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Spring is knocking on our doors and we are delighted to let it in! We must admit, winter had its ways of bringing us down, but all our worries seem to go and all our chores seem to get easier with the first rise of spring sunshine. This mood change is mostly caused by Vitamin D, from the sun, which boosts the energy levels and leaves us feeling more joyful and excited for what is to come.
However, not everyone feels spring fever. While some of us are affected by so-called spring tiredness or spring fatigue. But what is spring fatigue and how can one minimize its effects during springtime?
What Is Spring Fatigue?
To understand spring fatigue, we must first define spring fever. Spring fever is a physical and mental change in the body caused by changes in the temperature. In other words, spring fever is our body’s response to the warmer weather. It occurs at the end of the winter and the beginning of spring, and manifests itself in one of two ways:
- Increased energy levels and feelings of vitality, with the desire to spend more time outdoors.
- Decreased energy levels, lethargy, tiredness, muscle pain, bad mood, and sleepiness. It is this latter state that is most commonly called spring fatigue and is the focus of this article.
Bear in mind, spring fatigue is simply a state our body goes through from time to time, during the springtime, and is not diagnosed as a medical condition nor a disease. Spring tiredness is also another expression used to describe spring fatigue.
Is Spring Fatigue Dangerous?
No. It is perfectly normal to feel spring fatigue. With the longer days, increased sunlight exposure, and warmer temperatures, the body needs time to readjust to these conditions. There is, therefore, no danger when experiencing spring fatigue.
So, How Can You Combat Spring Tiredness and Boost the Energy Level?
There are several ways to minimize the negative effects of spring tiredness. In this article, we will focus on the five most important ways that will reduce the symptoms and help you overcome spring fatigue. These five short tips require only 5-10 minutes of your time daily and if combined, you will be able to get rid of these symptoms in no time.
Here, then, are the five tips to combat spring tiredness and boost the energy level:
Tip No. 1: Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can help you feel more energized and keep you healthy. If you remember that human bodies consist of 60% water, there is no reason you should avoid drinking it.
According to Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, MD from WebMD, there are several benefits to balanced water intake:
- Water maintains the balance of body fluids
- It helps you with calorie intake
- It provides the energy needed for muscles
- Water keeps the skin healthy and hydrated
- It cleans the kidneys and promotes regular bowel function
Although drinking water has many benefits, the one advantage that caught our eye is that water works as an energy booster for our muscles. How come?
Well, our muscles can work properly only if they have balanced levels of electrolytes and fluids. If one of these elements is missing, the body can experience muscle fatigue and tiredness. This is the reason it is highly recommended to drink water before and during the exercise routine.
So, how can you get used to drinking more water? Zelman suggests taking a bottle of water with you everywhere you go – keeping one bottle in your desk, one in the purse, or your car. Zelman also suggests drinking beverages you find tasty that don’t have high-calorie levels. This way, you will be able to enjoy the necessary fluid intake while staying hydrated.
What is the daily fluid intake, you may ask? Remember that women should drink about 91 ounces, while men should keep their fluid intake up to 125 ounces.
Tip No. 2: Have a Balanced Diet
One of the perks of springtime is having an abundance of vegetables and fruits, so why not benefit from this abundance? According to Brian Krans from Healthline, a balanced diet consists of:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
Krans further states that the human body is more prone to low-performance and [spring] fatigue if the diet is unbalanced.
Let’s go through each of them.
Fresh fruits are full of micro and macro nutrition elements – antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help you feel more energized and refreshed. Most fruits are composed of about 90% of water, which can help detoxify the body and keep it hydrated.
The best use of fruits is to include them as your snack. However, be careful when choosing fruits, since some of them have high sugar levels. If you are interested in finding out which fruit provides what nutrients, check out our post on Organic Facts.
There is a reason the vegan diet is so popular – vegetables are important elements of a balanced diet. Just like fruits, vegetables are a valuable source of potassium, Vitamins A, C and E, and can reduce the risks of many chronic diseases. In fact, vegetables are so good for you that they are now out of space. Yes – you’ve read that right! According to the Huffington Post, potatoes were the first vegetables that made it into space. If you are still not convinced veggies are beneficial, you can read our post on the cabbage and its health benefits.
The doctor mentioned to you that you need more zinc, iron and magnesium, right? But how do you get them, naturally? You can fill your body with them in the most natural way – by eating whole grain foods. Again, Zelman, in a post Tips for Reaping the Benefits of Whole Grains, mentions eating popcorn and having whole-grain cereal for breakfast. This can be your first step in having a balanced diet.
There are several foods considered whole grains, including oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, and quinoa. There are others you can find by doing a simple Google search. So, next time you go to the movies, be sure to eat a whole bucket of popcorns.
When it comes to nuts, you have to be careful. Although nuts are considered to be fruits, they are not high in sugar, but high in fat. This means that nuts have high-calorie levels. However, we have good news. A 2003 study Almond vs. complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program shows that almonds can be beneficial in losing weight. How come? Well, Healthline stated that the body doesn’t absorb all the calories from nuts, but absorbs all the vitamins and minerals. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Finally, lean proteins are the ones that will keep your stomach full while maintaining your weight. Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, soy are excellent choices for breakfast, as they have Vitamins D and B, as well as Calcium, which will keep you energized throughout the day.
Tip No. 3: Get Enough Sleep
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), sleep is one of the elements that is the most important for human well-being and overall health.
Why is sleep so important? Well, for many reasons. But one important reason is that it can lower the number of car crashes. It seems a bit far-fetched, but it is the truth. According to the Department of Transportation, one to four percent of highway crashes are caused by people who haven’t gotten enough sleep. But, car crashes aside, can the amount of sleep control our entire lives? Well, maybe not entire, just the decision-making part.
The connection between sleep and decision making
In August 2004, Dr. Timothy Roehrs published one of the first studies that researched the connection between getting enough sleep and the willingness to take risks. More precisely, Dr. Roehrs wanted to find the connection between sleep and decision making.
Dr. Roehrs and his colleagues conducted the following research: They paid subjects who were tired, and also others who were fully alert to complete several computer tasks. After that, they were randomly given a choice to take the money and leave. However, they also had the opportunity to stay and earn more money or lose everything if they did not complete the tasks in the remaining time. The subjects did not know what the remaining time was.
The study showed that subjects who were sleepy were more open to taking a risk, which meant doing more tasks even though they were almost positively sure they would not be able to complete the tasks on time. Some of the subjects quit the tasks prematurely.
What does it mean to get enough sleep?
As you can see, having or not having enough sleep can affect the course of your day. This is why it is essential to let your body properly rest longer than usual if needed.
So, what does it mean to get enough sleep? Enough sleep is, for most adults, getting 8 hours of sleep per day. Some adults need ten hours, while others function well with just 6 hours of sleep or even less. During the springtime, if you are experiencing spring fatigue, be sure to listen to your body, and try to get more hours of sleep until you feel energized and well-rested.
However, if you are experiencing difficulties with falling asleep during the springtime, be aware that it could be caused by environmental factors, such as sleeping in a hot room. Be sure to open all the windows and let in the cool, night breeze.
Tip No. 4: Exercise
You may have heard that people who exercise regularly feel happier and more relaxed. There are scientific reasons behind this – when you work out, your body releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that causes the feeling of pleasure and happiness. With more dopamine, the body feels less stressed in the long term.
Exercising daily makes the body feel more energetic and have more endurance. That’s right! According to Mayo Clinic, in their post Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity, exercise promotes the delivery of more oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and muscles. This means that your heart is going to feel strong, and don’t forget that the heart is a muscle too. By exercising, you will feel happier, and this reduces the feeling of spring fatigue and keep the body from being stressed.
So, how much time per week should you exercise? Well, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. What does this mean?
Moderate-intensity exercise speeds up the heart rate and causes you to sweat. If you are looking to combat spring fatigue, this is a great way to start. Here are some examples of moderate-intensity exercise:
- Brisk walking
- Playing volleyball
Tip No. 5: Meditate
We have to admit that the first four tips seem pretty obvious, and you should keep them in mind even when the spring fatigue passes. However, meditation is something else.
According to Matthew Thorp MD, Ph.D. in a post 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation, meditation is a state of mind and a process in which you can train your mind to focus properly and to guide your thoughts. Many people consider it to be one of the most efficient ways to combat stress. However, there is more to it.
The reason we started meditation as a way to combat spring fatigue is due to the body’s ability to react to things that are happening in our minds. More precisely, feeling stressed can cause the body to feel tired and sick. For that, meditation can serve as a healing process.
Meditation has multiple benefits. For starters, it has shown to reduce stress and even depression. A 2014 study, Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis, found that it can result in a small-to-moderate reduction in the negative dimension of psychological stress. Furthermore, a 2015 study, which was conducted on 1173 patients, showed that there were moderate-to-large reductions in symptoms of depression even with the patients that had major depressive episodes. If meditation can do this to depressed patients, imagine how well it can diminish the symptoms of spring fatigue.
However, there is one more thing the Ecellulitis team wants you to know: Thorp also mentioned self-awareness as another benefit of meditation. Meditating daily can help you get to know yourself, your emotions, and how the body reacts to internal and external changes.
But I don’t know how to meditate, you say. So how do I start? Leo Babuta in a post for Zen Habits, recommends starting with two minutes a day for the whole week and seeing how it works for you. Babuta also recommends not worrying about how you meditate. Simply do it – first thing in the morning. Recognize your feelings (tiredness, anxiety, etc.), and then focus on your breathing and counting breaths. When you are done, smile, and be thankful for those two minutes you spent getting to know your thoughts and body.
Tips that can help you combat spring tiredness
That’s it. The five tips that can help you combat spring tiredness. But there’s more! In the spirit of having positive thoughts, which can help your body heal, we have prepared for you some additional tips that can help motivate and get you in a better mood. Here they are:
- As soon as you open your eyes, stay a few more minutes in bed. Think positive thoughts. Reflect on the people and things you are thankful for in your life.
- Take a cold shower to refresh the body.
- At nights, if you have time, take a bath with Epsom salts to relax the body. Light a few candles as well.
- Take 10 deep breaths, three times per day.
- Indulge in activities you like to do, and take small breaks during the day. This helps the body to rest.
We hope we have provided you with some useful tips on how you can combat spring tiredness and boost the energy levels when spring fatigue occurs. If so, please share this article with your friends and family.
Keep in mind, spring fatigue syndrome is a phenomenon that happens to millions of people across the globe, and there are several effective ways you can diminish its symptoms.
What is your most effective way of combating spring fatigue? Share it with the Ecellulitis community by telling us in the comments!
Until next time!
Image credits: pixabay.com
Last article update: 3/12/2019