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Unlock the Joy of Summer: 14 Simple Summer Self-Care rituals to nourish your Inner Fire 

Welcome to the season of warmth, vibrancy, and passion! Summer, associated with the powerful Fire element in Chinese medicine, invites us to embrace the energy of manifestation, self-expression, and joy. It’s a time to ignite our inner fire, nurture our spirits, and indulge in summer self-care practices that align with the essence of the season. In this blog post you’ll learn 14 simple yet nourishing summer self-care ideas to enhance your well-being and make this season truly memorable.

14 Simple Summer Self-Care rituals to Nourish your Inner Fire

The Power of the Fire Element in Summer:

In Chinese medicine, each season is associated with one of the five elements within the Creative Cycle, and summer corresponds to the Fire element. Fire represents passion, transformation, and illumination. It symbolizes the energy of the sun, radiating warmth and light, and resonates with our hearts and spirits. Align with the Fire element this summer to tap into the power of manifestation, self-expression, and joy.

Summer is a time of abundance and growth, both in nature and within ourselves. It’s an opportunity to nourish our passions, express our creativity, and connect with our authentic selves through Summer self-care. By embracing the energy of the Fire element, we can cultivate a sense of purpose, expand our horizons, and experience the fullness of life.

Summer Self-Care Pro Tip: Avoid overexertion

In Summer, the Qi within us flows outward and upward, mirroring the growth of plants. This natural expansion necessitates preserving our internal energy to prevent excessive depletion. The Heart, the ruler of this season, reflects this balance. An overexcited heart can manifest as inappropriate laughter or incessant chatter. To maintain equilibrium, embrace practices that nurture tranquility and promote a harmonious flow of Qi.

Summer Self-care: Nourish your Heart

For Summer Self-care based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), nourishing Yang is essential. In the five-elements theory, summer corresponds to the heart. The hot summer can be particularly harmful to the heart. 

14 Simple Summer Self-Care rituals nourish your heart

As Yang Qi becomes vigorous during this time, the heart’s Yang Qi provides power for blood circulation and sustains the basic life activities. With the increased blood circulation in the hot summer, the heart’s burden also increases. Thus, it is crucial to protect the heart’s Yang and maintain its normal functioning.

During the hot summer, our minds are prone to disturbance, often leading to uneasiness. To counter this, it is important to maintain a cheerful mood and avoid excessive excitement. 

Since summer belongs to the Yang element, which is mainly associated with drainage, people tend to sweat more during this season and easily feel sad. This can lead to blood concentration, increased blood viscosity, and an additional burden on the heart. Therefore, nourishing the heart/mind becomes the key to summer self-care.

14 Simple Summer Self-Care Ideas for your Heart

Here are some 14 of my favourite simple summer self-care ideas to nourish your mind, body and spirit this season:

Summer Self-care: How to awaken and start your day

1. Engage in Moderate Morning Exercise

In summer, we tend to wake up early, making it a great opportunity to raise Yang and nourish the mind through morning exercise. Take 20-30 minutes for morning exercise to promote the rise of Yang. 

Summer Self-care rituals: morning Yoga

It is important not to exercise right after waking up. Instead, start with a cup of warm water and then engage in gentle exercises like Qigong, Yoga, or Tai chi.

2. Harness the Flow of Qi with Qigong 

Moving meditations like Tai Chi, renowned for their ability to calm and direct the flow of Qi, are particularly beneficial. Engaging in pleasant walks amidst the beauty of Summer, perhaps in a serene park, allows the body to relax, fostering a deeper connection with the season’s essence. These mindful pursuits cultivate balance, harmony, and a natural joy that emanates from within.

Barefoot Earthing Qigong by Visiting practitioner Wenlin Tan

Summer Self-care: How to eat well

3. Embrace the Bitter Taste to Restore Balance

According to Five Element Theory, the Bitter taste serves as an antidote to overexpansion and fosters equilibrium. Unsurprisingly, bitter foods and herbs are often absent from our diets, despite their availability in nature and alignment with the Summer season. Below you can find some examples of bitter foods to incorporate in your diet for summer self-care. 

Eating bitter foods is great summer self-care
Image credit to AcuPro Academy

Including foods with a hint of bitterness like asparagus and romaine lettuce can profoundly benefit the Heart. As the Heart thrives on calm and peacefulness, incorporating bitter elements brings about greater balance and harmony.

4. Eat Light and Right, Fresh & Clean 

In Summer, opt for easily digestible, light, and non-greasy foods. While it may be tempting to indulge in copious amounts of cold foods and liquids to combat the external heat, this can lead to digestive troubles later on. 

According to Chinese medicine, the stomach is considered the foundation of our well-being. During the summer, the spleen and stomach may become relatively dull, leading to reduced appetite. To support these organs, including fresh vegetables and fruits in our diet is highly beneficial. 

Eating fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables for your diet is simple summer self-care

These foods provide essential nutrients, such as fiber and sugar, to energize and hydrate the body. Carrots, lemons, and amaranth are particularly favorable choices. It’s important, however, to avoid excessive consumption of raw, cold, or unclean foods to prevent digestive issues like dysentery or diarrhea.

Watermelon, a plentiful and cooling fruit, can be enjoyed with a touch of bitterness by savoring a bit of the rind. Enhance your daily diet with an abundance of vegetables and fruits, stimulating the appetite and ensuring adequate hydration.

Summer self-care diet: Harmonious Foods for Early Summer

Early Summer offers a delightful array of foods that harmonize with the season. Try these: 

  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bitter melon
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Strawberries

These ingredients resonate with the energies of Summer, supporting your well-being and delighting your taste buds.

5. Take care during the “Dog Days”

“Dog days” are the hottest, humid and sultry days from mid July to the end of August, which we sometimes call “bitter summer”. Due to the high temperatures, you might like cold or iced drinks or drink more water.  This may result in moisture invasion of your body, and dampness affecting the spleen and stomach. This could result in digestive dysfunction, water congestion, loss of appetite and so on.

According to the wellness view of TCM, heat dampness is very damaging to the spleen, so it is appropriate to eat some sweet foods to balance the spleen and the Earth Element in your daily diet. It is appropriate to eat some sweet and slightly acid foods. Foods suitable for late summer include pineapple and watermelon. 

yellow and pink ice cream

6. Eat foods to Replenish Qi and Remove Fire:

During the hot summer, it is crucial to focus on removing excess fire and replenishing qi, restoring balance within ourselves. Incorporating fire-dispelling foods into our diet can help cool and pacify the internal fire.

Bitter melon and tomatoes, known for their cooling properties, are excellent choices. Additionally, milk, with its slightly cold nature, not only replenishes fluids but also nourishes Yin and helps counteract the fire element.

7. Enjoy a Refreshing Cup of Tea in the Afternoon

In hot summer weather, sweating can cause the loss of essential minerals like potassium, which is closely related to cardiovascular health. Drinking tea in summer not only helps relieve heat but also replenishes vital nutrients. Flower or fruit teas, such as refreshing chrysanthemum tea, naturally cool the body from within. 

having chrysanthemum tea is a wonderful cooling summer self-care ritual

Apart from regular tea, you can prepare simple herbal teas to clear heart fire and nourish the mind. Regular tea or herbal tea options like chrysanthemum, lotus leaf and lotus seed core can have cooling and calming effects, reducing heart fire and soothing restlessness. Experiment with different herbal combinations to find what suits you best.

Summer Self-care: How to manage your energy

8. Refresh Yourself with a Lunch Break Nap during heart hour

Taking a nap during noon, specifically between 11 AM to 1 PM, is a great way to nourish the mind. This time aligns with the heart meridian’s peak activity, which supports mind nourishment. A short nap of 15-30 minutes can alleviate the fatigue from a busy morning and enhance work or study efficiency in the afternoon. 

A power nap is a great summer self-care activity

Research also shows that afternoon naps can significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, and myocardial infarction. Even if you can’t fall asleep, simply closing your eyes for a while can be beneficial for the body and mind.

9 & 10. Ground your Energy by Connecting with Earth + Evening Walking Meditation for Tranquility:

In Summer, as energy naturally ascends and disperses, it’s common to feel a sense of being “ungrounded.” To address this, a simple and enjoyable seasonal “exercise” involves stepping outside, removing your shoes, and standing on the grass, soil or sandy beaches.

You can pair Earthing with the practice of a walking meditation barefoot to ground your energy. In the evening, go on a gentle walk to cultivate tranquility and calm the mind. Focus on movements that promote blood circulation, ease the burden on the heart, and enhance the quality of sleep. This can contribute to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

Earthing is a great summer self-care activity

As you are walking, allow yourself to truly feel the Earth beneath your feet, forging a deep connection with the grounding energy it provides. This practice fosters balance and centering, preparing us for the forthcoming Earth season. 

11. Mindful Foot Soak Before Bed:

Before bedtime, soak your feet in hot water to dispel heat and dampness, invigorate the spirit, stimulate the appetite, and improve sleep quality.

Summer self-care: Foot soak

Massaging the Yongquan 涌泉 acupoint on the soles of your feet can further stimulate kidney essence, nourishing the mind. Within the Creative Cycle, this point is associated with the Water Element, the polar opposite of the Fire Element, and helps to balance the latter. This summer self-care practice is particularly beneficial during the summer when the body is susceptible to excess moisture.

Glossary | taichimaui

12. Take a Digital Detox: 

Disconnect from technology for a day or weekend. Instead, engage in activities that nourish your soul, such as reading, exploring nature, practicing mindfulness, or connecting with your loved ones face-to-face. A digital detox offers numerous benefits for overall well-being. By taking a break from digital devices and platforms, you can reduce social comparison and the negative impact it has on self-esteem.

This break allows time and space for self-connection, enabling you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and desires, ultimately strengthening your authenticity and providing a sense of balance to the fire element within yourself.

13. End each day with Gratitude: 

One of the most powerful summer self-care rituals you can do before bed it to reflect on the blessings and experiences of the day. Try this sleep well Sunset meditation to free stress and overthinking and prepare for a good night’s sleep, or try it yourself following the steps below. 

Summer solstice rituals: Sunset meditation for peace and bliss

  1. Find a place where you can watch the sunset. Or if you’re unable to, watch a video, or visualize a cherished sunset memory from your past.
  2. As the sun sets, sit quietly and offer gratitude for the day, the summer season, and the blessings in your life.
  3. Feel the sense of peace and serenity as you connect with the beauty of the fading light.
  4. Cultivate gratitude for the joyful moments, lessons learned, and the transformative energy of the Fire element that guided you throughout the day.
  5. As the sun’s rays descend, allow your exhale to support you to release anything that doesn’t serve you. Close your practice using any gesture that resonates with you.

14. Summer Self-care Special invitation: 🌻 Join our Mindful MidYear Review & Meditation

Join us live online on 2 July to do your MidYear review and meditation together!  Join the mailing list to get a recording.

You can also read this blog post and follow along the guided meditation to do it on your own.

How to choose a Summer Self-care ritual: Connect with authenticity

Remember, your authentic needs, interests and individual circumstances should guide your dietary choices and summer self-care practices. While the Five Elements and the Creative Cycle provides universal guidelines, who you are, where you are, how you are, and when you are all influence how you apply these principles. Listen to your body’s wisdom and embrace what nourishes and resonates with your unique needs.

Summer self-care is a transformative journey of self-discovery and alignment with the Fire element’s essence. By embracing the wisdom of Chinese medicine, nurturing your body, and cultivating inner harmony, you unlock the joy and vitality that Summer has to offer. Allow the fire within you to burn brightly, guiding you towards a season of radiant well-being and profound connection.

More Resources on Summer Self-care Rituals

Get Support to Nourish your Inner Fire:

Are you seeking support and self-care rituals for your personal growth and abundance? With my coaching, we’ll explore the underlying challenges and limiting beliefs stopping you. You’ll learn effective and simple tools and rituals to nourish your inner fire. Furthermore, you’ll learn strategies to supercharge your productivity and creativity, and improve your well-being. Book a complimentary call with me

Together, we’ll create a personalized approach that honors your needs and empowers you to thrive.

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Hi! I’m Wenlin Tan, a Productivity, Accountability & Mindfulness Coach with clients across Asia, Europe and the USA. I am passionate about supporting you to overcome self-doubt, procrastination and inner critic attacks to achieve your goals and live the dream of your dreams. If you want to learn how to overcome overwhelm and achieve your goals with ease, I’m here to help.

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