I know it’s barely spring, and some parts of the country can still experience a snowstorm, but when Valentine’s Day and Lent pass, it seems like we start to see the light at the end of the long, dark, cold winter tunnel. I find it interesting that it really does affect me, and thought I would share some “symptoms” of spring fever. Read on to see if you are beginning to experience some of them as well.
You Have an Energy Surge
I definitely find this to be true. Apparently, it is due to the increase in sunlight which triggers changes in brain hormones we produce, including melatonin, which influence our sleep cycles and mood. I get so happy when it is still light at 4:30 pm!
You Want to Workout
Speaking of an energy spike, maybe you find yourself wanting to jog or take a long walk outside after lunch. Experts believe there are several possible reasons for this. One is the extra vitamin D we are soaking up in the springtime sunshine. It could also be the image of your body springing back to life after the winter hibernation period that gives you the incentive to be more active. Whichever it is, my suggestion is just go with it.
Your Mood Lifts
You may find yourself smiling more, and feeling happier in general. Besides being able to pack the heavy winter coats and sweaters away, a study found that during the transition into spring, there is an increase in serotonin, the neurotransmitter thought to affect mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory, sexual desire and function.
You Get By on Less Sleep
In the winter when it gets dark outside at 4:00 pm most of us are ready to snuggle up with a nice mug of hot chocolate or herbal tea and hit the sheets by 8 or 9! It’s been dark for hours and your internal clock is telling you it’s time for sleep. But now that the days are getting longer and you enjoy daylight longer, you may find it more difficult to get to sleep at the same time. Because there is more sunlight it tells our bodies to produce less melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for getting your brain in sleep mode. It is released most effectively when it is dark.
You Crave Salads and Fresh Fruit
In the winter hearty, stick-to-your ribs stews, soups and steamy mugs of hot chocolate and bone broth fill the bill. But now you find yourself craving light refreshing salads, crisp, fresh fruit and a tall glass of iced tea. Most people tend to eat fewer fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter months. Not only do they not appeal to us during winter, there are different ones in season.
You Become a Cleaning Fanatic
Cleaning is my least favorite activity any time of the year, but even I find myself getting the urge to purge files and closets – and freshen up the house after having it sealed up tight against the frigid cold.
As tender green leaves begin to sprout and you start hearing birds singing in the morning again, those signs of new life seem to inspire making things fresh and new everywhere. While there may not be any scientific or biological reason, the feeling of freshness you get from cleaning and then throwing open the windows seems to happen most often at this time of year. I tend to just go with it, since it almost never happens any other time of year.
Romance is in the Air
Valentine’s Day seems to kick things off. But when you add in all that extra energy and upbeat mood, you have a perfect recipe for romance. We also begin shedding the layers and layers of heavy clothing and get more in touch with our bodies again.
A study showed that sunlight also helps us release endorphins. Those additional endorphins not only brighten our mood, but they also increase physical attraction.
If you find yourself experiencing any or all of these signs of spring fever, make the most of it!
Ann Musico is a certified holistic health coach, independent nutritional consultant, author of Today is Still the Day and other books. She works with women of all ages to empower them to live well so they can model health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – to their families and beyond. Visit her website at www.annmusico.com to learn about the coaching options and weight loss plans she offers as well as numerous free resources you can access.