As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, some people experience a burst of energy. However, that’s not the case for everyone. As much as we look forward to the change in season, the appearance of spring also means the appearance of spring fatigue. We’ll look at what causes spring fever and what you can do to combat it.
Many people are familiar with spring fever: you feel tired, irritable, fatigued, and may even be struggling with circulatory problems. But that doesn’t have to be the case – with just a few tips, you can start the spring season full of energy.
What is Spring Fever?
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the meaning of spring fever is “a lazy or restless feeling often associated with the onset of spring”.
Some say that spring fever or spring fatigue is similar to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which often occurs during the transition from fall to winter. While there have been many studies to prove the correlation between gloomy moods and decreased light exposure, most of them are in relation to SAD. So is spring fever real?
Historically speaking, spring fever was very much a real illness. In the 18th century, there was an uptick in swollen joints, loose teeth, and lethargy in the spring due to the lack of fruits and vegetable consumption over the winter. Nowadays, however, there is no scientifically sanctioned name for the psychological and physiological changes experienced in the spring.
Spring Fever Causes
When the weather changes from winter to spring, your body has to adjust to the change in temperature and humidity. The blood vessels dilate and blood pressure drops, which can cause a feeling of lethargy. This is why the terms spring fever and spring fatigue are often used interchangeably.
Diets can vary quite significantly in colder months compared to warmer months for many different reasons. Those who prefer to eat regional foods end up eating less fruit and vegetables in the winter, and come spring, their nutrient storage is low. Tiredness, irritability, and circulatory problems can be the consequences. If this is you, remember that you can still eat regionally during winter by preserving fresh produce in the summer months. Check out: How to Ferment Vegetables: A Beginner’s Guide
Your body also needs time to slowly adjust to the brightness of springtime. High temperatures and stronger daylight take some getting used to after dark winter days. Your body produces more melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) during the winter, whereas in the spring, serotonin levels (a “happiness hormone”) are on the rise. Especially when daylight saving time begins, bodies get confused, circadian rhythms are thrown off, and you’re left with a constant feeling of fatigue.
How to Combat Spring Fatigue
On average, it takes about a month for the body to get used to the new season and get over spring fever. Here are a few tips to help you weather the change of seasons:
- Take advantage of as much daylight as possible and get out in the sun regularly.
- Rearrange your daily routine according to the daylight hours. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Use the warm days for walks or short bike rides.
- Eat a fresh and balanced diet. Your body needs a nutrient boost after the winter and farmers’ markets are filled with vitamin-rich leafy greens like spinach and cabbage this time of year.
- Take alternating hot and cold showers to stimulate your blood circulation. For best results, take them in the morning and always end with cold water.
- Don’t overdo it: allow yourself quiet evenings after busy days.
Note: If you’ve been lethargic for months, there may be more than spring fever at play, so you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Springtime Smoothie Recipe
If you’re suffering from spring fever and are looking for a way to get some nutrients back into your body, why not try an ABC smoothie? This nutrient-rich beverage contains vitamin A, B and C, as well as minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron. You’ll need:
- one apple
- one bell pepper
- one cucumber
- two stalks of celery
Blend the fruit and vegetables together in a blender, using a 1:1 ratio. For every cup of vegetables, use 1 cup of water. Enhance it even further with linseed oil, apple juice, or walnuts. For an extra vitamin boost, drink it outside in the sunshine to get some vitamin D.
This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Frühjahrsmüdigkeit: Ursachen und Tipps für mehr Energieaffiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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