Does spring fever really exist?

Ask the Experts by Amy Lawrence

Q: Every spring I start to feel more energy and have an overall happier sense of well-being. Does spring fever really exist?

A: In a nutshell, yes. Research shows that spring fever exists especially in northern latitudes where the seasonal changes are most drastic.

Although spring fever cannot be caught like a cold and fails to be recognized as an authentic medical diagnosis, the term itself describes what our bodies go through as the season transitions from winter to spring. Symptoms vary amongst individuals with many reporting an overall sense of restlessness. 

Human beings are balance seeking creatures, so in response to winter, as the days get shorter, temps fall lower and we see less sunshine, our bodies produce more melatonin - the "sleepy" hormone. As we transition into spring, sunlight increases, days get longer and temps start to rise, we start to produce more serotonin - the "happy" hormone.

During this transition our bodies go through a period of imbalance which disrupts our equilibrium and results in various physical and psychological responses. Although spring fever typically signifies an increase in energy and brighter moods for most of us, those plagued with severe seasonal allergies or insomnia exaggerated by switching to daylight savings time, may be prone to fatigue and even depression.

Maintaining proper nutrition and increasing activity levels will help those struggling down the road to achieving balance. The term "spring cleaning" evolved from a phenomenon of people channeling their spring fever restlessness into positive action by ridding homes of all the clutter that built up over the winter.

Consider applying the same tactic to your personal well-being. Emotional clutter weighs you down. Take time to consider your own needs and desires. Rid yourself of negative relationships, thoughts and habits that built up over the winter.

Get outside and enjoy the sunshine, plan a meal around what foods you acquire at a local farmer's market, take a few minutes each day just to enjoy the flowers popping up around you. Spring is an opportune time to plants seeds of change that will grow into a healthier mind, body and spirit throughout the months to come.

Amy Lawrence, LMSW, CSW, MSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice. She works with adults and couples that are seeking assistance with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, improving relationship/marital issues or simply feeling overwhelmed by the stressors faced in everyday life. Her practice, Abundant Wellness, is located in St. Clair Shores and is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals. Amy can be reached at 586-914-5914 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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