This article is intended for customers from all countries other than Germany*
Most of us look forward to spring approaching. We can appreciate the new season as a time to slough off the winter blues or the malaise that often comes with colder weather. But there is a segment of the population that actually experiences the reverse: they associate spring with feeling extra run-down or listless. If you’re one of these people, you might dread spring and wish there was something you could do to feel more energised. So, here are some tips on how to boost your energy levels and fight back against spring fatigue.
What is spring fatigue disorder?
Spring fatigue disorder, also known as springtime lethargy, generally occurs between mid-March and mid-April for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. Symptoms include general tiredness (even with an adequate amount of sleep) and a lack of drive, along with possible physical effects of dizziness, headaches and aching joints.
If you have spring fatigue, you might also notice changes in your mood, such as feelings of depression and irritability. That’s why some in the medical community refer to the disorder as the ‘reverse seasonal affective disorder’. Instead of fatigue and lowered energy in the winter, spring fatigue disorder causes these symptoms to pop up during springtime. It has been noted that there has even been an increase in suicidal rates during springtime in some countries.
What causes spring fatigue?
More research needs to be conducted to fully understand the disorder, but there are some theories. Many medical professionals believe hormone balance is at the root cause of spring fatigue. The theory is that our bodies automatically adjust hormone levels based on the amount of daylight we’re getting. During the winter months, our bodies produce more melatonin (also known as the ‘sleep hormone’). When spring occurs, more daylight triggers the body to produce more serotonin (the ‘happiness hormone’).
Longer days also mean that our bodies are releasing more endorphins, testosterone and oestrogen. These changes can result in the body feeling overworked – which leads to increased fatigue and tiredness. We also tend to be more active in general when the weather is nicer (no more winter hibernating!), so an increase in physical activity can make the body feel more worn out.
How do you combat spring fatigue disorder?
There are steps you can take to fight spring fatigue. The good news is that the typical period of time where spring fatigue takes place can be relatively short, so if you can hang in there, you might notice a drop in your symptoms as soon as summer arrives. However, there are things you can try in the meantime if you’re looking for a decrease in fatigue right away. Your main goal should be to fight fatigue by increasing your energy in a healthy way.
How can you boost energy levels naturally?
Instead of relying on unhealthy energy boosts (we’re looking at you, energy drinks and caffeine pills!), there are a number of ways you can increase your energy organically without causing harm to your system. Here are some lifestyle and diet tips you can try out during the spring months.
1. Spend more time outdoors.
It’s true that sunshine can actually make you feel like you have more energy. Spending time outside can increase serotonin and vitamin D levels, which can help you feel less depressed and more energised.
2. Take part in regular exercise.
Fitting a little physical activity into your day can make a huge difference in your energy levels (even if it’s just a quick walk or yoga practice). Exercise produces endorphins in your system; this essentially gives you a mini high every time you get your heart rate up.
3. Eat more fruits and veggies.
Eating things like bananas and leafy green vegetables can be an easy way to boost your energy. Fruits and veggies provide lots of healthy vitamins and minerals, so you can easily fuel your body and boost your immune system at the same time.
4. Choose healthier snack options.
Instead of grabbing sugary or fattening snacks, healthier options such as almonds, yogurt, hummus, etc. provide your system with the protein and fibre it needs to feel continually energised throughout the day.
5. Stay hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water is another way to boost your energy. Dehydration is one of the main reasons people feel tired during the day, so fill up on H2O if you want to have a steady amount of energy all day.
6. Get enough sleep.
Even if your spring fatigue doesn’t seem to be affected by extra sleep, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re not skimping on your sleep. Get a minimum of 8 hours per night so that your body has enough time to recoup and function at an optimal level.
7. Skip sugary treats.
Sure, they taste good, but sugary snacks or desserts will only end up giving you a temporary fix. Despite an initial boost of energy from the sugar, you’ll eventually experience a crash – and you’ll end up right back where you started: with no energy.
8. Limit caffeine.
Although it might seem like caffeine is the answer to your problems, too much of it can also cause your system to crash once the caffeine is out of your system. It’s fine to have a cup of coffee or green tea, but keep your intake fairly low to avoid caffeine overload. Drinking too much caffeine can cause issues with your sleep as well, which is the last thing you need if you’re already feeling tired and rundown.
Spring fatigue can be frustrating when all you want to do is enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. Try out the tips listed above to boost your energy and fight spring fatigue until it’s time for summer.