• Jess

We Are Water: Summer Self-Care for a Heat Wave


Our climate crisis continues to heat up our world. Paired with the grief of the ongoing pandemic, racist hate crimes and attacks on human rights, you might be feeling overwhelmed, angry, anxious and full of grief. Big challenges need consistent action from many people.


The good news is that there are small, simple, very powerful ways that we can tend to our personal overwhelm, and we can pass these onto our beloveds. I'm sharing some of my tried and true tips for cooling down, both physically and emotionally.


Always check in with your healthcare provider before working with new herbs. Herbs are powerful, but not all herbs are right for all people, so be mindful of your pre-existing conditions and any meds you’re taking.


Yoga Pose: Viparita Karani "Legs up the wall"

Clear off some floor space and bring one hip flush with the wall, then shimmy both of your legs up the wall. At this point, your back will be flat on the floor. If you have a tender low back, you can add a folded blanket or towel under you. This pose is reputed to help with the circulation of blood, lymph and other fluids which help our body move waste, ease pelvic congestion and soothing swelling in lower extremities.

* If you have glaucoma, hernia or hypertension, this pose is contra-indicated.


If I'm feeling particularly ungrounded or distressed, I'll fold a light blanket or towel over my belly. This gentle pressure helps to calm my parasympathetic nervous system.


I like to cover my eyes with an eye pillow or a cool, damp washcloth when in this pose. It helps to further cool me down and helps me find calm and stillness, no longer having to take in and interpret so much visual stimuli. Thanks to Linseed Toner-Calumsky for this tip!


Epsom Salt Foot Bath


If you don't have the time or energy for a full body bath, an Epsom salt bath is a great way to cool your body down and clear your energy body, helping you process intense feelings.


I like to fill a foot bath 3/4 of the way full with cool water, add a few ice cubes, then add to a washcloth:

1 cup Epsom salts

1 tablespoon colloidal oatmeal

1 tablespoon magnesium chloride flakes

1 tablespoon each of the following herbs

- lemonbalm

-spearmint

-chamomile

-lavender


Tie an elastic band around the salt and herb mixture and add it to the bath.


Seeing Green

Slice cucumbers into 1/2 inch rounds and place them over your eyes.


Morning Mist

You can carry an atomizer/spray bottle full of a hydrosol (flower water) with you and give yourself a spritz when you're feeling too warm.


Some of my favourites are:

- cucumber and mint

- rose water

-orange blossom water

- lavender water


Soothing Sounds

The sounds of our environment have been shown to have a big impact on our ability to focus and to feel a sense of clarity and peace. I've been surprised at how listening to something calming gradually helps to soothe me. Some of my favourite chill music includes: Nina Simone, Chet Baker, Portishead, cello concertos, nocturnes, and the sound of koshi chimes or waterfalls.

Chopin Nocturne

Cello Meditation

Gong Space

7 Chakras


Cooling Botanical Beverages


Green Glow

1 cup coconut water

1/3 cup kale

1/3 cup parsley

1/3 cup pineapple

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and diced

6 Brazil nuts


Pulse in a blender, then serve over ice. This green juice tastes amazing and it's rich in Vitamin C, folic acid, B vitamins, carotene and selenium.


Sweetheart

1 cup coconut water

1/2 cup strawberries

1/3 cup cranberries

1/3 cup raspberries

6 dates, pitted and soaked overnight


Pulse in a blender, then serve over ice. Berries taste amazing, are high in Vitamin C, may help improve blood sugar and insulin levels and are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.


Ginger Snap

1 cup coconut water

1/3 cup pineapple

1/3 cup pureed carrot

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and diced

6 Brazil nuts


Pulse in a blender, then serve over ice. This sweet, slightly spicy smoothie is rich in Vitamin C, selenium, beta-carotene and anti-inflammatories in electrolyte rich coconut water.


Mint Magick

1 tablespoon each of: lemonbalm, garden sage, spearmint


Add the herbs to 2 cups of near boiling water, then remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain the herbs and compost them or add them to a bath.

* I like to do this in the evening or early morning, then refrigerate the infusion and drink it throughout the day.


Lemonbalm is reputed for its cooling and calming properties. Garden sage is often indicated for treating hot flashes, while spearmint aids digestion and relaxation.


Soothing Herbal Decoction

2 tablespoons holy basil/tulsi

2 tablespoons chickweed

1tablespoon raspberry leaf


Add the herbs to 2 cups of near boiling water, then remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain the herbs and compost them or add them to a bath.


Raspberry leaf is mineral rich (potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium), an effective remedy for easing nausea and improving sleep. Chickweed cools inflammation and helps move lymph. Tulsi (holy basil) invites clear vision and adaptation to change, reputed to ease stress, insomnia and exhaustion.




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