I wake up to birds chirping and can feel the warmth of the sun streaming through my windows; the first 55-degree day of the year truly seems like a fairytale. Then, it hits me. I get this sudden surge of energy to be productive and put my entire life in order. I refer to this phenomenon as the “spring itch” — but I’m not the only one.
A professor at Penn University researched what she calls the “fresh start effect.” This research offers a psychological explanation as to why some points of the year can lead us to feel this phenomenon. Here are five symptoms you might have if you caught the itch:
- Wanting to spend every waking moment in the sunshine
After being cooped up and spending as little time as possible outside in the cold, this one doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. The moment the sun is out — and the temperature is warm enough — it only makes sense that we would want to spend time in it. There’s no harm in enjoying the spring air, just make sure to protect yourself with sunglasses and sunscreen
- Wanting to go for a run… even though you don’t run
Something about the smell of spring in the air gives me the desire to go for a run. It could have been many months (or a whole year) since I last ran, but one whiff of spring, and I’m ready to take off. This feeling could apply to other types of exercise too! If your body is excited to be active, then take advantage of it — especially if it isn’t a regular occurrence!
- Wanting to wear sandals on the daily
There is no better feeling than free feet. It’s also one of the hardest temptations in spring. One nice day might lead you to believe you can finally put away your boots. But not so fast, there are usually a few teaser days before the full-time sandal-wearing weather settles in. One perk of exposed toes is that your pedicure finally can be seen by the world, and you can finally justify the money spent on it.
- Wanting to deep clean your whole apartment
The concept of spring cleaning is nothing new, but it finds a nice home within this phenomenon. If we want a new start, then it makes sense that we would want the space surrounding us to be orderly and ready for what’s ahead. This desire to clean goes beyond the normal sweeping and dishes; you might find yourself scrubbing every inch of your place until it is sparkling clean.
- Wanting to live a fresh lifestyle
This applies to a variety of areas in life. Maybe you need to hit the reset button for a fresh start. Or perhaps you want to try something new. You could even want to incorporate more fresh foods into your diet or take more time to refresh yourself each day with meditation. Regardless of what it is, this time of year often signals to us an opportunity for a new beginning.
If you find yourself falling into any of these categories, you might very well have caught the spring itch! Don’t be worried, though; with a psychological basis and beneficial effects, it might not be the worst ‘ailment’ in the world to have!