Living in Perth Western Australia and having three boys who love playing cricket, our family spends a lot of time in the sun and exposed to the heat. I really enjoy the summer months although I am struggling with the heat as I get older, and I know there are many people who don’t tolerate the extreme conditions and count the days until April.
Today’s blog is focused on the non-toxic, safe and healthy ways to improve and enhance your life on a daily basis through Summer. We’re looking at reducing your toxic load by making time to rest, managing your stress, getting some exercise and eating well.
As well as being a passionate dōTERR-ian, I am also a Holistic Health Coach with a specific interest in functional nutrition and gut health. My education and experience as a Medical Research Scientist, and my own personal health experiences, have led me to be a natural health advocate and ardent educator. I have personally experienced the benefits of incorporating dōTERRA into my daily habits and by sharing my knowledge with you, you too will experience positive changes in your health and wellness.
So, let’s start by focusing on ways to help you enjoy the outdoors during the warmer months:
Did you know Peppermint, Basil, and Cilantro are excellent natural repellents? dōTERRA TerraArmour is a brilliant product to keep close to hand. Add a few drops of your oil of choice to FCO (Fractionated Coconut Oil) and apply to your legs, arms, and neck before you head outdoors. You could also diffuse three to four drops of your favourite oil in your patio area or place a couple of drops of Spray TerraArmour around your doors, window seals, and tent.
Keeping cool on the go
Carrying a water spritzer bottle is a great way to keep yourself cool on the go. Try adding a few drops of Peppermint, Spearmint or Eucalyptus and start by spritzing your pulse points, (being your wrist and your neck) These are the areas that cool down quickly and will help to reduce your overall body temperature.
Wear light cotton fabrics that are breathable and help to draw moisture away. Although we love our “activewear” the tight-fitting and synthetic fabrics increase our overall body temperature by impacting our skin's ability to breathe. It’s also important to wear light colours (white and neutrals) rather than dark colours (blacks and browns) that attract and absorb the heat.
Adding some citrus oil to your water or a few drops under the tongue will support your body to remain hydrated and help your receptors to work more efficiently. Increase your intake of fruits and veggies like watermelon and celery. These are superfoods and deliver the water and minerals directly into our systems.
By eating salads and cold foods you’ll feel lighter and keep your body temperature cooler. Light foods (salads, yoghurts, nuts) are easier to digest, reducing your body heat as your system can easily process and absorb the nutrients. Try adding dressings and natural oils for flavouring, and don’t forget to include cold smoothies and mocktails packed with fruits and veggies for variety and to help you feel satisfied. Click here for some Summer Livin' Recipes.
After a long hot day on the outside, there’s nothing better than retreating to the comfort of your home. Thankfully we’ve come a long way since hanging a wet cloth over the rotating fan for some cool air (student life was tough) and most homes are air-conditioned these days. This being said, there are ways to moderate our body temperature and endure the hot days and nights without the fear of facing an absurd electricity bill!
Use a fan or open windows to create a breeze and draw heat out the house. You can also try diffusing oils which can help you to feel cool and control humidity in your home. Spearmint, Eucalyptus and Peppermint will provide a cooling atmosphere and make you feel invigorated. It’s best to do this before the sun rises, or in the evening as the temperature drops.
Cover windows and doors which are exposed to the sun to reduce the heat entering your home. External roller shutters or heavy sunblock curtains and keeping the house closed up and dark will help you avoid coming home to a hot-box.
Long hot days can be exhausting and leave you feeling fatigued. If you haven’t got a swimming pool or beach nearby you can just as easily take a cool bath or shower. Having a quick rinse in cool water will help you to feel fresh and re-energised.
After the Sun ...
If you’ve over-indulged on the sunshine and you’re feeling the effects of sun exposure, you’ll need some personal care suggestions to avoid dehydration and skin damage.
Essential oils are brilliant for after-sun care and really speak for themselves when it comes to compromised or sunburned skin. Tea Tree, Roman Chamomile, and Lavender are excellent choices for soothing and calming irritated skin. Try adding a few drops to your spritzer bottle or try making your own body wipes to soothe the heat sensation. If you’re at home, keep your spritzer or wipes in the fridge and experience an instant cooling effect.
Remember, anything used on your skin and your hair is being directly absorbed into your body so it’s best to make natural, non-toxic choices.
Vitamin D is essential for life and is affiliated with our immune system and overall wellness. Although we’re living in Australia, many of us are suffering from deficiency due to our overzealous “slip slop slap” approach to sun protection. I’ll go into further detail in a dedicated Vitamin D Blog, coming soon. In the meanwhile, exposure to direct sunlight is essential for Vitamin D production and should be included in your approach to overall wellness. Small periods of exposure will ensure you’re maintaining healthy Vitamin D levels and avoiding sunburn. The more skin exposed, the better - think ‘bikinis in the backyard’ ladies!
Nothing says summer, like a holiday. If you’re hitting the road (or air) for an adventure, there are a few key points to help you get the most out of your trip. Maintaining your energy levels, having good quality sleep, and protecting your digestive routine will help you feel calm, have fun, and return feeling refreshed after your holiday.
Eat well - know your food! What’s in it, where is it from? Try packing your own food when you can.
Hydrate - drink lots - and lots - of fresh water to keep yourself hydrated, help digestion, and to keep a clear head. Nibble on fresh fruit and veggies throughout the day to avoid snacking on low value foods and when the day is done, reward yourself with a dōTERRA cocktail or two. (Recipes coming soon!)
Limit Screen Time - Be prepared ahead of time with alternatives to devices or digital interference. Books, cards, board games and colouring-in are great ways to regulate mood, promote good sleep, and encourage conversation.
Good quality sleep - Schedule a sleep in and hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. Allow yourself to drift off into a restful and peaceful sleep knowing there are no alarms, no appointments, and nothing to disturb you.
And so we’ve covered all aspects of the sunny season - the outdoors, the indoors, your body, mind, and soul.
I hope this blog has inspired you to eat, live, laugh, rest, and to enjoy the summer months ahead. Try using my tips to incorporate essential oils into your food and lifestyle, to achieve a tox-free home, and to cleanse your body ... and you too will enjoy overall health and wellbeing from the inside out.
PS: Don't forget to grab your free PDF of Summer recipes here!!!