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Nature's Nourishment

"When anxious, uneasy, and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

If you're anything like us, your summer schedule becomes jostled, leaving you a discombobulated version of your former self. We already put our self-care on the back burner, then the busy days of summer leave us dizzy - exhausted, hot, and running in 14 directions. With everything going on, self-care isn't always a priority. Many times it falls into the "it can wait a bit longer" category.

Lauren: For the last couple weeks, I was out of sorts. I didn't feel like I owned my body anymore. Everything either annoyed me or made me angry. I wasn't hungry, I wanted to sleep all the time, and being up and around felt miserable. It didn't matter what I tried - meditation, journaling, exercise, everything I usually do - none of it worked. I was trying to pull myself out of it, but everything I tried only made it worse. I went through about a week of depression. I didn't know until later that it wasn't just was physical.

Two weeks ago, I ran out of my B Complex vitamin that I take. Between our starting ApothoGothic, my other jobs, and coordinating "summer" around the house, I haven't had time to get more vitamins. Additionally, it's been over 100 degreees for the last couple weeks where I live in San Antonio. I've been spending a lot of time outside and sweating more than usual. All that is to say that my vitamin B levels had tanked and I was losing a lot of salt.

Besides the vitamin levels, my salt and water balance was out of whack. It wasn't until I was talking to the pharmacist later that she put everything together for me. Within hours of starting some electrolyte drinks, I felt a ton better. She gave me a suggested routine for the rest of the hot months so I can keep my levels balanced. Honestly, by the time it got bad enough for me to notice something was happening, I wasn't able to figure out what led up to that point. At the time of writing this, I'm three days into my drinks and vitamins, and mostly feel back to my normal. It's amazing how much it helped to get my sodium levels back where they should be!

Why is that story important? Listening to our own bodies isn't always second nature, even if it usually comes easy. This is the time to double down. Carve out time for stillness, silence, and self-care, including the care of your physical body. Challenge yourself to spend time meditating and bathing in the lazy days of summer from your childhood. Ground and center yourself. Remember when you swore that this year you would make time for yourself? Make good on that promise.

Make a daisy chain.

Blow bubbles.

Walk barefoot in the grass.

Savor a popsicle on the porch.

As children, the feeling of being submerged in water was magical. There was warped sound, the feeling of bubbles on our skin, and the absolute knowing that we were secretly mermaids when underwater. It was both invigorating and healing at the same time. We have multiple forms of water at our disposal and seem to forget their healing properties. When we drink water, it hydrates us from the inside out; when we bathe, it cleanses us from the outside; and when we combine it with salt, it heals us starting with the outer and traveling to the inner. Salt and water together create an extraordinary combination that is important in so many of our internal and external systems. The middle of summer is the perfect time to seek out water and salt's healing, from that long sip of ice water all the way to a float in the ocean. Emerging from the healing depths of the water is where our transformation begins.

Water connects us to something larger than ourselves and uses that great expanse to bring balance and solace within.

Our July Favorites

Book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Movie: Amelie

Song: I Am Loving Awareness by East Forest, Ram Das, and Krishna Das

Journaling Prompt: "I nurture my spirit by..."

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please contact your doctor. While depression is predominantly a standalone mental health disorder, it can also be a symptom of many other health problems and is best being discussed with a healthcare provider.

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