6 Tips for Boosting Mental Energy This Summer
During the long, warm days of summer, work is often the last thing we want to think about. Whether we’re feeling sluggish because of the heat or are struggling to ease back into work after taking a vacation, we tend to feel more tired and groggy during the summer than other parts of the year.
According to Ayurveda, there’s a reason for this tendency toward mental sluggishness. Summertime is considered Pitta season, which is oily, fiery, mobile and sharp. Both mental and physical activities generate heat in our minds and bodies, so when we’re faced with hot weather, our minds and bodies take more of a backseat. That’s why we tend to feel both physically and mentally slower and less vibrant than usual.
Our dominant dosha can also influence our mental sharpness during the summer. Especially for those dominated by Kapha, which is grounded and slow, and Pitta, which is fiery and hot, the Pitta-like qualities of summer can exacerbate low energy levels. Since Vatas are dry and airy, they are more amenable and adaptable to Pitta season.
When we’re feeling sluggish, re-establishing an active mental routine can seem daunting. However, there are a few simple Ayurvedic recommendations that are easy to implement and make a big impact on our mental energy. If you’re looking to re-awaken your mind, check out these tips for boosting mental energy, concentration and sharpness this summer.
Go to sleep & wake up early
During summer, the coolest part of the day occurs early in the morning. To maximize on this coolness, try waking up around 7am or earlier. Waking up later in the morning, when the weather has started to heat up, can make it extra difficult to awaken our minds and bodies. That’s also why it’s recommended to exercise in the morning for maximal physical health. By waking up early, you can give yourself an extra energy boost to head-start the day.
Conversely, in order to make sure you have enough physical and mental energy to accomplish your goals, you should also go to sleep at an earlier hour, around 10pm or earlier if possible. For more tips on how to get better sleep according to Ayurveda, check out our blog posts here and here.
Take a Brahmi supplement
Brahmi, or gotu kola, is a tridoshic Ayurvedic herb that is revered for its ability to promote mental clarity, focus and tranquility. It is especially pacifying for Pitta, making it an excellent brain-boosting resource for the summer. In addition to boosting cognitive function, it also combats insomnia and alleviates stress and anxiety, conditions that can also harm our ability to think clearly.
Whether you’re already a Brahmi lover or you haven’t tried Brahmi before, we recommend our UMA Brilliant Brain Herbal Supplement, which is designed to boost productivity, enhance brain function, promote better sleep and more.
Exposing ourselves unnecessarily to the sun, especially if we’re not properly dressed, can only intensify the heat that makes our minds want to slow down. Before you go out, make sure to put on sunscreen and wear light, breathable protective clothing. Materials like cotton or silk in light colors are especially cooling. According to Ayurveda, Pitta dominates from 10am to 2pm, so try to minimize time spent outside during those hours.
Give yourself a cooling self-massage
If you do find that you’ve spent a bit too much time in the heat, you can cool down with a self-massage before you bathe. Oils like coconut oil and sunflower oil are especially helpful, given their naturally cooling nature; you can also try our UMA Absolute Essential Self Massage Oil, which utilizes soothing calamus, ashwagandha, neem, coconut and more for a targeted formula that grounds both mind and body. Another good option is our UMA Pure Energy Wellness Oil, which incorporates lifting and mind-boosting ingredients like jasmine, basil and ginger to provide a natural surge of energy.
Eat light, cooling foods
Our diet can create or exacerbate internal imbalances, which in turn weakens our focus and concentration. To promote an energized, centered mind, try eating cooling foods that pacify Pitta, like leafy green vegetables, chilled soups, sweet fruits and white meat. Try to incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Avoid spicy, fried, pungent and oily foods. For more information on how to approach summer eating, check out our blog here.
Tune it down in the eveningPerhaps surprisingly, an important part in maintaining an active, focused mind is making sure you unwind and slow down your mind in the evening. An overstimulated mind can make it harder to sleep and prevent you from fully regenerating your mental energies. Try to avoid looking at stimulating media in the evenings, like action movies or social media platforms, and avoid staying out too late. Instead, you can read a book, take a long bath or drink a soothing herbal tea.
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