"It is mid-May already. Are any of you suffering from May sickness?" (Source)
I stopped reading. May sickness? I know I didn't misread it because the words 'May sickness' were written out in clear kanji. Could I be suffering from this illness? How do you know if you have May sickness?
I tried to think of what about May would make a person sick but I came up empty - that is, except for a little imp in my head that kept singing, "April showers bring May flowers. What do May flowers bring?"
Allergies? (from the flower pollen?)
Depression? (from realizing that those flowers aren't for you?)
Melanoma? (from the sun exposure due to going outside to enjoy the warmer weather)
I did wake up this morning wondering why I have a lingering cold from the flu last weekend and I still feel slightly feverish. Could that be May sickness?
The hypochondriac in me started panicking; I could be dying from something and not even know it!
(Then again, if it's called May sickness could it really be chronic? or just repetitive?)
I googled it.
Turns out May sickness is an illness that people suffer when they return from their Golden Week holidays (up to 10 days off work) and return to their jobs, schooling, etc. in the form of mental and physical ailments. Most those who suffer May sickness are those who have recently started a new job, a new school or new semester in school. (Fiscal year and school years start in April in Japan so it's about a month or so in)
In other words: the sickness strikes when the newness starts to wear off.
May sickness is especially brought on for those who have been working tirelessly to get the new job or into the new school and, after running at top speed for as long as they have, especially in their respective new positions, trying to learn the ropes, that they become simply exhausted. The pace they have been running is not sustainable long term.
Articles online give recommendations for how to recover from May sickness:
Give yourself a break. Let yourself stop and enjoy the fresh air.
I think it's good advice. For all of us who suffer May sickness, in whatever month we suffer it.
For those of us who work ourselves tireless to the bone, remember that your body and mind need a break once in a while.
I do wonder though, is there a given month that Americans suffer from this same disease?
Post holiday burnout in January?
Sit back and enjoy the view every so often