I grew up in the Midwest, so I associate summer with hot sticky afternoons, melting ice cream cones and hearing the buzz of the cicadas at night. Now that I live in San Francisco, summer means I need to pull out my winter jacket to warm myself against the chilly fog that rolls in off the ocean.

But it’s all still summertime, the daylight hours are longer, and regardless of how hot or cool your summer experience is, it can be helpful to know that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, summertime is associated with the heart. So summer is a great time to think about things associated with the heart:

  • passions: dedicate yourself to your favorite hobby or sign up for that Spanish class you’ve been wanting to take for a long time
  • intuition: “follow your heart”
  • relationships: nurture your friendships and laugh with your friends and beloveds

Summer is also associated with the fire element, and the time to bask in the sun (with a good sunscreen lotion) and exercise and sweat. In other words, time to play and have fun.

Don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated, and eat light, by enjoying the abundant summer fruits and veggies.