Spring was always associated with new beginnings, motivation, and “rebirth”. Yet, a lot of people struggle with general weakness, lack of will, mood swings, etc. Why is it so? How can you deal with it? Let’s dive in and see.
The everchanging weather
You wake up in the morning and see a sun-lit bedroom. You dress up for a beautiful and warm March day, but as soon as you reach the doorknob, you hear thunder. Why?! It was such a perfect day and now you have to change or at least grab a coat and an umbrella! The mood is ruined, your anxiety is through the roof, you have to rush and the perfect morning is gone.
Even the good and healthy change comes with an element of anxiety. That’s especially the case for highly sensitive folks who are prone to anxiety and depression. For three months we were surrounded by grey sky, fog, snow, and cold and suddenly you see the sun. The vitamin D starts his job, the serotonin level rises, the brain is happy, and then it’s all gone in an hour. The brain is confused and angry because it hasn’t received enough serotonin and endorphins, so it wakes the sympathoadrenal system up. This system starts producing adrenaline, noradrenalin, and cortisol – the stress hormones which result in anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, and an increase in heartbeat. No wonder that the sun behind a cloud causes such an unpleasant experience.
How to deal?
Humans are not able to control the weather, and if it is going to rain – it is going to rain. Yet, there are still some tips:
- Watch the weather forecast and be prepared for every small April shower
- Adjust indoor temperature
- Go outside. Even a 15-minute walk in the sun is better than nothing
The confused master of the sleep
The winter nights start early and end late, so we spend most of the winter days in darkness. There’s a special hormone called melatonin that is produced in the dark and makes a person fall asleep. You may experience troubles with sleep in the late fall because of the adaptation process and the same happens in the early spring. Any shift in our circadian rhythm — a 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, eat, work — can produce feelings of anxiety. You get used to the long dark nights, so as the spring comes and the days get lighter your body experiences major changes in the wake-sleep cycle. Your brain is confused and is trying to adapt to the new day length, and while that process is running you can get sudden bursts of tiredness, as well as the feeling of persisting lack of sleep.
What can you do to avoid such problems?
- Create a certain sleep pattern — try going to bed and waking up at the same time.
- Avoid coffee, tea, or anything with caffeine
- If you spend the whole day on the laptop, your body will not be tired. Go for a walk or do a simple exercise routine
- If you can not sleep, tossing in bed is not the best idea. Listen to relaxing music or sounds, read a book, or write a journal. Yet, avoid TV or smartphone at all costs.
We live in a world full of various irritants and spring allergies are more common than you might think. I’m sure you have at least one friend that suffers during spring and always carries antihistamines around. Antihistamines are only symptomatic cure because each year something may add to the allergy list, so please don’t hesitate to visit an allergologist.
Spring allergies don’t always involve sniffles and purple eyes. If you are sensitive to environmental toxins — and the majority of us are — you may have a harder time in the spring. The blowing winds and warmer temperatures can kick up a ton of irritants and they can cause small focal inflammations in your brain. Consequently, you may experience bad moods, stress, anxiety, and headaches from an allergy that you do not recognise as such. This type of phantom inflammation was also linked to increases in suicide attempts. The symptoms may vary from cough and sneeze to rashes on your skin or the feeling of disturbance and indigestion in your stomach. If you have such symptoms in the spring, maybe you should make an appointment with an allergologist or immunologist.
The only advice we have on this issue is to visit an allergologist. You probably have some minor allergies you don’t even know about and those can progress over years. Allergy can and should be treated.
Lack of vitamins
You can enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables during summer and autumn and you even may preserve some for the winter. In the spring, there is pretty much nothing. With the development of agriculture, we can get artificially grown veggies and fruits, but they can’t fully provide normal vitamin levels. And we need vitamins.
Only a small part of vitamins can be produced by our body, others have to be consumed regularly. Like for example vitamin E is responsible for healthy skin and can only be found in vegetable oils. Vitamin A is responsible for our vision and can be found in carrots and citrus fruits etc. There are now around 13 confirmed vitamins with a wide spectrum of functions. As the spring comes, our body is seriously lacking vitamins and that’s why we experience so many little problems like weakness, dry skin, sudden pains, etc. So be sure to provide yourself with fresh green and qualitative meat and fish.
What else to do in the case of avitaminosis?
- Consult a nutritionist
- Spend more time outside to get that D
- Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Cook dishes that need minimal processing
- Consider taking vitamin complexes but consult with the doctors first
A real mental disorder
Seasonal depression can be a serious deal. So serious that it can be a separate disease.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. In most cases, symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
People tend to feel moody, hopeless, chronically depressed, and parted from the world of “other normal happy people”. The symptoms may also include insomnia, poor appetite, weight loss, and anxiety.
What to do with SAD?
If you have SAD symptoms, feel suicidal, hopeless, or emotionally numb, visit a therapist. There is nothing to be ashamed about.
Additionally, you can also:
- Expose yourself to the sun (with sunscreen and sunglasses!)
- Make an effort to stay physically active
- Reach out to friends and family, even if you want to be left alone
- Try aromatherapy, meditation, or anything that sounds relaxing
- Be easy on yourself, do not beat yourself up about a single missed deadline
It may be hard to make yourself follow these tips when you feel like just lying in bed all the time. Yet, the effort is worthy.
We hope you will meet the spring months happy and motivated to start new things. Even if you do not feel motivated, you are still doing really well by deciding to wake up every morning and going through the day.
Author: Tamila Karpenko and Anastasiia Mykytenko