One of my favorite yoga teachers recently began class with a short talk about how to stay balanced and cool in this brutal heat we’ve been experiencing. Although we might be tempted to run around like crazy and do everything we possibly can to wring the last bits of warm lake water from our beach towels before grilling out until the stars emerge and then doing it all again the next day, sometimes it might be necessary to just… chill… out. Because, otherwise, we run the risk of imploding, or worse, exploding our tensions and frustrations out on our friends and loved ones (and coworkers!).

Since August is typically known as the last gasp of summer in Sandpoint, I wanted to share some of her suggestions for how to “cool the inner fire” when the outside temps are holding steady above 90 degrees, and the only breeze on the horizon feels like a refreshing blast from a hair dryer. Even if you’re not into Ayurveda, and don’t give two figs about which dosha you are, some of these tips might help you avoid summer burnout:

HEALTH IN THE HEAT

First, stay out of the big heat! Exercise when it’s cool and don’t expose yourself to the high heat and direct sun of midday. Second, avoid tight-fitting synthetic clothing (I’m looking at you, Spandex) and try rose water and cooling essential oils to give yourself an easy blast of refreshment. Third, eat seasonal foods and make sure fresh fruits and vegetables accompany whatever else you’re grilling. Fourth, there’s no need to go-go-go until nightfall! I used to eat dinner so late in the summers, and maybe that works in your 20’s (such a forgiving decade), but good sleep is a gift that allows us to stay healthy and sane; don’t give it away. Lastly, while alcohol might seem appealing, it’s not the most restorative choice; try homemade spritzers with fresh fruit and herbs instead. You also may be interested in reading my yoga instructor's blog post.

Now I’m not trying to preach here, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the increased heat and speed of summer exhausting, and since I can’t spend three months languishing in the shade of a giant oak tree while reading my book and occasionally dipping into a nearby body of water, I’ve found that practicing awareness and self-care can go a long way toward helping me enjoy this fiery season.

read under a tree

A HOLISTIC APPROACH

Luckily, my workplace, in addition to a (usually) quiet atmosphere and functional air conditioning, contains dozens of useful resources to increase my knowledge in these areas. If you’re interested in the ayurvedic approach, try: The Ayurveda Bible, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, or Yoga and Ayurveda. To get recipe ideas for delicious spritzers and other refreshing drinks, check out Water Infusions or The Ultimate Juices and Smoothies Encyclopedia. If you prefer your treats cold and sweet, try Ice Pop Joy. For essential oils, head to 615.3 in the stacks. Also, remember you can search for any of these topics in OverDrive to download e-books without even having to come into the library!

So, to summerize (get it?), remember that while summer is here, so is the Library - take advantage of it! And if you’re wilting in the heat and praying for rain and cooler temps, keep in mind that you do live in North Idaho, which always means… winter is coming.

Vanessa Velez, Collection Development Librarian

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