Breland: Listening to spring fever talking back

Published 10:12 am Friday, April 22, 2022

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“I don’t know what’s the matter with me,” I said loudly to myself, while thinking I really didn’t want to do anything, even if there was plenty waiting.

“Could be spring fever,” my silent inside voice answered; “or maybe you are getting old!”

“Spring fever or getting old? Not funny,” I said back rather loudly.

Makes me wonder, though. Some days I can’t find the energy or the inclination to do anything other than what is absolutely necessary.

It may be sort of strange how we may talk to ourselves, but on occasion it can bring comfort. I may have developed the habit after spending so any months at home, trying to stay away from the COVID-19 virus … and actually talking to few people. Sending messages over the phone is simpler. My voice could be silent most of the day.

I have heard about “spring fever” most of my life and was curious about the exact meaning. It is comforting to know there is real biological proof that the physical symptoms of spring fever do exist! I looked it up and found my do-nothing ways don’t fit the symptoms at all.

Supposedly, we experience an actual energy surge in the springtime and this is attributed to an increase in sunlight, which changes little things in our brain, making us feel ready to get things done. That is definitely not what I am feeling.

All this change in sunlight also influences sleep cycles and mood changes. Vitamin D from that same sunlight is supposed to make us want to rise early, energized and ready to go to work or for a jog or at least do something!

Another sign of spring fever is sleeping less. I wake up and just want to turn over and go back to sleep … and I am usually a jolly early morning person!

With my kind of “spring fever,” there’s no actual fever and I’m not sick. The feeling could be because of all of the pollen in the air. In desperation I am taking something for allergy and I really hate to take medicine! That post-nasal drip along with a drippy nose and coughing isn’t fun. Allergies do drag us down!

If you have “real” spring fever, you are supposed to be happier and find yourself smiling, whistling and being nice for no reason. I try to smile and be friendly and nice no matter my disposition or mood or the time of year. It’s what my mother taught me.

According to the study, one would have an uncontrollable urge to clean — or for some to plow! It is house-cleaning and garden-planting time, among other things! Had you noticed there is more advertising for cleaning products and services in the springtime? That is because of actual spring fever!

I keep thinking the April showers will wash away all the pollen and things will be better for me and a lot of others. Pollen can wreak havoc!

So what I am feeling these days is apparently not the classical definition of spring fever, so what is it? Or maybe what I am feeling is the real spring fever and the experts are wrong?

While spring fever supposedly brings on energy and enthusiasm for most people, it brings on a relaxing malaise to me. Is it really spring fever or pollen or just plain laziness? Or even aging?

Shall I fight my do-nothing spring impulses and forge ahead, no matter how I feel? I have had this before and gradually it went away. Hmmm … I do reprimand myself with scolding, but sometimes my ears do not hear what my inside voice is saying!

Meanwhile, I may get out my paint and concentrate on getting something done. I can always fine the energy to paint pictures and maybe it will spur me on. The other things can wait awhile. It is spring!

“Get up and get going!” I hear plainly in my mind. It was not my voice, but I had heard it before! It sounded a lot like my mother!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at