more motivated to connect with others and be more active in general.
How to get the most out of Summer?
Stay active and use the extra Yang energy to fuel fun outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and swimming. Be careful not to overdo, however. In Chinese Medicine too much exercise / activity is just as harmful as too little. Pace yourself, listen to your body when it tells you to rest, and make sure to balance the heat of summer with cool (not cold) foods like watermelon and cucumber and plenty of room temperature (not iced) water.
Ocean, rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.
The element associated with summer is Fire. In order to balance the fiery energy of summer it’s an excellent idea to incorporate time in and near water into your summer fun. Splash and play and spend some time immersed to get your body’s fire & water elements in harmony.
Connection is the Key
Summer’s extroverted energy is the perfect backdrop to what Western medicine is touting as the secret to longevity and Chinese medicine has known for a long time: connection with is the key to a long happy life. It’s easy in our modern lives to get so wrapped up in work and family that we forget how important community is. So greet your neighbors and find out their names, smile at strangers, call your parents, have that BBQ and invite your good friends and then invite some new people too. Laugh as much as much as you can. Then laugh some more.