The arrival of spring should be welcomed because it brings more hours of daylight, the weather is better and the days are longer, but some people feel low in energy, sleepy, lethargic or even sad at the beginning of this season.
These symptoms are known under the generic name of spring asthenia, or spring fatigue or lethargy, and although there is no scientific evidence to explain why it happens and doctors don't consider it an illness, it is quite common at this time of year. It is related to the way our bodies go through the process of adapting to the change of season.
Psychologist Eva Ugarte, a member of the medical team at the iSalud.com insurance comparison site, says the arrival of spring means the evenings are lighter and longer, the weather gets warmer and there are often modifications to the daily routine. As a result, many people suffer from spring fatigue to a greater or lesser extent. However, she makes it clear that it is nothing to worry about, because it doesn't last long and disappears by itself without needing treatment.
As well as feeling generally unwell, the symptoms of spring fatigue include irritability, headache, difficulty in concentrating and a loss of memory. These symptoms can be tackled with the right food, physical exercise and plenty of rest.
Advice from experts
Experts recommend a healthy and balanced diet, because that is beneficial for the whole body. People who suffer the effects of spring fatigue are advised to introduce foods which provide energy into their diet, such as cereals, pulses and oily fish like tuna or salmon. It is also a good idea to eat fruit and vegetables, preferably those in season such as apricots, strawberries, spinach, radishes and endive.
"In addition, you should avoid abusing stimulants like alcohol, coffee and tea. To stay hydrated, water is best, or you can substitute it with infusions or natural juices, for example," says Eva Ugarte.
Physical exercise can also help to overcome spring fatigue, and if possible it should be in the open air: go for a bike ride, run or simply walk. Eva also points out that "activities associated with relaxation, such as yoga, can also help to improve the way you feel".
In addition to eating properly and taking exercise, it is important that anyone suffering from spring fatigue gets plenty of rest.
"It is essential for people to get as much rest and sleep as they need because then they will feel more energetic," says Eva.
She also advises taking short five-minute breaks during the working day, because it will make it seem less onerous.