How To Fight Spring Asthenia Effectively
Spring days are quite a bit longer and warmer than their winter counterpart. Often, this change in temperature and time actually exceeds what our bodies can adjust to without feeling strained. Though there isn’t an exact explanation as to why we get spring asthenia – we know it often has to do with a hormonal re-adjustment.
When we have direct contact with sunlight, our bodies commonly release serotonin (otherwise known as the happy-hormone). Given that there is less sunlight during winter – this process becomes subdued, and our levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) increase quite a bit. So basically, as the days become longer in spring, our hormones are thrown out of balance (we start producing more endorphins, testosterone and estrogen), and we use a lot of internal energy to re-adjust. Additionally, the temperamental spring weather can make our blood pressure fluctuate. This combination of strenuous activities can leave us feeling physically and mentally exhausted.
Some symptoms of spring asthenia include:
- Loss of appetite and digestive concerns,
- Attention and concentration difficulties,
- Delayed reflexes and responses to stimuli,
- Altered sensory perception,
- Poor immune function,
- Mood swings and anxiety,
- Sleepiness or drowsiness,
- Poor memory function and
- Blood pressure fluctuations.
In order to beat spring asthenia, it’s essential to make incremental positive adjustments – mainly to your diet and exercise regime. So instead of making a radical lifestyle change all at once, rather introduce subtle changes to ensure you stay on track.
When it comes to your diet:
It’s a good idea to avoid fatty and refined foods. Though they can briefly raise your energy levels, they quickly bring back all the symptoms you’re actively trying to avoid. Look for foods packed with the proteins, vitamins and minerals that can help fight tiredness, and stabilise your adrenaline levels.
OPTION 1: A bowl of oatmeal topped with chopped walnuts and cinnamon, served with a side of milk.
OPTION 2: Two slices of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and a side of Greek yogurt topped with some fresh berries.
OPTION 3: A fresh omelette topped with lots of veggies and a side of avocado.
OPTION 1: Hummus-stuffed whole wheat pita bread with sliced cucumbers and peppers, served with cheese cubes and a fresh apple.
OPTION 2: Grilled salmon on a bed of spinach greens with olive oil and balsamic dressing served with whole-grain crackers.
OPTION 3: Roast chicken with a veggie-packed salad. We suggest adding some extra fresh ingredients such as apple, pecan nuts, red onion, celery, almonds and lemon juice.
OPTION 1: Organic beef strips, served with a vegetable stir-fry, we recommend using bok choy, carrots and broccoli, and a side of brown rice.
OPTION 2: A refreshing lentil salad with chopped cucumber, peppers, pine nuts, nectarine slices, avocado and feta cheese. Add a chopped boiled egg for some extra protein and dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
OPTION 3: Sautéed chicken livers and mushrooms served with whole-wheat pappardelle, chili and parmesan cheese.
If you’re in need of an energy boost during the day (especially around 2pm) – some of our favourite pick-me-up snacks include: raw unsalted almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
If you are not a fan of nuts, try snacking on berries and other fruits such as bananas and grapes. Finally, for the ultimate luxury treat, we suggest two pieces of dark chocolate – ideally sweetened with stevia so your sugar levels don’t fluctuate.
Diet in itself is not enough to keep you looking and feeling good; it’s essential to get moving too.
In fact, there are findings suggesting that exercising communicates directly with the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue. This basically means that instead of gulping down an energy drink to give you that extra boost during the day – you should just keep active. Some exercises we recommend include:
- Yoga and Tai Chi.
Drinking water is essential for optimal functioning of the body. Although water doesn’t provide energy in the form of calories, it helps facilitate the energetic processes in the body, which is an energy boost in itself. Swap coffee, sodas, and other unhealthy drinks for a glass of water.
Now that you are aware of what spring asthenia is and how to tackle it, be kind and patient with yourself, give yourself time to adjust and expose your body to sunlight and engage in calming practices.