Ah, spring. After the foulest winter in recent memory, nothing can beat those flowers blooming, birds chirping, trees greening...until you wake up and remember the dark side of spring.

Sinus pain. Itchy eyes. Stuffy nose. Runny nose. ACHOO! That was you, sneezing on a client thanks to your seasonal allergies.

Pollen, which is released into the air by trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers to fertilize other plants, is the biggest spring allergy trigger. If you’re a SAS (Spring Allergy Sufferer, obviously) who catches a whiff of powdery pollen grains, your immune system kicks into overdrive and makes everything puffed up, stuffed up, and just all-around terrible.

So what can be done? Setting nature on fire is not an option, and over the counter medications too often cause counter-productive side effects like nausea and drowsiness. Luckily, there are some natural ways to kick allergies to the curb. SASes, unite!

Become a shut-in

That is a joke, people. Don’t hide that pretty face from the world, just be aware of the best and worst times to be outdoors.

The best of times

Embrace the spring shower. Her gentle flowing streams cleanse the air of pollen, giving you the green light to step outside. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Either answer is a good one because the very early morning (we’re talking before dawn early) and the very late at night are off-peak hours for allergy season.

The worst of times

Dry days are bad. Windy days are really bad. Every day of allergy season, high noon is the worst time to be outside because pollen is at its peak.

What not to wear (and what to wear)

Use fashion to fight seasonal allergies. This might be common sense, but if pollen is floating into your eyes, nose, and mouth, you should cover up those body parts. Go big or go home: giant sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats are your friends. What is that lightweight spring scarf for, if not to cover and protect your mouth? Think about it.

Once you come back from being outside, it’s time to take things off. Don’t track in all those springtime nasties! Remove any clothing and stick it straight in the laundry. Your hair loves to attract pollen, so you may want to rinse off in the shower, too.

Quick housekeeping tips

Just say no to box fans, as they blow pollen-infested air into your home. On that note, go ahead and close any open windows and doors. That pleasant breeze is not doing your allergies any favors.

Say yes to HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which suck out pollen, mold, and other particles from the air.

Do you have a dog, perhaps an outdoor cat? They are pollen-infested monsters. Wipe down their fur with a damp cloth before they curl up on your pillow.

Want more tips? Come to our Health & Wellness Week!

From May 12-16, we’re hosting a free Health & Wellness Week for FIC members. There will be health screenings, exercise classes, nutrition tips, and yes, seasonal allergy remedies. RSVP now.

Thanks to Laura Teti, Health Coach at Freelancers Medical, for these helpful tips.