Bust Out of Cabin Fever
For some of us - especially if you’re naturally introverted - staying at home and cocooning isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a chance to concentrate on ourselves, our loved ones and our living space.
It can be comforting and reassuring during a particularly difficult period of world history. You might actually experience a feeling of lightness, relief and use the time to be productive, or do nothing at all.
For others, it can be extremely difficult and feel like punishment. It can be frustrating, hard to establish an at-home routine, shift into a new reality and ground yourself.
You might feel like you’re spinning out of control, or circling the drain. Unable to latch onto something tangible.
Don’t lose hope. There are ways you can overcome cabin fever, whether you live alone or with others.
Cabin fever comes with a whole host of dangers, which any one of us can fall victim too. They include:
- Extreme irritation
- Impulsive behavior
- Amplified emotions
- Burning out
- Taking your anger out on others
- Overdoing it with food, drugs, alcohol, exercise, sex...
- Giving in to negative thoughts and chatter
- Making irrational decisions
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Abusive behavior against yourself or others (including kids and pets)
How to Deal
Enjoy: Open a window, breathe the cleaner air, listen to the natural sounds and enjoy the sunshine - or moonlight. If you’re fortunate enough to have a yard or balcony, spend time there.
Listen: Relaxing music and tracks of nature sounds take your consciousness away from your confinement, and into another, relaxing realm.
Structure: Start by organizing your day in small chunks of time; 15 to 30 minutes each. This will help you to establish and keep a routine. Structure and discipline are very important to maintain.
Disconnect: Step away from the devices. It’s too easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of endless searching, scrolling, swiping. If you must be online…
Visit: One of the many virtual tours of museums and other cultural hot spots, like the Palace of Versailles. Ooh-la-la.
Learn: It’s never too late to pick up a new skill, and now you have the time.
STOP: When you feel overwhelmed, or overheated, STOP: Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Proceed... If nothing else, using this technique will give you a quick time-out so you can catch yourself before acting impulsively.
Play: The brain is a muscle, and it needs exercise just like any other. A fun mental workout can include doing a jigsaw puzzle, playing cards and board games, improving your vocabulary, repeating tongue twisters and writing or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.
Goof: Release some of the pressure and anxiety by letting-loose and being a goofball. Remember, “Be a clown, be a clown, when the world’s got you down…”
Read: Holding an actual book in your hand, feeling the pages, seeing the stimulating words and letting yourself get drawn into the story is an amazing way to escape the everyday. Especially if it’s a book set in the great outdoors. In addition to reading, why not try memorizing certain passages? It’s a fun challenge and the story will always be a part of you.
Write: Keeping a journal is an amazingly effective way to get your thoughts and emotions out of your head in a productive way. This is your private log of how you’re feeling, what challenges you’re facing, how the pandemic is affecting you. Heck, you might just write “had popcorn today” and that can be enough. The point is, let your innermost thoughts flow onto the page. You can even draw, write poetry… it’s your journal after all.
Be: Find a quiet space, relax, close your eyes, take a deep and concentrate for one minute on what you’re grateful for at that particular moment. It’s actually a refreshing and revealing exercise which may just surprise you.
Exercise: If you’re into fitness, the gym, running and the like, being inside is probably not your favorite thing. You can create your own workout circuit, calisthenics routine and cardio regime right in your living space.
If you’re not into physical fitness, it’s all too easy to give into your inner sloth. But, you really need to keep your blood flowing and the oxygen flowing. So, try to take time each day to do some basic stretches, a few jumping jacks, a trot around your living room. You’ll feel much better for it.
Cocoon: All of us are always on the go-go-go. Take advantage of this time to do nothing (if you’re able too). Wrap yourself up in your most cozy blanket or robe, and act like a caterpillar. A rested body is a rested mind!
Whatever you do, try not to become one of the gang, trapped at sea in Muppet Treasure Island...
We’ve got cabin fever
We’ve lost what sense we had
We’ve got cabin fever
We’re all going mad
But, you can watch that hysterical scene and thank your lucky stars that you’re not there with them.
And, you can always reach out to us by leaving a comment below.
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