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I say this to you, because I need to hear it myself!**

I know you’re busy. I know you forget.
But please please, do make sure you stay hydrated.

  • Are your lips dry?
  • Do you drink more caffeine and alcohol than you do pure water? (When I say “pure”, I mean water that doesn’t have any added flavors, except fresh lemon or lime juice.)
  • Is your mouth dry?
  • Do you have a headache?
  • Are you constipated?

Drink some water.

(And please, choose filtered water or good tap water, instead of bottled water whenever possible. Thanks.)

* *
I’ve had a cold that won’t go away for about a week; it’s been mainly been in my upper chest and throat: coughing and very sore throat on the left side. My guess is that one reason this cold happened is that I hadn’t been drinking enough water, even though I’m always telling everyone else to do so! Classic cobbler’s children-have-no-shoes-syndrome; do as I say, not as I do.

In Chinese Medicine, the end-of-summer “season” (as well as all the “end-of” seasons) is associated with the Earth Element. It’s the time when some things come to a close, while other things begin.

At such a time of transition, the Earth Element reminds us to be grounded; think about healthy roots that help weather the uncertainties of transitions. The Earth Element is also about being centered; after all, the earth is the center of the other elements: metal, water, wood and fire.

Here are some ideas to support you in being more grounded and centered at summer’s end, and on any day.

Natural Sweetness

Do you find yourself at times craving sweets more than usual? When I feel stressed or wanting some “comfort”, I’m mightily tempted to indulge in my favorite almond croissant. The flavor associated with the Earth Element is sweetness, so that sugar craving can signal a state of being uncentered. The problem is that sugar can add fuel to the fire, by throwing you off balance even more with spikes in blood sugar and energy. Consider some natural sweetness: add honey, instead of sugar, to sweeten your tea; treat yourself to the natural and healthier sweetness of dried dates.

Acu Point: Hara

This point is a couple of fingers’ width below your bellybutton. This is your “energy center”, the place from where you have greatest balance. If you have lots of thoughts and ideas flying around in your head, you might feel light, ungrounded. If you’re dragging your feet, heavy on the ground and sluggish, your energy needs some uplifting, to be centered. Next time you feel uncentered, take a seat with your feel on the floor, or stand with your weight evenly on both feet, and rest one or both hands gently on your belly, under your navel. Take a few long deep and slow breaths. Learn more about this.

Grounding Through Routine

In Chinese Medicine, routine is associated with the Earth element and the idea of “home”. Do you have a daily routine that feels “homey” to you? A daily morning walk, afternoon yoga practice, or bedtime reading… I talked about this earlier in terms of the benefits of routine for healthy travel, but consider that every day of your life is a journey.