Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
Happy May Day, a worldwide day celebrating spring! It is this time of year we begin to feel restless or lazy, feelings often associated with spring fever. A phenomenon that makes some of us feel re-invigorated or energized sounds like a myth, but is it?
Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, claims a common misconception is that spring fever doesn’t exist. “As someone who has studied the effects of the season on human mood and behavior for over 40 years now, I can attest that it is very real,” Rosenthal said. “The enormous changes that occur in nature in the spring induce in people not just one type of spring fever.”
According to Rosenthal, reactions occur when there is a rapid expansion of days and trees and flowers burst into life. Rosenthal says these changes affect people differently with some experiencing increased energy, cheerfulness and motivation. Some people even require less sleep. However, others experience poor concentration, sluggishness, irritability, and more. Some even feel lethargic. According to Web MD, health concerns are elevated with an increased number of springtime heart attacks because people begin exercising full speed ahead without easing into it.
While spring fever can affect us personally, it also can make working indoors feel confining. One of the challenges for adults is most working people don’t have much of a summer break. Following are tips on ways to beat the workplace blues.
Throw open your blinds to bring in natural light and fight SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). In addition, airing out your workspace by opening a window or door can have a positive effect.
If possible, take a break outdoors with a walk to lessen the feeling of being shut in. Have lunch or a coffee break outside even if it means tossing a blanket into your car so you have something to sit on. You’ll be surprised how this can boost productivity and refresh you.
Bring a little of the outdoors into the office with a live plant to perk you up. However, it is courteous to check in with co-workers before doing so to be considerate in case they suffer from allergies.
Finally, if possible, check with your supervisor to see if starting your day a little early is an option. By doing so, you may be able to take a little longer lunch or leave a little early so you can enjoy outdoor activities at the end of your day.
Temperature and light conditions are also a factor causing spring fever. When the sun is shining our body fills with the happiness hormone serotonin, while the sleep hormone melatonin is reduced. The good news is that any negative reactions we have due to spring fever, generally only lasts about three weeks until our body has time to readapt.
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