More and more patients are coming for this reason. They mention that they feel more irritable, irascible and that they can hardly sleep . “They feel depressed and have less desire to do things,” says psychologist Pilar Cortés, from the Gabinete Psicólogos Málaga PsicoAbreu.
These experiences mentioned by the patients are a reality; the seasonal changes affect physically and psychologically and the person has to make a process of adaptation to the new situation, which can take weeks to complete.
It seems logical to think that the rise in temperatures, the change in time, the possibility of making more plans and other similar elements will have a positive effect. But this is not always the case, spring affects many people in a negative way. The most common symptoms are tiredness, lack of energy and a low mood. This is known as spring asthenia . Let’s see what it is.
What is spring asthenia?
Spring asthenia is a feeling of tiredness and weakness that begins to manifest itself with the arrival of good weather.
The symptoms can be very diverse : lack of memory, sleep disorders, headaches, low mood, altered appetite, decreased sex drive, irritability and nervousness, general tiredness, lack of energy to perform daily activities, etc.
This disorder usually affects more women than men, and has a prevalence of 1 in 10. The duration is usually a few days.
What we know as “spring depression” is a mild and temporary disorder that manifests itself in our body when we have difficulty adapting to seasonal changes. In these cases, it is important to see that the symptoms that the person manifests are due to some organic cause, and it must also be taken into account that its duration is short and transitory.
Why does the brain alter at the change of season?
It is a neurochemical process: spring favours an alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones due to the increase of light and temperature.
There is also an increase in sexual desire with the release of oxytocin (the “love hormone”), dopamine (a neurotransmitter related to pleasure) and serotonin (which is involved in mood).
Due to all these changes that take place in our brain, people can respond differently to their environment and produce changes on both an emotional and a behavioural level .
Tips to counteract possible emotional imbalance
Psychologist Pilar Cortés makes some recommendations to better cope with these symptoms:
Practice some physical activity regularly
You should exercise moderately and regularly to increase the production of endorphins . Do pleasant activities to overcome demotivation and raise the mood that this change in time may cause.
2. Set a sleeping and eating routine
It is important to follow a fixed schedule in terms of rest so that the body regains its balance. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day helps the body to adapt better to change .
With regard to diet, it is important to eat foods with a high energy content, such as carbohydrates, as these can help combat the symptoms of spring asthenia.
3. Outdoor activities
It is important to do activities outdoors and to be indoors as little as possible.
4. Encourage social relationships and meetings with family members
Although the symptoms of spring asthenia are temporary, it is recommended that the person surrounds himself with the people who give him support to feel that he is not alone in the process.
5. Be patient
Spring asthenia is transient; therefore, even though the symptoms are very annoying and affect the mood negatively, one must be patient and indulgent. These symptoms will pass in a few days as soon as the body adapts to the new situation .
If it is the children who are affected by asthenia, keep in mind that they may have more tantrums and crying for a few days, but these will stop after the adjustment period of a few days.
6. Perform pleasant activities
Spring asthenia generates low motivation in general. It is therefore advisable to try to overcome the feeling of tiredness and lack of energy in order to do activities that are pleasant.
7. Do not self-medicate
If the person is correctly fed, he or she does not need nutritional supplements to overcome spring asthenia; therefore it is important to take foods rich in tryptophan .
8. Have a positive attitude
Being positive and having a positive attitude generates more positivity, which helps to counteract the effects of spring asthenia. If we play down the importance of the situation, it is overcome sooner and the person’s condition caused by spring abstinence improves.