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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!

Aubrynn is a small town Wisconsin girl with big city dreams. She is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a career in the sports broadcasting industry. Some of her favorite things include smelling flowers, laughing with her friends, and the color pink. She hopes to inspire people to believe in themselves and to treat everyone they meet with kindness. You can keep up with everything happening in the life of Aubrynn on Twitter (@AubrynnVV) and Instagram (@brynnvv).