During spring, plants experience a huge blossoming of life and animals reappear with enormous energy. It is the time of year when nature is most dynamic and has the largest effect on us biologically.
Here are some useful tips on how to fight-off springtime lethargy and other environmental challenges brought about by spring.
What is springtime lethargy?
Springtime lethargy, also called spring fatigue or spring asthenia, is characterised by fatigue, lowered energy and depression, and is associated with the onset of spring. Other less common symptoms may also include anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and aching joints.
The causes for springtime lethargy are not clear, yet hormonal imbalance seems to be the leading cause. The body’s reserves of the “happiness hormone” serotonin are lowered over winter, making the “sleep hormone” melatonin have a stronger effect. In springtime the body readjusts its levels of hormones, which puts a heavy strain on the body and causes a general feeling of tiredness.
How can springtime lethargy be prevented?
Some people are more affected than others by springtime lethargy. Here are a few tips to help fight it:
Spring is the season during which we should consume the most vitamins and antioxidants. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is encouraged, and in particular an increased intake of Vitamin C which can be found in kiwis, oranges, peppers, mangoes, strawberries, asparagus or beets.
Vitamin A, zinc, selenium, copper, and bioflavonoids are also recommended for their cell regeneration and tissue protection properties. Proteins should also be present in our diet for strengthening tissue. A balanced and varied diet will help strengthen our body’s defences against any seasonal change.
• Daily exercise
As always, physical exercise is our friend and ally for combating all sorts of health issues. During cold spring months the body may be more vulnerable to certain injuries like muscle contractures, so stretching before and after physical activity is even more important than usual.
The blossoming of flowers and appearance of pollen make spring the worst season for those who suffer from allergies. The number of people diagnosed with allergies has been steadily rising throughout the world, and they would do well to prepare for spring months in advance. Preventive treatments include maintaining good intestinal health, as the body’s good bacteria act as a shield against allergens and toxins.
• Protecting the liver
The liver should also be strong to help fend-off any spring hostilities. Antioxidants and foods such as royal jelly can help to clean and bolster the liver, which in turn help the body to better process nutrients, better store vitamin B12 and iron, and better metabolise sugars and lipids.
• Toxins out
The swift and steady expulsion of toxins is important for our bodies. Artichoke, cardoons, dandelion, and other herbal infusions can help our bodies do so optimally. The amino acid cysteine also helps expel toxins, and can be found in onions, garlic, whole grains, fish, eggs, and brewer’s yeast.
• Skin care
Spring brings longer days, warmer temperatures, and more direct sunlight on our skin. While sunlight allows the body to produce the much-needed vitamin D, it is critically important we take precautions and apply sunscreen with UVA-UVB protection.