Cabin fever is most common during the winter, when chilly weather leads to more time inside. But cabin fever can come with any long stretch of time indoors (not just during the winter).
In this post we’ll cover the symptoms of cabin fever plus 5 strategies to cope. If you think that you have cabin fever, this post can give you insight into what it typically looks like along with simple tips for coping.
Recognizing Cabin Fever Symptoms
Cabin fever often starts as feelings of restlessness and disconnection from your normal routine. You’re also likely to have a sense of isolation, which is a classic symptom of cabin fever.
You might also become overly irritable at even small annoyances. Your sleep patterns could also be affected. You either can’t get to sleep or you can’t seem to wake up.
Cabin fever can also negatively impact your mindset. Besides feeling unmotivated and lethargic, you may have difficulty focusing on specific tasks. You may experience feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
How to Cope with Cabin Fever: 5 Strategies
Everyone copes with cabin fever differently. If you can immerse yourself in a creative project, or develop a new skill, your cabin fever won’t have time to take hold. If that’s not realistic, here are five strategies that may help.
1. Burn Off Some Energy
Dress for the weather and turn off your phone. Go spend some quality time in nature. Enjoy a vigorous walk, or take your dog for an extra-long stroll around the neighborhood. Focus on every aspect of your surroundings.
Exercise can help to reduce stress, and may also promote a sense of well-being. If you can’t get outside, put together a home strength-training routine or find an upbeat YouTube workout session.
2. Bring the Outdoors to You
Cultivate small plants and/or herbs on your windowsill. If you have a balcony or patio, seasonal container gardens can provide you with colorful flowers or nutritious veggies.
Another small but helpful way to bring the outdoors to you: install a bird feeder right outside the window, and enjoy watching these feathered friends eat and squabble all day.
3. Maintain a Regular Routine
Design a daily routine that provides consistency and encourages your body to regulate itself.
Include remote work hours (if applicable), household projects, and workout sessions. Finally, don’t forget mealtimes and relaxation periods.
4. Communicate with Family and Friends
Use your favorite virtual communication tool to regularly check in with your family and friends. Whether you prefer Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, keeping in touch is easy and rewarding.
And remember, you’re also helping your communication partner to stay connected.
5. Volunteer to Help Someone Else
Every day, contribute to another person’s well-being. Offer to tutor someone online, or check in daily with an elderly relative or neighbor. Help a non-profit group with public relations or membership work.
The list of virtual services is simply endless, and you’ll get immense satisfaction from helping someone else.
Finally, although you may have responsibilities to your children and/or your partner, carve out some quiet time for yourself every day. Whether you read a book, listen to a podcast, or meditate, time alone can help to improve your outlook and fend off cabin fever’s negative effects.