Find Your Summer Chill
Written by Amy Loeb
You’re glad it’s finally summer and you’re starting to see your calendar fill up with events, BBQs, and gatherings. You’re excited about your plans, but are feeling busy and hoping you would have more time for yourself. You’re are ready for some self-care and time to rejuvenate.
You’re looking for some simple and effective ways to slow down and nurture yourself. We have some mind-body tips on how to energize yourself and stay cool so you don’t spend your summer in overdrive.
Practice Restorative Yoga
Summer is the perfect time to introduce restorative yoga into your practice. Restorative yoga consists of very gentle, and mainly reclined postures that encourage rest and relaxation. Many of us recognize that we have trouble relaxing, and restorative yoga requires you to do just that - practice relaxing. As Judith Lasater writes in her well-known book on the topic Relax & Renew,
“Most of our lives are spent in movement. Our days are filled with high-tech conveniences that allow us to get more done, faster. The yoga antidote is the simple act of lying down and being still. What happens next? Outer stillness is just the beginning. By lying down, you quiet the gross movements of the body. This gives you entrance to a rich inner landscape…
Your nervous system sends and receive fewer messages and becomes quieter. Layers of tension melt away as you learn to be present to what is happening in the body and mind in each moment. You learn how to identify how and where you hold tension and consciously release it. You discover a clear space from which to make life choices. Through restorative poses, you come into harmony with your body’s natural rhythms. Living by these rhythms is the key to good health.”
An Easy Place to Start - Legs Up The Wall
Spend 10-20 minutes with your legs resting up against the wall and your back flat on the ground. Place a cold towel on your forehead if desired, and turn the lights off or cover your eyes. Take 5-6 deep breaths to begin, but then allow yourself to relax and breathe naturally. This pose is an excellent way to decompress after a long work day or wind-down before bedtime.
Change Up Your Bath Routine
Bath time remains a great way to carve out some time to take care of yourself regardless of the weather. Use slightly cooler water than you usually would and add Epsom salts to soothe sore muscles and essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus or sandalwood (which have cooling properties).
In some cultures, hot temperatures can be associated with excessive thinking or negative thought patterns. That’s why we may hear someone say they need to “cool down” after an argument or other stressful situation. Therefore, a cold treat isn’t just delicious, it is also a fun way to take a well-deserved break in the middle of your day. Use disposable cups or invest in some popsicle molds to turn your favorite smoothie into a yummy treat! 2 cups coconut water blended with 1 cup of fresh fruit can be frozen to make a simple treat for a hot day.
Amy, Boketto Center’s administrative assistant, is a currently in her masters program for social work and is passionate about self-care. She enjoys spending time outside hiking, biking, and playing with her dogs. She looks forward to providing others with therapeutic tools such as yoga, meditation, and talk therapy to help them understand themselves better and enjoy life with less stress.