Welcoming Summer

Welcoming Summer



Summer is a time of rapid growth, change and maturation. An opportunity to celebrate the fertility of the earth, as well as our own ripeness of being. During summer, we are our most expansive, energetic selves. As flowers bloom and our gardens, woodlands and parks are filled with the sweet scent of foxgloves, poppies and honeysuckle, we harness the sun’s energy of creativity, longevity and strength to recharge our bodies and minds.



In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is governed by the element of Fire, embodying a fiercely yang, outward-moving energy. We tap into this energy of movement as we begin to spend more time outside, socialising, travelling and exercising. At its peak, this Fire energy is fast and intense, so mindfulness and intentionality should be our grounding forces as we transition towards the latter, more yin part of the year. While summer has the ability to recharge our physical and emotional batteries, conversely, it can become overwhelming, creating conditions of dis-ease within the body if we do not learn to properly nurture and temper it.

In summer, we benefit from eating more cooling foods to pacify our systems, in particular the heart and small intestine, which are the organ pair associated with summer and the Fire element. In TCM, the heart rules understanding and clarity of thought, and the small intestine receives, digests and assimilates nourishment. To support these organs and maintain balance and regularity within the whole body, we must detoxify with hydrating vegetables and bitter foods that work to drain damp, clear heat and remove toxins.




To properly replenish our bodies, steaming, sautéing and quick wok-style cooking are most appropriate and ingredients should be fresh, light and nourishing. Hot, dry, fatty or greasy foods like coffee, alcohol, red meats or dairy must be eaten in moderation. Fruits, which are particularly cooling in nature, making them less appropriate for colder climes, come into season in summer — think bananas, peaches, kiwi, watermelon and avocado, as well as cherries and berries.




Our innate life force is now at its peak, but with temperatures high, feelings of anxiety and irritability can arise, so making time to cool off, both physically and emotionally is essential. In between social interactions, be sure to incorporate grounding solo practices of meditation and movement. When getting dressed, opt for lightweight, natural fibres that allow the skin to breathe and the body to move fluidly. Organic cotton, linen, silk and bamboo are perfect for layering and navigating the unpredictable British climate, where downpours frequently pepper sun-drenched days.





—Beat the heat with breathable, natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen (so quintessentially summer!) and bamboo. These allow the skin to breathe and work to cool the body.

— Build a hardworking wardrobe. Choose versatile, loose silhouettes and relaxed cuts. Wide-leg trousers, billowing shirts, voluminous dresses, and slouchy shorts offer maximum comfort and are easy to layer when the temperature drops, or during an unexpected downpour.

— Pale colours and soft neutrals reflect the sunlight instead of absorbing it, and will work well with almost everything in your wardrobe. If you select wisely, you will find you only need to add a few key, quality pieces each season.

— Denim is a perennial classic and looks as chic with a crisp white shirt, as it does with a bikini or bodysuit. Opt for lightweight denim in blue or cream, and turn up the cuffs to avoid overheating.

— Get clever with layering. Make an airy, sleeveless dress or blouse evening appropriate with the simple addition of a cropped cardigan, oversized sweater, or tailored jacket. Rather than stuffing your layers into a tote, avoid creasing and drape over your shoulders for a nonchalant mood.

— Wool works in summer too! Light woollen pieces wick moisture from the skin, helping to keep you cool and dry. Wool is also naturally odour resistant, making it an excellent option for on-the-go days.


Beccy Candice Clarke is a writer, editor, and holistic health coach. If you would like to work with her, or find out more about her practice you can do so here:  /  @beccycandice

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