“Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.”
Just as nature goes through cycles of change, so do we. We are the seasons, we are nature and we are the elements. In Feng Shui, the Five Elements are earth, metal, water, wood and fire. These elements are symbolic of the forces at work within the universe and how these forces impact our minds and bodies, as well as how they affect other living creatures. The Five Element Theory is also the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine, qigong practices for energy healing , and acupuncture-based therapy.
In Feng Shui, Late Summer is represented by “Earth Energy”. This energy is grounding, offers stability, and is represented by a square shape and the color yellow. Be mindful of the energy brought by this season, and read EcoChi’s tips for summer below!
1. Move your body! Get outside and move or dance! Good energy is contagious. Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. (HHS.gov) Exercising even 10 minutes a day is enough to improve your health, cheer you up, and help you maintain a steady weight. "Your body responds very positively, very quickly to even small amounts of exercise," says lead study author Tim Church, MD, PhD.
2. Connect to nature by taking your lunch break outdoors. Take advantage of the weather this season and get outside when you can! Studies show that spending time outdoors can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure. Did you know that personal wellness refers to physical, emotional and mental well-being? We know that walking on quiet, tree-lined paths can result in meaningful improvements to mental health, and even physical changes to the brain. Check out this great study by the Global Wellness Institute.
3. Hydrate! Keep a bottle (non-plastic!) of water with you during the day. If you don't like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon, lime or any summer fruit to your drink. Keep in mind that to stay hydrated, you often need more than water. You also need electrolytes and carbohydrates (Jennifer Williams, research scientist with Abbott Laboratories). While both nutrients can help your body absorb whatever fluids you drink, electrolytes – sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium – are especially important because they are critical to healthy nerve and muscle function. (Abbott)
4. Connect with others. Social Wellness refers to one's ability to interact with people around them. It involves using good communications skills, having meaningful relationships, respecting yourself and others, and creating a support system that can include family members and friends. Happiness isn’t something that just happens to you. Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life.
5. Rest & take time for yourself. Even a staycation works. It is beneficial to spend some time relaxing in nature. Taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. Which leads us to our last EcoChi tip for the summer…
6. Take Action! Now that you’ve read some mental, emotional and physical wellness tips above, take advantage of the stabilizing and grounding Earth Energy of the late summer season and use this time to put a thought, plan or goal you have into action! It’s the perfect time to get motivated and productive. Taking action bolsters your belief in yourself- Once you believe in yourself, the world of possibilities opens up to you.
-Debra Duneier, EcoChi President