German word of the day: ‘Frühlingsmüdigkeit’

Feeling low or energy or even a little down right now? It could be that you are suffering from a nasty dose of 'Frühlingsmüdigkeit'. Here’s what you need to know.

German word of the day: 'Frühlingsmüdigkeit'
The changing of the clocks doesn't help. File photo: Depositphotos

So what is Frühlingsmüdigkeit?

This German word combines the word for spring (der Frühling) and tiredness (Die Müdigkeit) and refers to what is sometimes called “springtime lethargy” or “spring fatigue” in English.

And what are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Frühlingsmüdigkeit (also known as Frühjahrsmüdigkeit) include everything from general tiredness to mood swings and irritability, or even headaches and problems sleeping.

What are the causes?

This is still disputed territory but a hormone imbalance (or hormone rebalancing) may play a role. According to this theory, spring fatigue is a war of hormones as the body switches from the winter production of the ‘sleep’ hormone melatonin to the daylight-inspired production of the ‘happiness’ hormone serotonin.

Read also: 11 sure-sure fire ways you know it is spring in Switzerland

Read also: 10 ways to celebrate springtime in Germany

Rising temperatures also cause the body to work harder.

None of this is helped by the changing of the clocks. When the evenings get longer, people stay up later and the alarm clock seems to ring that much earlier every morning.

Is there a cure?

Both Swiss health insurance Swica and German insurance TK recommend getting plenty of light, doing exercise outdoors, eating light, healthy meals and going to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep.

The good news is Frühlingsmüdigkeit only lasts a couple of weeks to a month.

Read also: Language quiz – how well do you know your German false friends?

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The new German words that perfectly describe the coronavirus pandemic

From Impfneid (vaccine envy) to Abstandbier (socially distanced beer), these words are so hot right now.

The new German words that perfectly describe the coronavirus pandemic

It’s often said that the Germans have a word for everything – and that’s true in corona times as well. Around 200 new words including Impfneid (vaccine envy) and Abstandbier (socially distanced beer) have been added to a list of new words by the Leibniz Institute for the German language.

1. When it’s all become too much.

For those feeling overwhelmed by the year-long pandemic, there is Coronaangst (Corona anxiety), coronamüde (corona tired) or überzoom (too much zoom).

2. Love in the time of corona

If you have a specific cuddle partner, they are your Kuschelkontact (cuddle contact). More bleakly, Todesküsschen (little kiss of death) has became synonymous with a friendly kiss on the cheek.

3. Keeping your distance from everybody

The term Babyelefant is now a common concept for anyone living in Austria, where we are urged to keep a “baby elephant’s” distance from one another.

A CoronaFußgruß (corona foot greeting) has replaced the traditional handshake upon meeting people. 

4. Panic at the start of the first lockdown

The process of the pandemic can be tracked through new words emerging. At the beginning of lockdown last March, the word Hamsteritis (hamster buying) was widely used, referring to panic buying as similar to a hamster filling its cheeks with food to eat later.

Added to that was Klopapierhysterie, or hysteria over toilet paper running about.

5. Balcony entertainment

As people began singing from their balconies during the spring lockdown, the word Balkonsänger (balcony singer) came into use, along with Balkonklatscher (balcony clapper) Balkonkonzert (balcony concert) and of course Balkonmusik (balcony music).

6. Watching sport during the pandemic

You might want to try out an Abstandsjubeltanz, loosely translated as a socially distanced choreographed dance when celebrating your football team’s win.

7. Mask wearing

The Germans have adopted the British term Covidiot, but have a more specific word of Maskentrottel (mask idiot), for someone who wears their face covering under their nose. A mask worn this way can also be described as a Kinnwärmer or chin warmer.

A mask worn correctly is sometimes referred to as a Gesichtskondom (face condom).

8. Waiting forever for a vaccine

Germany and the EU’s slow vaccine rollout has led to many experiencing Impfneid or vaccine envy as other countries race ahead in vaccinating their citizens. 

The words were found by the team of researchers by combing through press reports, social media and the wider internet.

You can find the whole list of new words here