Late Summer: Season of Nourishment
According to Chinese Medicine, we are now in LATE SUMMER, which is its own mini-season spanning from late August to early October. This is harvest time. Physically and spiritually, a time for nourishing and celebrating the abundance of nature and many blessings in our lives.
Late Summer is associated with our digestive organs (Spleen and Stomach) and the emotions of worry, doubt and anxiety. Many experience this connection of anxiety & stress triggering GI issues like indigestion, IBS, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and headaches.
This tendency to worry in Late Summer is only being magnified by the unprecedented levels of uncertainty in our world right now, so if you're feeling scattered and overwhelmed just know you're not alone!
With simple practices, we can use the energy of Late Summer to transform worry into stability, flow & trust in the Universe, even in the midst of change.
Let's dive into 7 ways we can nourish our body, mind & spirit right now to bring this healing energy into our lives:
1. ATTUNE YOUR EATING
Seasonal living always starts with seasonal eating.
Late Summer is associated with the EARTH element, which represents nourishment, stability and grounding. We adjust our eating in Late Summer to harness this grounding energy for better digestion and to bring calm and mental clarity:
- Start by reducing cold and raw foods, iced drinks, dairy and refined sugars. These tax the digestive organs and can lead to bloating, cramping, irregularity and sluggishness.
- Eat simple, nourishing foods that are easily digestible such as whole grains, pureed soups, steamed vegetables and lightly sauteed greens. Root vegetables are especially grounding as they are grow in the Earth.
- Late Summer is associated with the color yellow and the sweet flavor. Power foods for this time include sweet potatoes, squash, golden beets, ripe tomatoes, yellow onion, apples, pears, ginger, turmeric, chickpeas.
- Eat in a relaxed environment with mindfulness, gratitude and enjoyment. This encourages digestion and nutrient absorption.
2. SOOTHE YOUR CENTER
Try this meditation to release anxiety and fear from your body:
- Lying on your back, place your right hand over your belly and your left hand over your heart.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice your body rise and fall under your hands.
- Let the back of your body sink deeper into gravity with each breath. Now envision your heart is a beautiful, safe space, and invite any anxious feelings from your belly into that heart-space.
- Surrender your worries into the perfect safety and comfort of the heart, where they can receive any healing they need. Breathe here for several minutes.
- Finally, imagine golden sun shine overhead, warming & soothing you. As you remove your hands and lay them at your sides, allow any lingering emotions to rise up into the rays of light and dissolve into space.
3. GET DIRTY
Making direct contact with the Earth is deeply grounding and nurturing. Studies show that by balancing our body’s electro-magnetic charge, "earthing" reduces inflammation and anxiety and improves sleep, energy and immunity.
The are so many ways to connect with the Earth. Challenge yourself to check off as many these as possible in the next few weeks:Put your feet on the grass
Take a barefoot hike
Go outside early to weed and garden
Have a picnic
Play lawn games
Walk on the beach
Buy produce at a local organic farm
Visit a botanical gardens
Lay over a big boulder
Create a window potted herb garden
4. UPGRADE SELF-CARE
"Self care” can feel like just another thing on your to-do list. When you prioritize “self-connection” it becomes natural and effortless. Not another thing to do, but part of your identity, your vibration, your wholeness.
Self-care not only feels good in the moment - it also builds physical, mental and emotional resilience for the future. And it’s true what they say: when we care for ourselves, we can show up as our best for others!
Here are some ways to nurture connection with yourself:
- Take a quiet bath with some epsom salt and essential oils
- Get a massage or a facial
- Meditate for 10 minutes a day
- Instead of watching TV at night, wind down with soothing music, a candle, and a good book or some journaling
- Breathe deep for 2 or 3 minutes before eating
- Get an acupuncture treatment, where you can deeply relax, feel balanced, and connect mind, body and spirit
5. ACKNOWLEDGE ABUNDANCE
In times of uncertainty, we can get stuck in worrying about the future and lose sight of what we have in the present. Whether it’s your health, home, family, friends, or career, pause to acknowledge and appreciate those things that once were seeds of hope and now have come to be.
Take nourishment from savoring simple pleasures, such as the cool morning air, a passing thunderstorm, the first bite into a crisp apple, or your child's laughter.
When you shift focus from "what if's" to "what is", you send a message to your nervous system that everything is ok, allowing your body to move from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest mode.
A powerful way to access abundance is to give - volunteer, donate, cook your family a special meal, give your partner some extra love and attention, or just smile at a stranger - and see how much more at ease you feel.
6. SING YOUR WORRIES AWAY
Each season is associated with a different sound, and singing is the expression of the late summer. Think of the crescendo of nightly insect music in late summer. An unexpected remedy for worry, singing is considered healing for the Spleen and Stomach. Like a mother’s comforting lullaby to her baby, singing is soothing to your own soul.
There's an interesting scientific explanation behind this: The voice box is connected to the vagus nerve, which affects an array of functions including swallowing, digestion and heart rate.
Stimulating the vagus through singing slows our heart rate and puts our body in rest-and-digest mode. So play some tunes you love and belt it out in the car, the
shower, while cooking dinner or just because.
7. GET SUPPORT
If you're experiencing anxiety, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems or any other health issues, I am here to help!
To make an appointment, call or text me at 646.389.6809
I would love to hear from you!
Connect with me on Instagram for more seasonal health tips, recipes and Qi Gong exercises!