Journey Through Anxiety 03: Self-Compassion in the Face of Anxiety
The days are getting longer, it's getting warmer outside and everything's blooming. Spring has arrived and we're looking forward to a burst of energy and good mood, yet many of us start this season by struggling with fatigue, stress, sadness, or anxiety. Spring fatigue may not be a disease found in medical textbooks, but it's something that many of us deal with each year.
Psychologists and doctors have different explanations for the fact that in spring or early summer, many people sink into depressed moods. Humans – the same way as animals – react to the change of seasons, and it is related to certain hormonal changes. While the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, decreases in spring, other hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and growth hormone peak in this season. Spring fatigue can also be related to the end of winter, the lack of vitamins in the body, lack of sunshine, poor diet, or increased incidence of infectious diseases during the winter season.
Some people start having more energy and are more active in spring, which can, however, affect others in the form of social pressure. So, what can you do to prevent spring fatigue and enjoy spring to the fullest? We've put together some useful tips:
Get Some Sun
Sunshine is a great source of vitamin D, which has a positive effect on our mood. If it's not the typical April weather outside, go for a 20–30-minute walk every day, e.g. to get a cup of your favorite coffee.
Fuel Your Body
Get your body a healthy energy boost and include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. You'll provide it with many necessary vitamins and minerals.
Though it may sound like a paradox, movement will double the energy you put into it in the form of hormones such as serotonin or dopamine which will improve your mood. If you're not in the middle of fighting the spring flu, but are feeling signs of fatigue, try going for a run, riding a bike, or perhaps joining a group exercise class.
Get Enough Sleep
Even though the days are getting longer and it's tempting to go to bed later, stick to your regular sleep schedule to recharge properly at night. Your energy containers will thank you.
Take It Slowly
If you feel like nature is waking up but you're still in the middle of your hibernation, don't rush anywhere. Listen to your body, relax, and don't take on too much. Be kind to yourself and start preparing for summer step by step.
We hope you found these tips useful and we wish you to enjoy spring at your own pace!
We used these resources to make this article evidence.based:
Eloranta, E., Timisjärvi, J., Nieminen, M., Ojutkangas, V., Leppäluoto, J., & Vakkuri, O. (1992). Seasonal and daily patterns in melatonin secretion in female reindeer and their calves. Endocrinology, 130(3), 1645–1652. https://doi.org/10.1210/endo.130.3.1537312
Tendler, A., Bar, A., Mendelsohn-Cohen, N., Karin, O., Korem, Y., Maimon, L., ... & Alon, U. (2020). Human hormone seasonality. bioRxiv, 2020-02. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.13.947366